Baseball has been an iconic sport to American culture since its very inception. Whether it’s parents playing a game of catch with their children or seasonal baseball games in schools packed with excited parents, baseball has always had a special place in most American families.
American cinema has reflected this love towards baseball through several movies that reflect the spirit of the sport. Many of these movies make for an ideal watch for you and your kids. Read on as we present a list of some of the best baseball movies for kids.
20 Baseball Movies For Kids
1. Everyone’s Hero (Suitable for all ages)
It is an animated film that involves the theft of legendary sportsman Babe Ruth’s bat (voiced by Whoopi Goldberg) and a young boy’s journey to recover it and return it in time to save the 1932 World Series. Everyone’s Hero is a film that is extremely accessible to the entire family.
Adults and parents will appreciate and recognize the amazing performances given by the veteran (voice) actors, including Rob Reiner, William H. Macy, Robin Williams, and many more who they will remember from more serious films. Children will love the refreshing new take on sports movies and the animation quality as well.
The film imparts a good sense of morality and is an all-around good movie to watch as a family.
2. Hardball (Suitable for ages 13 and older with parental guidance)
Hardball is a story about losing one’s way, finding yourself at rock bottom, and then redeeming yourself through others. The movie imparts important lessons to both parents and children, making it an enjoyable watch for both.
Adults will admire and sympathize with Keanu Reeves’ character as he wastes his intelligence, charm, and good looks in the pursuit of all the wrong things. Children will enjoy how he redeems himself through other children and how he is “saved” by them in a sense, with some goofy moments along the way.
The film works for people of all ages. Watching the veteran actor Reeves go from rock bottom to finding his competitive spirit and morality as the idol of the children he coaches makes for an enjoyable character arc.
3. The Perfect Game (Suitable for all ages with parental guidance)
Many things stand out about The Perfect Game. But perhaps the most impressive is how it’s a fairly accurate account of an actual group of kids from Mexico who would go on to break records and set new ones of their own as they tackle poverty, abuse, racism, and other real-life issues along the way.
Adults will relate to the adult characters who seem to be at the low point of their lives and the great conversations they exchange, which touch on topics such as life, ego, redemption, and hope.
Children will enjoy watching the kids in the movie overcome various societal and economic obstacles to be the heroes of this true story.
4. Ed (Suitable for all ages with parental supervision)
Ed revolves around a prodigy pitcher for a minor league who becomes “roommates” with a chimpanzee called Ed. In trying to manage this situation, various shenanigans ensue that will have both kids and adults laughing out loud.
Adults will understandably not expect to be blown away by the cinematic excellence of the movie but will be surprised to find some great moments and lessons in it.
Children will have a great time throughout as it features a trained chimpanzee throwing what seems to be the perfect pitches. There are also classic goofball adventures and shenanigans that are commonly found in movies with kids and animals in it.
5. Air Bud – Seventh Inning Fetch (Suitable for all ages)
The Air Bud series has always been firmly rooted in three things — children, family, and sports! This sequel doesn’t disappoint as we see everyone’s favorite golden retriever Air Bud save the town baseball team while hunting down his kidnapped puppies.
Adults, especially pet lovers, will enjoy the great stunts performed by the well-trained animals in the movie as well as the wholesome family dynamic and message.
Children will adore the dogs and puppies and the wacky plot to kidnap Air Bud’s puppies (by a raccoon and his bumbling henchmen!). Besides, the thrilling sports sequences are extremely well-filmed and include impressive stunts.
6. The Natural (Suitable for ages 10 and older)
The Natural is a heart-warming, thrilling sports movie about a boy from a small town in the US who makes it into the big leagues. With team drama, a love story, and a hint of the supernatural, the movie is a great watch for the whole family.
Adults will appreciate the great acting in the movie that got it nominated for four Academy Awards and the star cast of Robert Redford, Robert Duvall, and Diane Lane.
Children will enjoy the quirky supernatural element of a magical bat struck by lightning and appreciate the family dynamics and overall message of never to lose sight of the things that matter.
7. Bad News Bears (Suitable for children 13 and older with parental guidance)
A 2005 reboot of the 1976 classic of the same name, Bad New Bears is a story of a former Major League player who has found himself down in the dumps after a career ruined by his temper and lack of discipline. He finds his passion for baseball again through coaching a Little League team with a poor record and skills.
Parents will enjoy the hilarious rants and bouts of rage from Billy Bob Thornton’s character and how he finds redemption as a coach working with children.
Children will relate to the pressures faced by the kids in the movie and laugh along with the mild drama, hilarious chemistry between the coach and team, and the thrilling finish.
8. 42 (Suitable for children 13 and older with parental guidance)
42 is the story of the legendary sports icon Jackie Robinson, the first African-American athlete to play in Major League Baseball. It chronicles his sports career while showing the various challenges he had to overcome.
Parents will enjoy Boseman’s portrayal of this sports legend and his character development as he faces everything from sports and politics to racism and personal dilemmas.
Children will also find this an enjoyable yet educational experience as they get a glimpse into the history of the sport in that era bundled with the story of a real-life hero.
9. The Sandlot (Suitable for ages 10 and older with parental guidance)
The Sandlot is the story of a Little League team in a small town that struggles with all the same problems as most American teens. There’s best friends, first crushes, ambition, friction with parents, and even a neighborhood “monster” that they must overcome.
Adults who are baseball fans will no doubt enjoy the references to the legendary Babe Ruth and the iconic 1927 Yankee lineup and relate to the heartwarming plot.
Likewise, children will enjoy the depiction of suburban life with crushes and rivalries and learn valuable lessons of overcoming one’s fears and being there for each other in difficult times.
10. A League Of Their Own (Suitable for all ages with parental guidance)
A League of Their Own is loosely based on the formation of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, which came into being at the height of World War 2. As women begin to enter the sport and bond over common issues such as gender rights and family members serving in World War 2, there is a strong undercurrent of camaraderie and friendship that makes for a great watch for both children and adults.
Adults can expect many heartwarming moments as these women from different backgrounds discover that they have many things in common, including a passion for baseball and a desire to break the gender barriers.
Children will enjoy the camaraderie in the team as well as the performances by the star cast of the film.
11. The Rookie (Suitable for all ages)
The Rookie is a great sports-drama that portrays Major League Baseball (MLB) legend Jim Morris, a relatively late starter in MLB who had a successful career despite his injuries and the trials he faced to become a professional player.
Parents will enjoy the strong element of family in the movie as well as the message of never giving up.
Children will be taken on a roller-coaster ride as they relate to Morris’ friction with his family, who disapprove of his passion and enjoy his dedication in overcoming all obstacles.
12. A Mile In His Shoes (Suitable for ages 12 and older with parental guidance)
This movie covers the journey of an aspiring Minor League baseball player with autism. It depicts the challenges he faces and the impact he has on the people around him along the way.
Parents will take to the heart-warming story of the protagonist as he takes on life head-on.
Children will also admire the spirit of Mickey Tussler as his attitude brings about positive change in everyone around him, especially his team.
13. The Life And Times Of Hank Greenburg (Suitable for ages 13 and older with parental guidance)
It is a compelling documentary portraying the life and times of the real-life hall of fame baseball player Hank Greenburg. The documentary touches on many aspects of the sport, as well as the social challenges faced by Hank Greenburg.
Parents will appreciate the authentic backdrop of the World War 2 setting, which makes the social issues shown in the film seem much more impactful.
Children will enjoy the mental fortitude and strength of purpose and character that Greenburg shows.
14. Rookie Of The Year (Suitable for ages 12 and older with parental guidance)
This feel-good film is about an enthusiastic kid who wants to play baseball but isn’t very skilled at it, at least at first. A baseball injury heals oddly, giving him exceptional speed while pitching, something that is noticed by the Chicago Cubs who consider putting him on the team.
Adults will enjoy the interplay between parental concern and childish recklessness and how complicated dating life can be when ulterior motives get involved.
Children will enjoy the core idea itself — a 12-year-old boy pitching for a Major League Baseball team as a result of an injury — and how the movie handles his rise to fame and its effects on the family.
15. Angels In The Outfield (Suitable for children aged 10 and older with parental guidance)
Angels in the Outfield is a fantasy-comedy with baseball at its core. A young foster child is told by his father that they can only be a family again once the California Angels win the season. He prays fervently for this to happen, but little does he know that angels take an active interest in his prayers and start helping the California Angels to win. However, divine intervention is not enough to avoid family drama and career politics.
Adults will appreciate the complex family dynamics that go into giving the foster family model more character as well as the real-world complications that arise from rivalries and sports politics.
Children will be drawn to the message of having faith in a good cause and being rewarded for it as well as the comedic sports sequences with the angels intervening.
16. The Jackie Robinson Story (Suitable for ages 10 and older with parental guidance)
The Jackie Robinson Story is more of a biographical documentary than a movie. It shows Jackie Robinson’s early childhood interest in baseball, his struggles in Major League Baseball, his enlistment during World War 2, and his romance with his college sweetheart.
Adults will appreciate a more well-rounded depiction of Jackie Robinson, especially his life before baseball and his enlistment. The social issues in that era have been portrayed realistically.
Children will appreciate the tenacity and spirit of Robinson, who, despite many personal, societal, and cultural barriers, pushed past them for his passion for the game.
17. The Pride Of The Yankees (Suitable for all ages)
This classic is focused on the legendary player Lou Gehrig and depicts his journey from playing baseball on the streets to eventually being a college-level and then a professional MLB player. It chronicles his fight with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a disease that was relatively unknown at the time.
Adults who are familiar with the legend of Lou Gehrig will be thrilled to watch this detailed biography of his life both inside and outside the world of Major League Baseball.
Children will be extremely fond of the compassionate, good-natured, and strong character of Gehrig, which keeps him positive in the face of a serious illness.
18. Moneyball (Suitable for children aged 13 and older with parental guidance)
Moneyball is a biographical film that focuses on a person along with the sport. In this case, that person is Billy Beane, a GM of a baseball team, who uses a radical new way of assessing player values statistically and mathematically to rank and recruit them.
Adults will be amazed at the revolutionary new approach of evaluating player effectiveness using math and stats in an unconventional way and love the amazing performances from Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill.
Children will like the easy explanations of practical use of the subjects they are likely studying in a real-world context and enjoy the comedic angle the movie takes at times.
19. The Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars & Motor Kings (Suitable for children aged 13 and older with parental guidance)
Set during the time of racial segregation in the US, Bingo Long, a quirky star pitcher for his team of African-American baseball players, tries to shake off his manager who is exploiting their talents. They play across the country and gain fame as an outlandish yet effective team that performs as well as helps change people’s minds.
Adults will thoroughly enjoy the tongue-in-cheek humor and the drive that Bingo and the team have to be free of exploitation or prejudice.
There are many teachable moments in this film for children, from teamwork to looking beyond our differences. There is also a significant comedic element to the movie that they will surely enjoy.
20. Field Of Dreams (Suitable for children aged 13 and up with parental supervision)
This is another pick in the fantasy-comedy-sports genre that combines a great cast with a humorous plot and involves actual sports legends all in one good film. The protagonist hears a voice guiding him to clear a portion of his farm to be a baseball field and how if he does so, “they will come.” The “they” in this case are disgraced members of the Chicago White Sox who are believed to have deliberately lost the 1919 world series. The rest of the movie is focused on the protagonist’s search for the meaning behind these appearances, which he tries to figure out with the help of an introverted author.
Adults will appreciate how this movie explores various life concepts such as fatherhood, legacy, and morality through humor and supernatural events.
Children will gravitate towards the comedic elements, such as the reaction to the supernatural appearances and the many shenanigans that ensue.
Many of these baseball movies are entertaining while also portraying a slice of the game through their depiction of teamwork and camaraderie. Many of these films also contribute to the history of American cinema in their own way. Whether your child is a baseball lover or loves films in general, these movies are great to watch together as a family.
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