Top Nine Baseball Movie Characters Lineup
By Lou DiPietro
Among the many debates here at Niner HQ over the past week was one that Hollywood itself may not be able to answer: If you had to make the all-time best lineup of baseball movie characters, who would you pick?
Just narrowing it down to one pitcher for that list was a near day-long debate, and after deciding that only fictional characters (and not fictionalizations…sorry Babe Ruth and Moonlight Graham) were allowed, the lineup below is what we came up with (in descending order, meaning No. 9 is leadoff, No. 8 bats second and so on).
CF WILLIE "MAYS" HAYES (Major League)
Before he was Black Hammer in Major League 2, the faux-Indians' center fielder was apparently one of MLB's most potent base stealers in the first movie, so he makes the cut as our leadoff man and center fielder.
SS TANNER BOYLE (Bad News Bears)
Tanner would be a perfect number two hitter, because he's a pesky scrapper who can get on base and cause mayhem. Plus, if the other team gets a little feisty, he's not afraid to start a food fight. We'd include a clip, but young Mr. Boyle had quite the mouth on him.
LF KELLY LEAK (Bad News Bears)
He's hitting .850 this season, after all
RF ROY HOBBS (The Natural)
If you can tear the cover off the ball and hit one into the lights like Robert Redford's character did, you've got a spot. The only problem is that his contract would have to worth enough to cover all that property destruction!
1B JACK ELLIOT (Mr. Baseball)
Sure, Tom Selleck's slugger may have been a me-first guy for most of the film, but you have to respect a first baseman who can drop down a bunt every now and then.
3B BENNIE "THE JET" RODRIGUEZ (The Sandlot)
Bennie pickled "The Beast," taught Smalls how to catch, and was one of the only ones smart enough to not end up getting sick at the carnival. He also rotated every position, so in our lineup, "The Jet" lands at the hot corner.
2B MARLA HOOCH (A League of Their Own)
Marla may have been a little rough around the edges, but what a hitter!.
C CRASH DAVIS (Bull Durham)
Crash's time in the show was the "21 Greatest Days" of his life, and on this team of misfits, egomaniacs, and young studs, a nice, calming veteran influence behind the plate couldn't hurt, right?
P RICKY VAUGHN (Major League)
Speaking of all of the above, Ricky Vaughn's fastball took him from the California Penal League all the way to high society and back again. But he learned his lesson, and he won't get caught for putting snot on the baseball.