The Natural Top 5

I was sitting in bed last night, winding down another wonderful day in casa de costesflaming bat, when I stumbled upon my favorite baseball movie of all time, The Natural. Everything, and I mean EVERYTHING about this movie kicks ass on levels I didn’t know about until I saw it for the first time. It’d be literally impossible to list my favorite things about this film; I think wordpress doesn’t have that capacity. After a long deliberation, I present to you my top five favorite things about the movie.

5. The head-first slide the New York Knights player has to end the bottom of the 7th inning. Ozziecanseco and I were discussing this earlier, and there really is no other moment in the movie you can point to that says, “man, they really could’ve stepped up the production at this spot.” Thankfully the slide is so unbelievably bad it becomes comical. The Knights player is trying to stretch a single and comes nowhere close; he attempts a head-first slide into second but winds up face planting and probably tearing every pectoral muscle he has. If you watch closely the extra doesn’t lift his head after he’s called out–I’m pretty sure he’s A) hiding in shame B) writhing in pain C) spitting dirt out of his mouth or D) all of the above.

4. The Wardrobes. If there’s one thing I think baseball teams should do when they have “Throwback Night”, it’s force all of the fans to get in throwback mode as well. Let’s face it, the getups people wore to baseball games back in the day were downright awesome. If you weren’t wearing a three-piece with a sweet hat your ass had better be a security guard. Young kids in a hanley, suspenders, and sweet british racing caps peppered the stands everywhere. Women wore large elaborate hats with beautiful flowing dresses (but don’t show any thigh, you whore). Hell peanut vendors even wore bowties. The fact that there is rarely a scene without any male wearing a tie and fedora in it rocks.

3. Hobbs’ showdown with The Whammer. At this point we barely know who Hobbs is; all we’ve seen is some grab ass and sweet talk with Glenn Close (the only movie where she was remotely attractive; if you say Fatal Attraction take a bath with a toaster). Hobbs is enjoying knocking down milk bottles with his rocket arm, aka the only game you should waste your time at a carnival with, with the possible exception of the dunk tank. The Whammer is being a total weiner and basically saying Hobbs isn’t shit. Hobbs’ agent throws down the gauntlet to Whammer to a “contest of skill”. 3 pitches, and he has to strike out Whammer. Long story short, Hobbs pwns Whammer on 3 pitches (2 heaters and some junk), calls him out for using foul language, steals his woman, and all around makes Whammer look like a dildo. Hail Hobbs.

2. Wilford Brimley. Did he ever do better in a role than in this movie? The down-and-out manager Pop Fischer who never won the big one, sabotaged by the likes of his no good business partner “The Judge”. He plays it to perfection. Knowing that desperate times call for desperate measures (no pennant means he’s The Judge takes over control) he does everything he possibly can, ultimately hiring a hypnotist to try and snap the boys out of their losing ways (“Losing is a disease, as contagious as syphillis”). It’s a pretty generic role seen in tons of baseball movies but I dare you to find anyone who plays it better, and at the same time warn you about the dangers of diabetes.

1. The Home Run. If you don’t get goosebumps all over your body and want to jump up and down when he hits the final home run you’d better check your pulse. After he breaks his Wonderboy bat on a foul ball Hobbs is facing a 2-2 count and needs a new piece of lumber. He tells Bobby the bat boy to “pick him out a winner”, and does he ever. From the swing (perfect wrist turn, the blood stain, the angst on Redford’s face) to the trot around the bases (sparks flying, explosions everywhere, the fans and his teammates goings nuts) to Redford crossing home (teammates embracing and celebrating in a shower of sparks) everything clicks together perfectly. It’s still one of the few movies that make me tear up out of pure happiness and elation every single time I watch it.

If you haven’t seen this movie I suggest you reevaluate your life, rent it, and watch it at least three times in a row. If you’re not ready for baseball season and convinced Roy Hobbs is the best player who never was I will personally refund your money.

One Response

  1. There’s been so many great movies and films made about baseball. Some are about real life players while others are about fictional players and teams. What ever the case there’s something about the baseball films that draw a wide interest from kids to adults. While baseball in some instances has had the black mark put on it from stereoids, strikes and other scandalous events, somehow people still support it and it’s players. Back at the turn of the 20th century baseball was truely America’s favorite passtime. These were the first players to enter into the Hall of Fame and lay the groundwork for such stars from the 30’s 40’s on up to the present day players. While their paychecks were nothing to shout about they played for the love of the game. One such star was Eddie Plank otherwise known as “Gettysburg Eddie” If he was playing in this day and time he would surely be one of those multimillion dollar a year players. As a lefthander he pitched 8, 20 win seasons and racked up 326 wins in his career. These are just some of his incredible stats. Babe Ruth even said Eddie Plank was the toughest pitcher he had ever faced, yet hardly anyone knows of him or his legacy. Eddie Plank is a Hall of Famer with a great story and a film is being done to honor this baseball great. For more details go to If you love baseball and the history of the sport, you’ll want to be sure to stay up to date about the release of this documentary.

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