Baseball On-screen: Films that knocked it out of the park

You could get worked up arguing about the best American baseball movies, but we all know, thanks to Tom Hanks in ‘A League of Their Own’, that there’s no crying in baseball. So here are the top home-run hitters in my book. Your choices may vary, but then you probably root for the Yankees.
‘Bull Durham’ (1988): Don’t even try to argue. No movie ever captured baseball quite the way Ron Shelton did with his hilarious love triangle between a cynical minor league catcher (Kevin Costner), an airhead pitcher destined for the big leagues (Tim Robbins) and a Walt Whitman-spouting groupie (Susan Sarandon).
‘Moneyball’ (2011): Aaron Sorkin’s adaptation of Michael Lewis’ bestselling book about the metrics successfully employed by Oakland A’s general manager Billy Bean not only made baseball enthralling, it also made math sexy.
‘Eight Men Out’ (1988): John Sayles takes on the Black Sox scandal of 1919 with an unforgettable cast, including David Straithairn, John Cusack and Charlie Sheen, and manages to make the players accused of throwing the World Series look almost heroic.
‘Field of Dreams’ (1989): Only those with hearts of stone are unmoved by this sentimental adaptation of W.P. Kinsella’s dreamy novel about a regular Joe (Costner again) who hears voices telling him to build a diamond in his cornfield to lure the ghost of Shoeless Joe Jackson and ends up playing the game of catch of his life.
‘The Bad News Bears’ (1976): There were sequels, and there was a remake. And still nothing approaches the original film about a boozy minor league coach (Walter Matthau) and his hapless Little League team, led by — imagine! — a girl pitcher (Tatum O’Neal) and a chain-smoking hood (Jackie Earle Haley). Chico’s Bail Bonds forever.