On our summer road trip, we stopped by the real Field of Dreams, where the Field of Dreams movie was filmed. It is pretty amazing to see a baseball field in the heart of corn country, and even better to be able to walk from the corn into the outfield, sit in the bleachers and throw a ball across home plate. My husband was in Heaven. Well, actually, Iowa (remember the famous line from the film?), but it was close enough.
Later in our trip, we watched the Minnesota Twins take on the New York Yankees at Target Field. It was the 75th anniversary of Lou Gehrig’s famous speech and the teams came together to present an exceptionally moving tribute. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house, prompting me to decide that there really is crying in baseball.
That reminded me of A League of Their Own, a movie I loved when it was first released in 1992 and one that bears seeing again.
When we got home, I checked and was pleased to see that it was rated PG. (You can check out the Common Sense Media review here if you’re unsure if it’s appropriate for your family.) It’s perfect as our first family movie to mark me becoming a member of the Netflix Stream Team.
A League of Their Own, starring Tom Hanks as the coach of a women’s professional softball team whose members include Geena Davis, Madonna, and Rosie O’Donnell, is long on both heart and laughs. I love the great messages about female empowerment, the power of teamwork, the importance of perseverance, the incredibly strong bonds of sisterhood and friendship, and more. I also think that some people mistakenly classify it as a chick flick when really, it’s great for both genders.
Other great family-friendly baseball movies available on Netflix streaming, perfect for whenever the game is rained out or the summer heat becomes a bit too much for playing America’s past time outside:
* The Perfect Game – “A seemingly impossible dream of playing baseball for the United States becomes reality for a group of impoverished youngsters from Mexico.” Rated PG.
* A Mile in His Shoes – “A minor-league baseball team finds renewed inspiration when they hire new pitcher Mickey Tussler, a lad who suffers from Asperger’s syndrome.” Rated PG
* Air Bud: Seventh Inning Fetch – “When Andrea joins her school’s baseball team, golden retriever Buddy follows suit. Meanwhile, two scheming scientists are dognapping Buddy’s puppies.” Rated G.
Sports documentaries can be a great way to introduce your kids (or other reluctant family members) to the genre. Check these out:
* Baseball: A film by Ken Burns – “Documentarian Ken Burns takes a swing at baseball, chronicling the sport’s signature people, places and events and its deep roots in American culture.” There are 11 episodes, and the history nerd in me is excited to watch.
* Knuckleball! – “Focusing on one of baseball’s more eccentric wrinkles, this documentary spotlights a pitch that’s confounded batters and extended pitchers’ careers.”
And if you want to check out Field of Dreams, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, you can get it from Netflix on DVD. The same is true of other adult baseball classics like The Natural and Bull Durham. You can also stream Major League and get your Charlie-Sheen-in-the-80’s fix. Winning.
At our next stop, the Mall of America, my tween daughter had her own take on the classic film. “Is this Heaven? No, it’s Minnesota.” Everyone has their happy place, right?
Disclosure: I am a new member of the Nextflix Stream Team, and look forward to sharing monthly stories and suggestions about using Netflix streaming. I have received a year of Free Netflix Streaming and a Roku. All opinions in this post are my own.
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