9. Rookie of the Year


Time to move from the make believe sport (No. 10 Baseketball) to the real sport.  Now “Rookie of the Year” is more of an after thought nowadays, but when I first saw this movie, to me it was every kids dream come true.  Who wouldn’t want to be playing baseball with their favorite baseball players?  Now I won’t refer much to the other movie that came out a year after this one, but I will say that “Little Big League” was totally lame.  If you don’t believe me, watch it and tell me otherwise.  Both are similar, but “Rookie of the Year” had a better story.

The jest of it is that a 12 year old kid named Henry Rowengartner from Chicago is having a rough time becoming a good baseball player, heck even an okay one.  An accident at school results in a broken arm to which he has to wear a ridiculous looking cast for the summer.  Once the cast is removed, he goes to a Chicago Cubs game.  While sitting in the bleachers, a home run ball hit by the opposing team is given to Henry to throw it back.  He does, but it results in a bullet thrown to the catcher at home plate.  Henry is there by signed by the Cubs and becomes an attraction at first to get fans to Wrigley Field.  What surprises everyone is what he does to help the Cubs become winners.

Without going into too many more details I will just say that there is also a great story between Henry and his mom Mary.  I don’t want to give it away, but I’ll just say that there is more to his mom than Henry thinks.  I’d be interested to hear what Cubs fans think about this movie.  To me it does bring to light the amazing futility of the Chicago Cubs for over 100 years now.  They haven’t won a World Series since 1908 folks.  But I think it also sheds some light into why the Cubs are always called the “Lovable Losers.”  Who doesn’t want to see the Cubs finally win one?

The cast is pretty well known nowadays.  The main character Henry Rowengartner was played by Thomas Ian Nicholas of the three original “American Pie” movies.  Gary Busey was the star pitcher Chet “Rocket” Steadman of the Cubs.  Even John Candy was in the movie as the Cubs play-by-play announcer Cliff Murdoch.

This quote pretty says it all about what would probably be the first thing you would say if you were asked to play baseball for your favorite team.  The Cubs General Manager Larry Fisher asks Henry the important question.

Larry Fisher: Hey, kid! How’d you like to play for the Chicago Cubs?

Henry Rowengartner: Great! But I gotta ask my mom first.

Now you can’t say that wouldn’t be your first response.  Right?  Not a well known movie, but a good one in my view.   The list will start to get more intriguing in the coming days so stay tuned.  Don’t forget to let me know what you think here and on twitter @WesSportsGuy

This top 10 list is sports movies that I’ve seen.  Not what others recommend, but only what my eyes have seen and that I truly enjoy.  If you haven’t seen this movie, netflix it, pirate the movie, however you go about watching movies, just do it.

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