Today my brother pointed out that there are only 78 days until the 2010 MLB season begins… woohoo! As we get ready for baseball, we wanted to share some “reviews” of baseball movies. Some our family favorites, some are new to us.
We got things going this week with the classic (new to us), Eight Men Out.
Eight Men Out is the story of the eight players on the 1919 White Sox who allegedly threw the World Series; they were also known as the “Black Sox.” The movie was made in 1988 and is full of well-known actors in their earlier days, several of whom will appear in other baseball (or sports) movies such as Charlie Sheen, David Strathairn, Christopher Lloyd and D.B. Sweeney (if you count The Cutting Edge as a sports movie). This movie is a great one to view before watching Field of Dreams (more on that classic later) as it gives a little history of that tainted team, and specifically “Shoeless” Joe Jackson.
Perhaps the most interesting part of this movie is emphasis on the role that the whole team played in the scandal. Shoeless Joe Jackson is typically the the one associated with the scandal because he was the best player on the team. As a competitor, it’s difficult to believe that professional athletes actually took part in a scheme of this magnitude. The cast is great and the baseball scenes are believable, which is important for the credibility of this historical baseball film.
John Cusack is one of my favorite actors, so right off the bat I knew I’d like this one. Seriously though, I liked the history lesson, and the interpretation on whether questionables like Buck Weaver and Shoeless Joe were really involved in the fix. The one thing I wonder is… what if MLB and the commissioner were as hard on “cheaters” now as they were 90 years ago? We’d be out a lot of superstars, that’s for sure.
Put the kids to bed for this one. It’s a drama that would be over the heads of young ones, although an older kid who’s interested in the history of the game might like it. The language isn’t too bad, but be sure to consider ethical issues present like gambling and drinking during prohibition.
photo credit: puck36
Unfortunately, Chiquita did not recover as quickly as we had hoped from being sick. After taking her to urgent care and getting a prescription in Chicago on Monday just before the game, we decided that only I (David) would go to the White Sox game (a little late) and check out US Cellular Field.
I took the Red Line (train) down to the south side of Chicago and arrived at the game in the top of the 5th – I was surprised that the game was so far along for only being an hour old. At that point the A’s were up 2-1, but I got to experience the exploding scoreboard in the bottom of the 5th when A.J. Pierzynski hit a solo home run. The brain child of Bill Veeck, the scoreboard looks like something straight from the Barnum and Bailey Circus but it is quite a sight when a Sox player goes deep. Jim Thome lit the scoreboard again in the bottom of the 8th with a three-run homer. This broke the 2-2 tie and prevented extra innings – which turned out to be a great development for the fans as a light rain started to fall as the last out of the game was made.
Monday is a great night to catch a White Sox game as most of the tickets are half price. I took in the last few innings as I made my way around the field level and watched the wave travel around the park at least 5 times. White Sox fans seem to be pretty passionate which was good and bad for the players. Alexei Ramirez was booed heavily for not getting a sacrifice bunt down, but Jim Thome was given a hero’s welcome as he circled the bases after his game-winning blast.
US Cellular did not have near the same feel as Wrigley Field, but it was a nice place to catch a ballgame. The next leg of our journey war canceled due to Chiquita’s infection. We were supposed to head on to St. Louis on Monday, but instead we decided head back to Indiana a little early to hang out with family for a few days. Luckily, we were planning on being in Indiana after going to St. Louis so we will only miss one game.
Here are a few pictures from my night on the south side…
Yesterday morning we walked around Lincoln Square, the neighborhood where we are staying, had lunch at the tasty Bad Dog Tavern, and even got a little taste of Chicago’s Mayfest as well (thanks random guy for giving us a few free food tickets!).
Chiquita took a good nap and then we headed out to Wrigley Field. We got to take the “L” train, which is Chicago’s mostly-elevated train system. Taking public transportation is something we really enjoy; unfortunately so does the rest of Chicago. We had to wait for a second train to Wrigley because the first was too jammed-full.
After a nice treat at the Starbucks across the street from the ballpark (free, thanks to our friend Melissa who used to work there!), and a quick gander at the Wrigleyville Fire Department (the “fighter-fighters,” according to Chiquita), we entered the hallowed grounds the Cubs call home.
This was the only game where we’ll get to see the Dodgers on our trip, and it was a good one for the L.A. fans! This was our third game at Wrigley Field, but did include some first for us– our first with Chiquita, our first Cubs night game, and our first time seeing the Dodgers play there.
Here’s the photos from our first day in Chicago…
Unfortunately, Chiquita came down with a bit of a tummy ache last night, so we’re taking it easy today and hoping we can still make it to at least part of the White Sox game if she’s feeling better later today. Travel can be hard on a little one but hopefully she’ll be up on her feet again and ready to go soon.