As is the case in real life, these classic baseball films feature homes in them that are more than just brick and mortar – they’re where memories were made.
Our national past-time holds a special place in many of our hearts for the wonderful memories it created for us with our family and friends growing up. Some of my most cherished memories are those trips on the 7 train to see the Mets play at Shea Stadium, or the games of catch and wiffleball the neighborhood kids would play under the artificial light pouring down from streetlamps.
There have been more than a few great movies released over the years that beautifully capture the emotion of baseball. A select few of these classic films just so happen to have some pretty memorable homes in them as well.
In no particular order, here are 5 of the most memorable homes we’ve seen in baseball movies:
1. Mr. Mertle’s home and yard from “The Sandlot”
The home owned by James Earl Jones’s character in the film is at the center of the climax of this iconic children’s film released in 1993. The rag tag group of neighborhood kids end up concocting ways to breach the walls of this mysterious house after Benny the Jet Rodriguez hits a Babe Ruth signed ball over the fence. This normally wouldn’t be a big deal but the home’s scary owner is patrolled by “The Beast” – a seemingly monstrous English Mastiff named Hercules. Hilarity ensues when they attempt to retrieve the priceless artifact, and the dog and Mr. Mertle end up being harmless and quite nice indeed.
2. Kevin Costner’s farm in “Field of Dreams”
“If you build it, they will come.” Few films have enjoyed more memorable lines than this tearjerker released in 1989. Field of Dreams is about an average farmer named Ray Kinsella who hears a voice urging him to build a baseball field on his farm. He plows away at his crops (that he needs to make money) and eventually builds a baseball field much to the chagrin of those around him. Eventually, Shoeless Joe Jackson from the Blacksox tells Costner’s character to stay on the field, as he disappears into the corn. The catcher walks towards Costner, takes off his mask and is revealed to be a younger version of his deceased father who he had a rocky relationship with. Kevin Costner says, “Hey Dad, want to have a catch?”, and they reconnect over a simple game. The production crew of the film is long gone, but this field located in Northeast Iowa is still around and an actual museum that attracts tens of thousands of visitors per year.
3. The farm Roy Hobbs grew up on in “The Natural”
The Natural is a redemption story about a one-time hot prospect played by Robert Redford who returns to the field after 16 years to become one of the league’s best players. Much like you see in our new commercial called “Catch“, Roy Hobbs (Redford) grew up playing catch with his father on their beautiful farm. At the end of the film, it fades in on a wheat field where Hobbs is seen playing catch with his own son – passing on the memory-making tradition he got from his childhood. This focus on the tradition of playing catch with your loved ones and the memories that are made within our homes is the focal point of what our new campaign is all bout.
4. The boarding house from “A League of Their Own”
When Major League Baseball’s brightest stars are fighting in World War II, the first all-women baseball league springs up in the Midwest. The Rockford Peaches, comprised of characters played by Madonna, Geena Davis and Rosie O’Donnell, end up all living in something akin to a boarding house. This ‘boarding house’ was actually a beautiful red Victorian Mansion that sprawls across nearly 17,000 square feet. The home built in 1894 is one of the more stunning homes in a baseball movie, but it’s also memorable for the key dramatic and comedic scenes it is a part of: such as when Kit (Lori Petty) gets traded and gets into the argument with her sister Dottie, or when a group of girls break curfew and head out for a night on the town.
5. JB Bernstein’s home in “Million Dollar Arm”
With our first four selections, you would think a baseball movie hasn’t been put out since the 1990s. There have been several really good baseball movies released in the last decade with memorable homes in it, but few come close to JB Bernstein’s ultra-modern pad from the 2014 film “Million Dollar Arm”. In the movie, a down on his luck sports agent played by Jon Hamm brings back two teens from India to see if he can get them on a Major League team. There’s a lot of action that takes place on the field, but the gorgeous open and airy home is at the center of the two boys’ quest to adjust to domestic American life. Whether it’s the boys teaching JB yoga in the beautiful lantern lit yard or the heartfelt conversations had with his neighbor as they dined al fresco – this home is memorable both for its stylish look and the plot that unfolds within its walls.
Well we’ve rounded third and headed home! Homes from The Sandlot, Field of Dreams, The Natural, A League of Their Own and Million Dollar Arm top our list of most memorable homes from baseball movies. We had a tough time cutting our list down to five, so let us know in the comments which other homes from baseball movies you would’ve included in the list!