Baseball’s All Star Game is this week, airing on Mediacom Cable channel 7 in the Quad Cities. Alongside the All Star game is baseball's other great meaningless spectacle the Home Run Derby. Home runs are to baseball as a great action scene is to an action movie. With that in mind here’s a look back at the greatest home runs in movie history.
There may be no home run more dramatic than the one hit by Robert Redford’s heroic Roy Hobbs in the 1984 drama “The Natural.” Hobbs had survived being shot but with his stitches torn by his mighty home run swings Hobbs is shown to be bleeding through his jersey as he bats with the game on the line. Nevertheless, with a prodigious swing of a homemade bat belonging to his team’s batboy, Hobbs crushed a game winning home run that explodes the lights in right field showering the field in sparks as Hobbs trots triumphantly around the bases.
“Taking Care of Business”
The Chicago Cubs have never won the World Series in real life but one movie gave Cubs fans the moment they’ve all dreamed about. The 1990 baseball con man comedy “Taking Care of Business” starred Jim Belushi has as an escaped con who breaks out of prison for the sole purpose of seeing the Chicago Cubs play in the World Series. Spoiler Alert: The Cubs win when real life Cubs first baseman Mark Grace hits a game winning home run that Belushi’s con man catches in the stands.
“Moneyball” is the mostly true story of Oakland A’s General Manager Billy Beane, played by Brad Pitt, and the unique player personnel theory that helped him create a winning team on a tight budget. The film culminates with a home run that really happened. In 2002 the A’s tied a league record by 20 games and the 20th win ended dramatically with a home run. Not only was it a home run, it was a home run hit by Scott Hatteberg, played by Chris Pratt, the player most often referred to as the poster boy for Beane’s ‘Moneyball’ philosophy.
“A League of their Own”
Few things in baseball are as exciting as an inside the park home run. The combination of speed, skill and luck that make an inside the park home run possible are a perfect recipe for drama. The wonderful 1993 baseball movie “A League of their Own,” which details the early struggles of the short lived All American Girls Professional Baseball League, climaxes dramatically with Kit (Lori Petty), playing against her sister and teammate Dottie (Geena Davis) for the first time, scoring a game winning run on an inside the park homer that has her bowling over her sister at home plate. The home run led to a lovely reunion for the previously separated sisters.