With pitchers and catchers reporting still a couple weeks away, and MLB Network showing a different baseball movie each week, I thought it'd be fun to bring up this subject. The idea is to create a lineup using fictional characters from baseball movies, with a couple guidelines. They have to be fictional, so no using Babe Ruth from "The Babe" or Ken Griffey, Jr. from his appearance in "Little Big League." They are to be judged by their play against the competition they played against. This allows us to have players from lower levels, and not a roster full of players who played in the Majors.
I've put a lot of thought into this over the years, and here is my lineup and roster:
1. Benny "The Jet" Rodriguez-CF "The Sandlot"
He played all over, and it was never obvious what his true position was, but he seems perfect for CF. He has a ton of speed and can surely run everything down in center. He has the speed to bat at the top of the lineup, and can even provide some pop atop the lineup.
2. Lou Collins-1B "Little Big League"
He was the star player for the Twins, shown to be a very good hitter who would be good in the 2 hole. Has some power and hits for average.
3. Kelly Leak-LF "The Bad News Bears"
He hit something like .841 for the Bears and probably led the league in home runs. Even hit a triple (got thrown out at the plate) while they were trying to intentionally walk his with the bases loaded. Also a reliable outfielder.
4. Roy Hobbs-RF "The Natural"
He is the Natural, need anything else?
5. Marla Hooch-2B "A League of Their Own"
She wasn't the prettiest lady, but the switch hitting 2B sure could mash.
6. Crash Davis-C "Bull Durham"
A switch hitting catcher with power? Sign me up. Also a great catcher at handling a pitching staff. He turned Nuke Laloosh into a guy with a million dollar arm and a five cent brain into a major league pitcher.
7. Roger Dorn-3B "Major League"
He is a bit of a pretty boy, but he was a talented third baseman. After the Indians forced Dorn to commit to defense, he was actually decent.
8. Tanner Boyle-SS "The Bad News Bears"
I realize this is a bit of a stretch, but Tanner was a ballplayer, and all he wanted to do was play ball. When the rest of the team wanted to quit, and Buttermaker asked of Tanner wanted to quit to, he replied "Crud no, I wanna play ball." He also famously ran around the Astrodome field and got the crown to chant "Let them play!" Tanner is a guy you'd want to go to war with.
1. Steve Nebraska "The Scout"
27 up, 27 down, 27 K's, need anything more?
2. Nuke Laloosh "Bull Durham"
Once he started wearing a garter belt and reigned in his control, he was lights out.
3. Billy Chapel "For Love of the Game"
A great pitcher in his day, and in his last outing, he pushed the sun back up to get one last day of summer, pitching a perfect game.
4. Amanda Whurlizter "Bad News Bears"
She pitched more innings as an 11 year old than Strasburg did last year. She was a workhorse, and had a curve that broke 2 1/2 feet. Any pitcher who can pitch the Bears into the championship game with that defense behind her has to be amazing.
5. Henry Rowengartner "Rookie of the Year"
The kid could light up the radar gun and struck out just about every star in the game.
Middle relief: Kenny Denunez "The Sandlot"
The kid had a great fastball, good enough to eventually reach AAA.
Closer: Ricky Vaughn "Major League"
The perfect closer, already has his entrance music.
C: Dottie Hinson "A League of Their Own"
Was the best player in the league, but I question her commitment to the game and her team to give her the starting nod over Crash.
OF: Willie Mays Hayes "Major League"
A speedy outfielder who would be a great defensive replacement or pinch runner.
OF/DH: Pedro Cerrano "Major League"
Trying to sneak a fastball by him is like trying to sneak the sunrise past a rooster. He mayP have trouble with the curveball, but he can hit a fastball a long ways.
INF: Mickey Scales "Little Big League"
A young switch hitter who played 2B for the Twins, has some pop and speed.
1B: Jack Elliot "Mr. Baseball"
Typical power hitting first baseman
Manager: Billy Heywood "Little Big League"
The kid knows baseball better than anyone, and once the Twins bought in, they were a force.
Pitching Coach: Morris Buttermaker "Bad News Bears"
Has pitching experience as he pitched in the minors, and his coaching is evident as he taught Amanda to be a great pitcher, and he coached the Bears up from the worst team in the league to the championship game.
Bench Coach: Jake Taylor "Major League"
He isn't good enough to make the team as a catcher, but he has all the traits you'd want in a coach.
Announcer (This is the one area where I'll allow a real life announcer)
Harry Doyle "Major League"
He narrowly beats out Vin Scully in "For Love of the Game." I love Vin as much as everyone, but his role in "For Love of the Game" isn't as big as Uecker's in "Major League." I do love Vin's use of the line as the mound as the loneliest place in the world, like he said as Koufax went out to the mound for his perfect game, but the fact that Vin was paired with Lyons takes away from Vin. Uecker is phenomenal as Doyle, and provides numerous classic lines. Wally Holland ("Little Big League") also gets consideration with great stats like Lou is hitting .412 in the month of June in even numbered years, in domes, north of the Mason Dixon Line!
Catcher and pitcher seem to be the two deepest positions, with Jake Taylor ("Major League"), Hamilton Porter ("The Sandlot"), and Engelberg ("The Bad News Bears") all deserve consideration.
What is everyone else's thoughts on the lineup? What would you do differently? I'd love to hear your thoughts and opinions!