Daily Archives: April 5, 2013

Bottom of the Tenth

“As a celebration of the magic of movies involving baseball, at least one scene from a different film will be posted each day for the next nine days…”
—From “Top of the First” March 28th

One of the best scenes in “Angels in the Outfield” is when foster caretaker Maggie Nelson stands up at a press conference regarding George Knox and his statements about his team being assisted by angels during their unthinkable winning streak en route to a potential pennant. Hank Murphy, the baseball club’s owner, had called the event so Knox would publicly deny any such spiritual guidance his players may have been receiving from above.

Maggie said it best.

Maggie Nelson: My name is Maggie Nelson. I take care of foster kids. One of these boys is the child who can see angels. He could stand up right now and tell you what’s going on and I’d know you’d just laugh at him. But, when a professional football player drops to one knee to thank God for making a touchdown, nobody laughs at that. Or when a pitcher crosses himself before going to the mound, no one laughs at that either. It’s like your saying it’s okay to believe in God, but it’s not okay to believe in angels. Now, I thought that they were on the same team.

Hank Murphy: Is it your belief, ma’am, that angels play baseball?

Maggie Nelson: Since the all-star break, yes. We all need someone to believe in. Every child I have ever looked after has someone: an angel. You’ve got to have faith. You’ve got to believe. You have to look inside yourself. The footprints of an angel are love, and where there is love, miraculous things can happen. I’ve seen it.


Mel Clark: [stands] I’d also like to say something. I don’t know if there are any angels here other than the twenty-five of us in uniform. But I know there is one thing I won’t do: I won’t play for anyone but George Knox. I believe in him.

Every athlete has experienced a moment during competition when your energy levels are depleted and exhaustion has spread from your head to your toes. In this case, Gatorade will not do the trick. This situation calls for more than an energy drink. 

With a full-count, this next pitch by the Angels’ Mel Clark is for the American League Pennant…

The ending/above two clips of “Angels in the Outfield” is the perfect ending to my favorite movie made about baseball of all-time! It’s fun, has heart and lots of laughs for people of all ages. This Disney masterpiece is a timeless classic that reminds us all about the magic of sports and the inspiring nature of the human spirit.

This concludes the inning-by-inning celebration of the best scenes from the best movies involving baseball.

Can miracles from the heavens transpire in sports and life in general? To quote the young, but very wise JP, “It could happen!”


Top of the Tenth

“As a celebration of the magic of movies involving baseball, at least one scene from a different film will be posted each day for the next nine days…”
—From “Top of the First” March 28th

After a summer of baseball and hijinks, the pinnacle moment had arrived. Stealing your stepfather’s baseball, autographed by Babe Ruth, and hitting your first ever home run with it over the fence into the lair of The Beast is enough to stress out the most powerful superhero. Multiple attempts to retrieve the priceless souvenir were concocted, but ultimately each of them failed. Yet, there they all stood, nervously waiting in anticipation as one of their own was taking his last few breaths of reflection before daring to do the craziest thing any of them had ever seen. The curtain for the final scene of “The Battle with The Beast” was set to rise at any minute. For Benny, his mind was either as clear as a Carolina blue sky or as clouded as a kid unprepared to take a pop quiz in Chinese algebra.

Most can probably quote verbatim the inspirational words Babe Ruth/The Babe/The Great Bambino/The Sultan of Swat/The Colossus of Clout said to Benny “The Jet” Rodriguez in his dream the night before he was destined to take on The Beast.

“Remember kid, there’s heroes and there’s legends. Heroes get remembered but legends never die, follow your heart kid, and you’ll never go wrong.”

And don’t forget to lace up those PF Flyers nice and tight.

It just goes to show you never do quite know who lives next door…

Yesterday’s passing of famed film critic Roger Ebert coinciding with the final scene of “The Sandlot” above reveals the power and cultural significance of the “thumbs up.” Like Smalls and Benny, did Mr. Ebert give it “two thumbs up”?

The Sandlot (3 stars) — “These days too many children’s movies are infected by the virus of Winning, as if kids are nothing more than underage pro athletes, and the values of Vince Lombardi prevail: It’s not how you play the game, but whether you win or lose. This is a movie that breaks with that tradition, that allows its kids to be kids, that shows them in the insular world of imagination and dreaming that children create entirely apart from adult domains and values.”
—Roger Ebert