If the strike of 1994 taught us anything, it's that baseball should be left to the pros. While Billy Crystal's recent appearance with the Yankees gave washed-up actors everywhere a renewed hope of actually making it big in the majors, just as he swung out, Hollywood totally whiffs when it comes to believable baseball players.
5-Kit Keller: A League of Their Own
I know making fun of Lori Petty is like shooting fish in a teaspoon of water, but sometimes you just can't help yourself. When a baseball movie comes up inevitably "A League of Their Own" will make an appearance in conversation. Granted, this movie offers a veritable smorgasbord of potential characters just waiting to be skewered by OMGLists. However, the rule of comedy stands that every time you are presented with an opportunity to rag on Lori Petty you take it. So here we are with Lori Petty making the half-assed attempt at pitching in the woman's league of national baseball and even in this "gimme" of a role she still sucks. She was actually MORE believable as Tank Girl or Keanu Reeves surfing girlfriend in "Point Break." She can't throw a ball to save her life and she whines like a baby during the entire movie and if it weren't for her talented sis, the talentless Keller would never have even gotten a chance in the ladies league. Hell, Rosie manages to pull off the girlie uniform better than poor Lori. Even if women did play in the MLB, Lori would be putting her skills to use by riding the pine in the dugout.
4-Steve Nebraska: The Scout
First off we've got a white boy playing stick ball in Mexico. If you don't see something strange about that, just take your Spring Break and spend it in places where the locals actually dwell--you'll come to your senses pretty soon enough. Second, the guy's record just doesn't make sense no matter how many "vitamins" or "natural enhancements" one might take. Anyway, the guy gets recruited to the Yankees and pitches a perfect game during Game 1 of the World Series (his first game), striking out every player in three pitches. Plus the kid's got a consistent 100 mph fast ball and could strike out some of the best players in the 90's. Even Roger "My Neck Is Naturally Twice The Size Of My Head" Clemens didn't manage that feat. Brendan should stick to being a caveman or mummy-killer and leave the no-hitters to those with actual talent.
3-Roy Hobbs: The Natural
Had Robert Redford been an actual player I'd have been his biggest fan but since that's pretty darn unlikely we have to take his character at face value with a freakin' boulder of salt. He knocks the cover off the ball on one of his first tries at bat and he manages to fight through his final inning after being shot in the fucking stomach. In the real majors, we have Sammy Sosa, who missed a game because he threw his back out during a sneeze, and Ken Griffey Jr., who sat out a game because his protective cup pinched his balls. No real-life baseball player has that combo of physical strength and heart. Except maybe Ron Santo.
2-Animals: Air Bud and Ed
At least the above-mentioned characters were bi-pedal and had the mental capacity to understand the fine nuances of a good game of baseball (e.g. "Chicks dig the long ball"). When it comes to animals playing the game however, my ability to suspend my disbelief goes out the window faster than a pinch runner steals second. The "Air Bud" series continued its straight-to-DVD streak with "The Seventh Inning Fetch" wherein the beloved Bud teaches his owner's sister that anyone, yes even those covered in fur, can play baseball. The sad thing is that this is only slightly more believable than Matt LeBlanc's eponymous monkey in "Ed" who seems to hold the key to staying focused and tosses fastballs rather than his feces. Thankfully, the "animals playing sports" subgenre seems to have died and the monkey and dog actors of Hollywood can go back to starring in cop-buddy movies.
1-Henry Rowengartner: Rookie of the Year
Who knew that breaking your arm could lead to such a lucky break? The prepubescent Henry, who sucks even for his little league team, busts his arm and it heals so freakishly that he is then able to put heaters by everyone and anyone he comes up against. He's soon recruited to the MLB (who have no problem hiring a kid, much like the NBA) and manages to keep his spotless record until--can you believe it--the last 10 minutes of the movie when his arm suddenly goes back to normal! How does he solve this pesky dilemma? Why he does what any other professional pitcher does-relies not on his grab-bag of other throws and speeds, but takes his mom's advice and throws an underhand pitch to the awaiting grisly bear of a batter. And wouldn't you just know it, he strikes the guy out! The only thing more implausible than his injury and that ending is having Gary Busey playing a completely normal functioning ballplayer. Which this movie also has.