Are you ready for baseball season?

Major League Baseball games were supposed to begin Thursday, but like everything else in the world, they’ve been postponed. Baseball is on hold for now, but that doesn’t mean baseball fans have to give up the time-honored tradition of enjoying the national pastime on opening day.

Right now, the best way to do enjoy the game is by streaming some classic baseball movies. Over the years, Hollywood has done a lot to capture baseball’s glory, action, drama and history. So here are a few suggestions to tide you over until play resumes.

Drew Barrymore and Jimmy Fallon in “Fever Pitch.” Photo courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox/IMDB

“Fever Pitch” (2005): Quirky comedy with Jimmy Fallon as a crazy Red Sox fan who is trying to balance his love for the team with his love for his new girlfriend, played by Drew Barrymore. Former Sox outfielder Johnny Damon has a cameo, and there are some great scenes of Fenway Park. Rated PG-13.

“The Rookie” (2002): Moving, true story of pitcher Jim Morris (played by Dennis Quaid), who’s married with three children and coaching high school baseball in Texas when his players persuade him to try out for the big leagues. He gets a tryout with the Tampa Bay Rays and makes his Major League debut at the age of 35. Rated G.

“42” (2013): Fairly engrossing look at Jackie Robinson’s breaking of baseball’s color line, becoming the first black player in the modern game in 1947, with the Brooklyn Dodgers. It stars Chadwick Boseman as Robinson and Harrison Ford as Dodgers general manager Branch Rickey. Look for a brief appearance by Toby Huss as Clyde Sukeforth, of Waldoboro, who was the man the Dodgers sent to scout Robinson.

“A League of Their Own” (1992): Another funny and inspiring story, based on the first professional women’s baseball league, set up during World War II. Geena Davis, Madonna and Tom Hanks star in a film that’s become famous for the line, “There’s no crying in baseball,” among other things. Rated PG.

“Bull Durham” (1988): One of the wittiest baseball movies ever, partially because writer/director Ron Shelton played in the minors and knew what he was talking about. The movie is a love letter to minor league baseball players, coaches and fans that works in a very funny love triangle between a veteran player (Kevin Costner), a seemingly obnoxious young pitcher (Tim Robbins) and the town’s mystical queen of baseball (Susan Sarandon). Rated R.

“Angels in the Outfield” (1994): A boy living in a foster home prays for a family of his own, and for his beloved but hapless California Angels to win a pennant. Does he get his wish? The movie is good family fare, funny and tear-jerking at the same time, with Danny Glover as the lovably gruff manager, Tony Danza as a washed-up pitcher, and a very young Joseph Gordon-Levitt as the young fan. Rated PG.

Tim Robbins and Kevin Costner in “Bull Durham.” Photo courtesy of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios/IMDB

“Bang the Drum Slowly” (1973): Based on the Mark Harris novel, it’s a somber story, with funny moments, of a young catcher on a Major League team battling a terminal illness. A young Robert DeNiro plays the catcher, and the stand-out cast, who play characters that talk like they’re in a Damon Runyon story, includes Michael Moriarty and Vincent Gardenia. Rated PG.

“Major League” (1989): If you’re looking for pure fun, try this one. The hapless Cleveland Indians are bad, but their owner wants to make them worse so she can move the team. But the castoffs she assembles fool her, and they win. A young Charlie Sheen is great as a wild young pitcher just out of prison. Rated R.

“The Natural” (1984): Dark at times, but ultimately one of the great baseball comeback stories. Robert Redford plays an old-time star who is shot by a mysterious woman, but years later is well enough to play again and regain some of his star power. Some wonderful baseball heroics in this one. Glenn Close also stars. Rated PG.

“The Battered Bastards of Baseball” (2014): This funny and inspiring Netflix documentary traces the brief history of a raucous minor league baseball team in Portland, Oregon, that fought the established organized baseball system in the early 1970s and paved the way for independent minor leagues. The film’s star is team owner Bing Russell, a longtime character actor who spent time growing up in Rangeley and was the father of actor Kurt Russell.


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