Were it not for the coronavirus, all 30 major league baseball teams would be taking the field Thursday.
Instead, we’ll all have to make do with baseball movies.
Here’s a list of films — some obvious, some not so much — to help you pass the time while waiting for the national pastime:
“Bull Durham” (1988), “Field of Dreams” (1989) and “For Love of the Game” (1999): It’s the Kevin Costner baseball trifecta, even though the first two are vastly superior. Side note: Look out for the late Mirage headliner Danny Gans as Costner’s Durham Bulls teammate Deke.
“Moneyball” (2011): The drama takes on more resonance now that Las Vegas, through the Aviators, is connected to the Oakland A’s. It’s also the first time your mouth had to get used to saying the phrase “Oscar nominee Jonah Hill.”
“Million Dollar Arm” (2014): As real-life Las Vegas sports agent J.B. Bernstein, Jon Hamm heads to India in search of a cricket player to mold into a pitching phenom.
“Rookie of the Year” (1993): This story of a Little Leaguer pitching for the Chicago Cubs admittedly isn’t for everyone. But it does star Las Vegas native Thomas Ian Nichols, six years before he made “American Pie.”
“Take Me Out to the Ball Game” (1949): Frank Sinatra singing and dancing with Gene Kelly and Esther Williams? Sure. Why not?
“A League of Their Own” (1992): There’s no crying in baseball!
“The Bad News Bears” (1976): There is, however, plenty of drinking in baseball. Also, those Chico’s Bail Bonds jerseys never went out of style.
“Pride of the Yankees” (1942): If you think Gary Cooper’s portrayal of Lou Gehrig makes you tear up now, imagine seeing it when it was released, just 13 months after the icon’s death.
“Major League” (1989): It would have been a classic just for having brought us Bob Uecker’s call of “Juuuuust a bit outside.”
“The Natural” (1984): Randy Newman’s score. The exploding lights. Robert Redford’s slow-motion trot around the infield. No matter how many times you’ve watched it, if that scene doesn’t give you goose bumps, there’s a very good chance you’re dead inside.
“The Sandlot” (1993): You’re killin’ me, Smalls.
“The Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars & Motor Kings” (1976): Long before he’d co-star in “Field of Dreams” or portray “The Sandlot’s” Mr. Mertle, James Earl Jones was playing baseball, alongside Billy Dee Williams and Richard Pryor, as part of a barnstorming team made up of former Negro Leaguers.
“42” (2013): An average movie about an extraordinary human being, the Jackie Robinson biopic introduced the world to Chadwick Boseman.