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Welcome back to Player Affinity's Sports Movie Madness! We've had two rounds so far and now we goin' to the 'ship. You voted, and we've got your two favorite baseball films going head to head in the Screen 16 for the right to represent baseball movies on the bigger sports movie stage.
But first, let's recap for those of you new to the tournament. In the Sports Movie Madness tournament, there are seven sports and one mega-category of miscellaneous sports, so eight regions total. This is the Baseball Region. Below are the remaining two baseball films. Your job is to vote for your favorite in the comments below. Simply enter a comment by Sunday at 5:00 pm to cast your vote. The winner will move on to play the champion from the Basketball Region.
BASEBALL REGION RESULTS
4 The Natural def. 8 The Bad News Bears (1976)
2 Field of Dreams def. 3 The Sandlot
8 The Bad News Bears (1976) def. 1 Bull Durham
2 Field of Dreams def. 7 The Rookie
3 The Sandlot def. 6 A League of Their Own
4 The Natural def. 5 Major League
Youth baseball comedies couldn't thwart the emotional dramas in Round 2 of voting, but it was awful close. The Natural and Field of Dreams advanced to the Screen 16, but only winning by one vote. So who will it be, Robert Redford or Kevin Costner?
2 Field of Dreams vs. 4 The Natural
Kevin Costner sure knows how to star in a great sports movie. Field of Dreams, if nothing else, tugs at the heartstrings. A non-traditional baseball film in that little sports action occurs and its unrealistic, it still gets you weepy. It also continues to prove great baseball films deliver great quotes: “if you build it, he will come.” Costner plays Ray, an Iowa farmer who interprets these strange voices whispering those words to mean he should build a baseball diamond in the middle of a cornfield and when he does, the infamous Chicago “Black Sox” show up. Ray then tries to make sense of it all and the results are touching, reminding us the meaning of “America’s pastime.”
A terrific sports redemption story, The Natural stars Robert Redford as Roy Hobbs, a 35-year-old baseball player in the 1930s who as a young prospect was shot by a crazed woman, an incident that nearly ended his career. Hobbs comes seemingly out of the woodwork and emerges as a star. Against all odds and clichés as it were, Hobbs saves his career and his team, the New York Knights. The Natural is a terrific sports movie that laid the groundwork for one of the other films on this list, The Rookie. Like the based-on-a-true-story that film was, The Natural comes from a novel by Bernard Malamut that was based loosely on the story of Phillies first baseman Eddie Waitkus who helped lead the Phillies to a pennant in 1950, one year after nearly getting shot to death by a fan.
Please be sure to vote for the other sports! Voting for round one ends at 5 pm on Sunday evening, that's April 3.