I was 4 or 5 years old when I experienced my first baseball game. My parents took me to the former Veterans Stadium in Philadelphia, where, dressed in red, we cheered for the home team.
I can’t remember who the Phillies were up against that day or much about the game itself, but I do remember the excitement and anticipation leading up to it. I carried my dad’s old baseball glove around with me for days beforehand, dreaming of catching a foul ball.
I remember being enthralled by the Phillie Phanatic and his antics. The furry green mascot was probably my favorite part of the game.
And I remember being disappointed when we left before the ninth inning. It was past my bedtime, and if one of my parents was writing this instead of me, Mom or Dad would probably tell you I was getting antsy. I also remember hearing cheers and applause explode from the inside the stadium as we crossed the parking lot on our way out. We later learned one of the Phillies hit a home run just as we left.
I don’t follow (or understand) sports, and I’ve never been athletic, but I do enjoy a good ball game. I am, after all, an American.
And in case you haven’t guessed, I’m a Phillies fan.
I also enjoy a good baseball-themed movie, although I don’t have a favorite. I recently asked my Facebook friends to list their top picks, in hopes of scoring a good recommendation or two to watch today in celebration of Major League Baseball’s opening day. Instead, I ended up with a list that will probably last me all season.
There are a lot more baseball films out there than I realized.
The top three movies my friends mentioned the most were “The Sandlot” with 11 votes, “Field of Dreams” with eight and “A League of their Own” with seven.
“The Rookie” and “The Pride of the Yankees” each got a shout-out by three people.
And with two mentions each were: “For Love of the Game,” “Eight Men Out,” “Rookie of the Year,” “The Natural,” “Angels in the Outfield” and “Major League.”
Other titles pitched include: “Bull Durham,” “Trouble With The Curve,” “Hardball,” “42,” “Everyone’s Hero,” “Space Jam” (there was that one scene), “Moneyball,” “The Winning Team,” “The Stratton Story” and “Chasing 3,000.”
Are your favorites on this list? Have more to add? Email your recommendations to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or give me a call at 570-348-9100, ext. 3492.
In the meantime, I’m going to stock up on Cracker Jacks and hit the libraries. And Netflix.