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‘Field of Dreams’ is turning 30. In celebration, here’s the best baseball movies

Here’s Martin Fennelly’s top nine baseball movies.

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the premiere of “Field of Dreams."

The Clearwater Threshers will mark it with a tribute night Friday at Spectrum Field and an appearance by Dwier Brown, the actor who played John Kinsella (Kevin Costner’s dad and catch buddy in the picture.

To mark it, here’s a quick, unofficial, in no way definitive, guide to the best baseball films.

1. Bull Durham (1988)

All-time cast (Costner, Susan Sarandon, Tim Robbins, Max Patkin, the Durham Bull) delivers a hilarious, moving salute to all things summer and baseball. We’ll take the mound visits alone. Stands alone, Meat.

2. The Natural (1984)

Robert Redford as Roy Hobbs, War Memorial Stadium in Buffalo as New York Knights Field, baggy uniforms, plus an unscrupulous journalist, all part of an allegory with pine tar on it.

3. A League of Their Own (1992)

Tom Hanks steals the show, but women in baseball has its well-deserved moment. The Rockford Peaches are America’s team, and Madonna as center fielder “All the Way” May, well, it’s a home run.

4. The Pride of the Yankees (1942)

This ode to the Luckiest Man is one of the few old-time baseball movies that works. We know it as Mama and Papa Gehrig form that conga line after their Louie hit a World Series homer. Lou, Lou! Gehrig, Gehrig!

5. Field of Dreams (1989)

Tell me you don’t want to cry when Ray asks his dad if he wants to have a catch.

6. Eight Men Out (1988)

Well-made flick about the infamous Black Sox. And it’s great how they leave their gloves on the field when they go to bat.

7. Moneyball (2011)

Smart stuff, and Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill are a great team. But did Billy Beane write this? Great that Brad didn’t use Angelina in this one.

8. Fear Strikes Out (1957)

Way ahead of its time. Tracks Jimmy Piersall’s descent and return from mental illness. Karl Malden superb as psycho dad. Near-fatal flaw: Believed to be the first time Anthony Perkins ever touched a baseball. It looked as he was putting the shot.

9. 42 (2013)

The original Jackie Robinson movie, starring Jackie Robinson, was awful. This one is better. Truth be told, you really can’t have enough Jackie Robinson movies. Nice turns by Harrison Ford as Branch Rickey and Chadwick Boseman as 42.

Contact Martin Fennelly at or (813) 731-8029. Follow @mjfennelly