While there’s an argument for other sports, baseball continues to be the best sport for Hollywood, and the best baseball players depicted in movies prove that point. Let us handpick some would-be All-Stars if they were real ballplayers.
Best Baseball Players Depicted in Movies
On the Hill: Billy Chapel & Rick Vaughn
It helps to have a Hall of Fame starting pitcher anchored by a flamethrowing closer. We all know Kevin Costner is no stranger to being a baseball player, yet Billy Chapel was the one you’d want on your team.
In For the Love of the Game, Chapel embodies Greg Maddux—an aging hurler who survives by pinpoint control. As his career was winding down, he threw a perfect game against the New York Yankees.
Although Chapel’s perfecto didn’t require a closer, it’s nice to have Rick “Wild Thing” Vaughn close it out with his “Terminator.” Vaughn was in and out of the starting rotation, but he always shone with the game on the line to send his Major League squads to the postseason and beyond.
Perfect Chemistry: Nuke LaLoosh & Crash Davis
We meet again, Mr. Costner. Crash Davis and Nuke LaLoosh were in the Minor Leagues together, but LaLoosh was the only one with MLB aspirations. LaLoosh let his arm do the talking, considering he wasn’t the brightest bulb in the box.
LaLoosh wouldn’t have gotten to the show without his battery mate, Crash Davis, and his 21 days of MLB experience in Bull Durham.
Wesley Snipes Double Trouble: Bobby Rayburn & Willie Mays Hayes
Bobby Rayburn and Willie Mays Hayes are your double serving of Wesley Snipes. The Fan is in that “it’s so bad, it’s good” category of movies. Anything that has Robert DeNiro playing a psychopath is watchable, regardless of how bad the film is.
Since he shared his name with the MLB legend, you knew Willie Mays Hayes was a legitimate threat. Hayes was the prototypical leadoff hitter with excellent defense. He even added power in the sequel to Major League until Lou Brown moronically told him he didn’t want home runs—how La Russa of him.
Rare Talent at a Premium Position: Jack Parkman & Benny Rodriguez
Catchers who hit for power and average don’t grow on trees, so even though Jack Parkman was a jerk, he’s the kind of guy you want on your team. You may want to ask him to ditch his shimmy from Major League 2.
Fortunately, Benny “The Jet” Rodriguez was a saint with no character issues. After besting “The Beast” to retrieve a Babe Ruth autographed ball in The Sandlot, Rodriguez found his way to the Dodgers. It’s safe to assume Rodriguez was a five-tool shortstop that would garner a $200 million contract.
The Naturals: Steve Nebraska & Roy Hobbs
Natural talent can make athletes do incredible things. Steve Nebraska was a cheat code for the New York Yankees in The Scout, retiring all 27 batters on 81 strikes, putting Chapel’s perfect game to shame.
It might have been a different story if Nebraska and Roy Hobbs had a showdown. Hobbs was an elite pitcher before a crazed fan (not DeNiro) shot him on a train in The Natural. He clawed his way back into the game by becoming a prodigious hitter with light tower power after finding the right bat in “Wonderboy.”
That’s quite the roster of the best baseball players depicted in movies. Surely, Steve Cohen would have a $500 million payroll if he could add them to the New York Mets.
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