Top Ten Baseball Movies (Drama)

There have been a number of great baseball movies made in the form of both fiction and biographies. When compiling my list, I felt the need to separate dramas from comedies. The dramas are listed here with comedies to follow at a later date.

10. Bang The Drum Slowly - It's been quite a while since I've seen this and admittedly, I don't remember a whole lot about the movie except that DeNiro was a bit of a simpleton and was dying.

9. For Love Of The Game - Costner revisits key moments in his life while pitching a no hitter. A lot of people thought it was hokey, but I enjoyed it. John C. Reilly and JK Simons round out a good cast.

8. The Babe - Not a terrific movie, but there was something about John Goodman's portrayal that I liked. It seemed to exaggerate things a bit and really highlighted the faults of Ruth.

7. The Natural - Fictional story of Roy Hobbs, the mysterious man who comes from nowhere to achieve greatness. I didn't like this movie as much as some, but recognize its place among the great baseball dramas. Some may have this higher on the list.

6. The Jackie Robinson Story - Like many in my generation, I struggle to get into some of the old black and white movies. I saw this a few years ago after being intrigued that Jackie played himself in the movie. It's a fascinating look at what he went through those first couple seasons after breaking the color barrier.

5. 61* - Another great bio-pic about the M & M boys, Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris. Great cinematography makes this a great movie. The story of Roger Maris, and the disdain he received from the fans, is intriguing.

4. The Pride Of The Yankees - The story of Lou Gehrig, his rise to baseball greatness, and rapid decline. Amazingly, this film was made only a year or two after his death and features Hall of Famers Babe Ruth and Bill Dickey.

3. Cobb - This is the story of Ty Cobb after baseball from the perspective of his biographer. Like The Babe, it focuses heavily on just how bad a person Cobb is said to have been. Tommy Lee Jones is outstanding as Cobb.

2. Field of Dreams - Great movie that shows how much the game of baseball means to true fans of the sport. I still get chills when Costner pulls that U-turn after dropping off James Earl Jones, only to have Jones standing in the middle of the street. It shows the magical and mystical side of the game.

1. Eight Men Out - The story of the 1919 Chicago Black Sox who accepted bribes to throw the World Series to the Reds. I'm not sure of the accuracy of the film, but it's extremely well acted and has a great cast. If you like historical movies or baseball movies, you should enjoy it.

Any other good ones that anyone can recommend?


  1. Cobb and Field of Dreams were two of my favorites. I liked Eight Men Out but it wouldn't be at the top of my list. Redford played a great part... like you, I think that Goodman deserves some recognition for a fairly accurate portrayal of the Babe.

    I lump Jackie and Pride of the Yankees together. Like you, I typicall have a difficult time identifying and connecting with these movies. Jackie, to me, was overly dramatic and was "more of the same" 1940-50 b&w. Pride of the Yankees was different... I was into it. I felt like it was pretty genuine and it doesn't get much better than Babe Ruth in the flesh. Gehrig's story is also pretty good so it worked.

  2. I liked Bang the Drum slowly, and For the love of the game much higher on the list than you have them. I did not like the Natural at all, and saw it twice to see if maybe I was missing something. I'm not, it's a movie with a lot of holes. Field of dreams is my #1. I really liked the Dr Archibald "moonlight" Graham character, played perfectly by both by Frank Whaley and Burt Lancaster.

  3. I would have Bang The Drum Slowly higher also. Field of Dreams would be my #1. There were 2 Babe Ruth Movies made, one back in the 40's I think with William Bendix, It suck just as bad as the Goodman one. Thought the Jackie Robinson one would have been better without Robinson playing himself. It should be remade and done better. Pride Of The Yankees is a classic and is my #2. Loved "61" and it would be my #3.

  4. Not a huge fan of Hardball but it was a nice movie... worthy of an hour and a half on the couch with your son (or daughter).

    One movie that's not on this list that probably should be - to be fair, the movie didn't come out until after this list was created - is Moneyball. I'll be chatting with the group to see whether we want to do a re-rank.

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