25 Classic Baseball Movies to See Before You Die

Zoe Samuel

Image: Ken Burns / Lynn Novick

About This Article

When Abner Doubleday invented the game of baseball, it's unlikely he understood quite the cultural impact he made. The game is a mirror held up to American culture. Baseball evolves with time, not just because of changes in the wider culture, but also because of technology. The first earth-shattering change to the baseball world was when Lip Pike became the first professional baseball player, a move that happened because of economic forces in the late 1800s more or less in line with similar changes in other businesses. Later, the color barrier would break, followed by changes to rules and strategy driven by our ability to measure every nuance of the game and quantify it with mathematics. Baseball changed with the times in America in ways that make it the art imitating American life.

Similarly, film evolved over the decades. Today, movies are much more complicated both in terms of writing and in terms of cultural implications. One point of common reference that came up again and again in American cinema is the baseball setting. It has been used to describe the nature of ego, the effects of biases, both ethnic and gender-based, war and peace, our relationships with the past, and our ability to dream. Of these films, there are 25 great ones you really need to see. Read on, and start adding them to your queue!

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