baseball culture · Baseball Movies

Baseball Movies: Eight Men Out

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 ReviewThe Movie

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.

His Take

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.

Her Take

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.

Family Take

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

baseball culture · Baseball Randomness

The Culture of Baseball

DSC_0037

One of the things I love about the sport of baseball is the culture that goes along with it. The love of the game goes beyond the nine innings and the twenty-five man roster. It stretches towards books, movies, songs, and more. It is a culture that inspires road trips and pilgrimages and international camaraderie.

It is an almost romantic pastime, if we look at the Oxford definition of the word: inclined toward or suggestive of the feeling of the excitement and mystery of love. Doesn’t that describe the attitude of most serious baseball fans? There’s definitely an excitement and mystery in loving the game of baseball.

A simple search on Amazon for the word baseball brings up results in thirty categories, from DVDs to Jewelry to Gourmet Food– we’re talking thousands and thousands of results. In one sense the sport has possibly just become as commercialized as anything else in pop culture, but on the other hand, maybe this phenomenon is simply due to a sincere, widespread love of the game.

Stay tuned as we review and discuss our favorite items and aspects of Baseball Culture here on Round Ball, Round Bat.