1. Consider the example of one of the most frequently played highlights from the 2009 Major League Baseball season, the unassisted triple play turned by Philadelphia Phillies infielder Eric Bruntlett on August 23. The triple play, recording three outs on a single play, is of course a rarity, but this event was heralded because Bruntlett required no assistance to achieve the play; he did it on his own. [return to page 1 of essay]

2. This image of the individual alone in the locker room appears in several other baseball films. In Bull Durham the first time we enter the locker room, Nuke LaLoosh is in there without any other players. A League of Their Own actually inverts this trope and features Dottie Henson alone in the locker room at the end of the movie.

3. Rudd and Most’s dramatic overestimation of the importance of community in the baseball film finds an easy explanation. Their essay—and the entire book in which it appears—was originally presented as part of an exhibit at the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY. Naturally, their argument possesses an extremely pro-baseball ideology agenda. [return to page 2 of essay]

4. Though released in 1992, I consider A League of Their Own very much a part of the baseball film tradition of the 1980s. Much as George H.W. Bush followed the trajectory of his predecessor in the White House, so A League of Their Own conforms to the categorization of 80s baseball movies. [return to page 3 of essay]

Works cited

Althusser, Louis. For Marx. Trans. Ben Brewster. New York: Vintage Books, 1970.

Baker, Aaron. Contesting Identities: Sports in American Film. Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press, 2003.

Barthes, Roland. Mythologies. Trans. Annette Lavers. New York: Hill and Wang, 1972.

Bordwell, David, Janet Staiger, and Kristin Thompson. The Classical Hollywood Cinema: Film Style & Mode of Production to 1960. New York: Routledge, 1988.

Bull Durham. Dir./Screenplay Ron Shelton. Perf. Kevin Costner, Susan Sarandon, Tim Robbins. DVD. MGM, 2002.

Curtin, Kevin Thomas. “The Natural: Our Iliad and Odyssey.” Antioch Review 43.2 (Spring 1985): 225-241. JSTOR. Indiana University Library. 7 April 2009.

Dickerson, Gary E. The Cinema of Baseball: Images of America, 1929-1989. Westport, CT: Meckler, 1991.

Eight Men Out. Dir./Screenplay John Sayles. Perf. John Cusack, Charlie Sheen, David Strathairn, D.B. Sweeney. DVD. MGM, 2008.

Field of Dreams. Dir. & Screenplay Phil Alden Robinson. Perf. Kevin Costner, Amy Madigan, James Earl Jones, Ray Liotta, Burt Lancaster. DVD. Universal, 2004.

Good, Howard. Diamonds in the Dark: America, Baseball, and the Movies. Lanham, MD: The Scarecrow Press, 1997.

Internet Movie Database. www.imdb.com.

The Jackie Robinson Story. Dir. Alfred E. Green. Screenplay Arthur Mann, Louis Pollock, Lawrence Taylor. Perf. Jackie Robinson, Ruby Dee, Minor Watson. DVD. Legend Films, 2008.

Jeffords, Susan. Hard Bodies: Hollywood Masculinity in the Reagan Era. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1994.

A League of Their Own. Dir. Penny Marshall. Screenplay Lowell Ganz and Babaloo Mandel. Perf. Tom Hanks, Geena Davis, Madonna, Lori Petty. DVD. Sony, 2002.

Major League. Dir./Screenplay David S. Ward. Perf. Tom Berenger, Charlie Sheen, Corbin Bernsen, Rene Russo, Wesley Snipes. DVD. Paramount, 2007.

Most, Marshall G. and Robert Rudd. “Returning to the America That Was Meant to Be: The Cinematic Re-emergence of Baseball’s Vision of Community.” Reel Baseball: Essays and Interviews on the National Pastime, Hollywood, and American Culture. Ed. Stephen C. Wood and J. David Pincus. Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Co., 2003. 35-51.

---. Stars, Stripes, and Diamonds: American Culture and the Baseball Film. Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Company, 2006.

The Natural. Dir. Barry Levinson. Screenplay Roger Towne and Phil Dusenberry. Perf. Robert Redford, Robert Duvall, Glenn Close, Kim Basinger, Wilford Brimley, Barbara Hershey, Robert Prosky, Richard Farnsworth. DVD. Columbia Tri-Star, 2001.

The Pride of the Yankees. Dir. Sam Wood. Screenplay Jo Swerling & Herman J. Mankiewicz. Perf. Gary Cooper, Teresa Wright, Walter Brennan, Babe Ruth. DVD. MGM/20th Century Fox, 2008.

Ray, Robert B. A Certain Tendency of the Hollywood Cinema, 1930-1980. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1985.

Regalado, Samuel Octavio. “Review: Base Lines and Beyond: The National Pastime and Its Meanings.” Reviews in American History 31.2 (June 2003): 298-306. JSTOR. Indiana University Library. 7 April 2009.

Simmons, Bill. “A-Rod is a clubhouse guy? In a manner of speaking, yes.” ESPN The Magazine 20 April 2009. ESPN.com. 27 April 2009.

Sklar, Robert. Movie-Made America: A Cultural History of American Movies. 2nd Edition. New York: Vintage Books, 1994.

Will, George. Men at Work: The Craft of Baseball. New York: Macmillan Publishing Company, 1990.

Wood, Stephen C., J. David Pincus, and J. Nicholas DeBonis. “The American Mythos in Film: The Natural.” Reel Baseball: Essays and Interviews on the National Pastime, Hollywood, and American Culture. Ed. Stephen C. Wood and J. David Pincus. Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Co., 2003. 20-34.

To topPrint versionJC 52 Jump Cut home

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 License.