Got a restless baseball enthusiast at home? Check out a few good kid movies about America’s pastime
If you have a baseball fan in your family and are seeking a good film to watch on the weekend, these top 20 best baseball movies for kids should cover all the bases. From historical documentaries about baseball icons like Babe Ruth to timeless comedies like The Sandlot and A League of Their Own, one of these terrific PG movies for ages 12 and younger is sure to be a home run. Pop some popcorn, round up the kids, and start planning the perfect family movie night that’ll soon have everyone asking “have you seen my baseball?”
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This heartwarming, family-friendly remake of the 1951 original about hope and baseball stars a young Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Danny Glover, Adrien Brody, and Matthew McConaughey. A foster child (Gordon-Levitt) prays that the Anaheim Angels, his favorite team, makes it to the World Series after his estranged father promises to reunite the family should this unlikely success occur. A real angel (Christopher Lloyd) responds to the child’s prayers, and his favorite team launches off on a surprising winning streak. This baseball movie is rated PG and recommended for ages 7 and older.
(Buena Vista, 1994)
Jackie Robinson plays himself in this baseball film that follows his time as a sports star at UCLA and a coach in the military to his success in helping the Dodgers win the 1947 championship. His time in the major leagues is fraught with racial bigotry as he struggles to break the barriers of segregation. While somewhat dated, this is one of those good kid movies that shines a light on overcoming prejudice. It’s rated PG-13 for language and recommended for children ages 7 and up.
(Legend Films, 1950)
This is a wholesome, Canadian made-for-television baseball movie about an autistic 18-year-old named Mickey who becomes a winning pitcher in the minor leagues. It’s based on a novel about the real-life Mickey Tussler, who played the game well but didn’t fit in with his teammates during a time when there was little awareness about autism. While the film focuses on Mickey’s baseball talents, it also emphasizes the importance of treating people with autism with respect—making it one of those good kid movies to watch on the weekend. It’s rated PG and recommended for ages 8 and older.
If you think the best movies for tweens are comedies, you’re probably right! This 1990s comedy follows a baseball-challenged little leaguer who breaks his arm but then discovers when his cast is removed that he can now throw a ball like a champ. The Chicago Cubs want to get in on this action and make the 12-year-old its star pitcher. The plot is a bit far-fetched, but it’s also entertaining and light-hearted, which makes for a good kid baseball movie. It’s rated PG and recommended for ages 8 and older.
(Twentieth Century Fox, 1993)
Sometimes the best kid movies are also the realistic ones that teach us all something about talent and perseverance. This is a great feature-length documentary baseball film about Hank Greenberg, America’s first Jewish baseball star. He faced ethnic and religious prejudice during a time that Jewish athletes weren’t welcomed but transcended this bigotry to become a community hero during the 1930s. This flick is rated PG and recommended for ages 8 and older.
(Twentieth Century Fox, 2000)
This is a classic baseball movie that pays tribute to the life of legendary Lou Gehrig, who played first base for the New York Yankees before dying tragically at age 37. His teammates Babe Ruth, Bob Meusel, Mark Koenig, and Bill Dickey play themselves in it, along with sportscaster Bill Stern. The film is less about sports than it is about Gehrig’s charisma, family life, and accomplishments as he worked his way up from the streets of New York to the minor leagues and eventually become a Yankee fan favorite. It also chronicles his health struggles and premature death from ALS, a disease that was unknown at the time but became more notable to the public as “Lou Gehrig’s disease.” The movie is unrated (although it can be considered a good PG movie) and recommended for children ages 8 and older.
One of the best movies for tweens who love baseball, this inspiring true story follows the life of Jim Morris, a high school baseball coach who was injured before getting to the major leagues. However, he gets a second chance at the age of 35, making him the oldest rookie at the time. The movie stars Dennis Quaid as Morris and Brian Cox as his father. It’s rated G and recommended for ages 8 and older.
(Walt Disney Pictures, 2002)
This is a coming-of-age sports comedy movie about a small group of baseball players during the summer of 1962. It focuses on the new kid in town, Scotty Smalls, a 12-year-old who joins a local pick-up team to make friends. The film has a nostalgic feel and some critics have compared it to A Christmas Story because of its narration and tone. It’s a good kid movie that parents will also enjoy, is rated PG, and is recommended for ages 8 and older.
(Twentieth Century Fox, 1993)
Tom Hanks and Geena Davis star in this classic (and one of the best, in some people’s opinion!) baseball movie about a girl’s baseball team in the 1940s. It’s based on a true story about women during this time trying to break gender stereotypes and prove that they have as much of a right as men to be on the field (and be respected as athletes). The characters are fun, the storyline comedic and engaging, and there are many other stars, including Madonna, Lori Petty, Rosie O’Donnell, and Jon Lovitz. It’s rated PG and recommended for ages 10 and older.
(Columbia Tristar, 2002)
In another star-studded baseball classic, this often-forgotten film features the comedic talents of Richard Pryor, James Earl Jones, and Billy Dee Williams. It’s about a team of former Negro league baseball players in the 1930s struggling with racial tensions as they find success on the road and give the established teams a run for their money. It’s rated PG and recommended for ages 10 and older.
(Universal Pictures, 1976)
Based on a true story about baseball pitchers discovered after winning a reality show competition, this film stars Jon Hamm as an independent sports agent who recruits talented Indian cricket players to play Major League baseball. He takes them to Los Angeles, where the now-baseball players struggle with a new game and culture. This is a good (and somewhat recent) PG-rated movie recommended for ages 10 and older.
(Walt Disney Pictures, 2014)
This is another, more recent, movie about baseball legend Jackie Robinson (played by Chadwick Boseman), who broke through the sport’s racial barriers during the 1946 and 1947 seasons after being recruited by Branch Rickey, general manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers (played by Harrison Ford). It’s a basic and crowd-pleasing baseball movie that’ll appeal to teens and mature tweens whether they are baseball fans or not. It’s rated PG-13 and recommended for ages 11 and older.
(Warner Bros., 2013)
Considered an all-time baseball movie classic, The Natural stars Robert Redford as a sports prodigy who lost the chance to try out for the Chicago Cubs but, 16 years later, returns to professional baseball with the downtrodden New York Knights. He plays well and helps the Knights become a winning team, but the team’s owner wants him to lose. This is one of the best PG movies about baseball and is recommended for ages 11 and older.
(Columbia Tristar, 1984)
A former minor-league hopeful begrudgingly agrees to coach a misfit Little League team in this funny, slightly-edgy film that is one of the best movies for tweens. In an effort to change his bad luck with the team, the coach brings in a feisty female pitcher and attempts to whip all his outcasts into shape. This baseball movie pushed some boundaries when it was made in the 1970s, and it’s rated PG-13, and recommended for ages 12 and older.
(Universal Pictures, 1976)
Kevin Costner plays an Iowa farmer who hears a voice in his cornfield telling him (the now famed suggestion) “if you build it, he will come.” Although everyone thinks he’s crazy, he builds a baseball diamond that is soon visited by the ghosts of great players. This film is about reconciling relationships and following your dreams and will appeal especially to older teens and adults. It’s rated PG and recommended for ages 12 and older.
(Universal Pictures, 1989)
San Francisco Bay Area baseball fans should not miss this flick, based on the excellent nonfiction best-selling book about the Oakland A’s. Brad Pitt plays the general manager, who is assisted by an Ivy League graduate (played by Jonah Hill), as they recruit flawed but talented players in an attempt to change outdated baseball traditions. The adults will get as much entertainment out of this winning movie as the kids, and it’s rated PG-13, and recommended for ages 12 and older.
(Columbia Pictures, 2011)
In this animated feature set during the 1932 World Series, a boy considers whether to take a chance and become a hero or play it safe. Guess which one he chooses? You’re right — he decides to fight the odds, taking a cross-country journey to return Babe Ruth’s baseball bat. This is one of those feel-good kid movies for all ages, rated G and recommended for ages 5 and up.
(20th Century Fox, 2006)
This sports drama is based on true events and a 2008 book of the same name about a group of boys struggling in Monterrey, Mexico who discover baseball and then go on a winning streak. Their dreams of making it to the 1957 Little League World Series lead them across the border to compete and become the first team from outside the US to win. It’s rated PG and recommended for ages 8 and up.
(Lionsgate Image Entertainment, 2010)
A gambler (Keanu Reeves) becomes a Little League coach for a team of children in Chicago’s housing projects to help pay off his debts. He surprises himself by becoming attached to the troubled fifth-graders and their teacher (Diane Lane). This inspiring baseball movie has some tough language and themes and is rated PG-13. It’s recommended for ages 14 and up.
(Paramount Pictures, 2001)
This direct-to-DVD baseball movie is one of the many sequels to the original 1997 film Air Bud, about a dog who plays basketball. This one focuses on Andrea, the younger sister of Josh (the boy who adopted the talented golden retriever in the first movie). Andrea is trying out for her high school baseball team and Josh’s athletic canine helps out as an extra catcher. Meanwhile, dognappers have their eye on him. This movie didn’t get the best reviews—descriptions of it include the words “pointless” and “slow”—but it’s rated G and recommended for ages 5 and up.
(Walt Disney Home Entertainment, 2002)
Yes, this can be considered a baseball movie! While its main focus isn’t sports, the lead character named Brewster (Richard Pryor) is a minor-league pitcher who loses his position just before his great-uncle leaves him $300 million. But before Brewster can inherit, he must follow complicated rules to spend $30 million in 30 days. This is a fun film that does, in fact, involve baseball games. It’s rated PG and recommended for ages 11 and up.
(Universal Pictures, 1985)