In honor of the realistic wrestling scenes in the new film “Win Win’’, and in recognition of the coming baseball season, let’s look back at the worst baseball playing in movie history.
Feel free to email your pet peeves – Freddie Prinze Jr.? Ray Milland? Jimmy Stewart? Bernie Mac? – but below are my top (or bottom?) five.
(One guy who definitely nailed the sport: Jackie Robinson in “The Jackie Robinson Story.’’)
1. William Bendix, “The Babe Ruth Story’’ (1948). The Babe himself attended the opening of this all-time stinker and never recovered, dying three weeks later.
2. John Goodman, “The Babe’’ (1992). If the real Babe had been as disturbingly fat as Goodman, his baseball accomplishments would have been even more remarkable.
3. Anthony Perkins, “Fear Strikes Out’’ (1957). The downfall of many an actor playing a jock is the simple act of throwing the ball. As Perkins discovered, it’s harder than it looks.
4. Gary Cooper, “The Pride of the Yankees’’ (1942). The movie remains a classic, but Cooper was no Lou Gehrig on the field, and filmmakers limited the baseball scenes.
5. Ray Liotta, “Field of Dreams’’ (1989). Great film, and no offense to Liotta, but my fellow sticklers and I can’t accept Joe Jackson batting righty.