With all of the sweat, drama and behind-the-scenes politics, it's no wonder that baseball has inspired many movie classics and iconic characters. Baseball flicks have even made their way to the Oscars over the years, with movies like Moneyball and Field of Dreams racking up Academy Award nominations.
We've compiled a list of our favourite fictional ball players from the big screen. As diverse as this cast of characters is, they all share two things in common: tenacity and, naturally, an undying love of the game.
Check out our favourite movie ball players. Full list is below:
Crash Davis (Kevin Costner) in Bull Durham. Veteran Minor League catcher Crash clashes with the hotshot rookie pitcher, Nuke (Tim Robbins), he's brought in to groom for the Major Leagues. As Nuke's career takes off, Crash is left in the dust. Luckily, he doesn't just call it a day, and we get to see Crash enjoy one last swan song on the field.
Dottie Hinson (Gena Davis) in A League of Their Own. Reluctant ball player Dottie proves to be a natural on the field. The attractive farm girl is a great hitter, a good catcher and, most importantly, not afraid to stand up to the chauvinistic men running the women's pro league.
Roy Hobbs (Robert Redford) in The Natural. Roy wins us over early on in the movie, when he carves a bat out of a tree split by lightning. When he goes on to knock the covers off of balls during Major League games later on, you can't help but love him even more.
Ricky Vaughn (Charlie Sheen) in Major League. Ricky certainly gets points for most improved player throughout the course of a movie. Give the guy some glasses, and “Wild Thing” can pitch like the best of 'em.
Henry Wiggen (Michael Moriarty) in Bang the Drum Slowly. It's amazing what lengths the star pitcher goes to for his dying pal Bruce Pearson (Robert De Niro in one of his breakthrough roles). Henry uses his bargaining power to his friend's benefit, and secures catcher Bruce's spot on the team for the rest of his numbered days - even if that means losing games.
Benny Rodriguez (Mike Vitar) in The Sandlot. Talk about a class act. Not only was Benny the best young ball player around, he was also the nicest. Too bad there was never a sequel exploring his inevitable venture from the neighbourhood park into pro ball.
Morris Buttermaker (Walter Matthau) in The Bad News Bears. He may not be endearing, but the washed-up Minor League character sure is fun to watch. Mixing a temperamental, alcoholic former baseball star and a group of super competitive Little Leaguers is a recipe for comedy gold. No wonder this flick was re-made in 2005, with Billy Bob Thornton stepping into Matthau's shoes.
Sponsored by Chevrolet: Explore the All-New 2013 Chevrolet Malibu