I’ve had this theory for a long time that baseball teams featured in or are in a critical part of movies have postseason success or make it there within ten years of the movie. Let’s start with the team that is dearest to our hearts, the Royals. I give you Moneyball, released in 2011. We all know the story is about the A’s and their “controversial” use of analytics to make their team better and revolutionize the game. They never enjoyed any postseason success, to their dismay. The pivotal scene of the movie, when they blew an 11-run lead to the Royals only to have Star-Lord…err, Scott Hatteberg hit a walk-off home run off Jason Grimsley to give them their 20th straight win and set the American Record is an example of future success for teams. Three years after Moneyball, the Royals won the greatest postseason game of all time, 8-7, over the A’s in the 2014 Wildcard Game. They rode that through the next season and won the 2015 World Series. The success didn’t last long, unfortunately, but they did the most with their time in the playoffs.
Which of the following Royals did not win Rookie of the Year?
A Angel Berrora
B Kevin Seitzer
C Carlos Beltran
D Bob Hamelin
More Big Screen Examples
Major League, 1989 One of the best baseball movies ever. Long had Cleveland fans suffered no playoff baseball since 1954. Six years after Major League, Cleveland makes its first of 2 World Series appearances inside the ten-year cycle. A total of 5 playoff appearances in total.
For the Love of the Game, 1999 Another great one. The Tigers made it to the World Series in 2006, unfortunately losing that year. This was the first postseason appearance for the Motor City Kitties since 87′ and three years after losing an AL record 119 games.
Angles in the Outfield, 1994 The Disney classic. Angels fans got their first World Series appearances and championship in 2002, 8 years after the movie, giving us thunder sticks to bang at sporting events. They also had one other playoff appearance in 2004
Fever Pitch, 2005 Speaking of 2004, this movie chronicles the story of a Boston school teacher and his love for the Red Sox and Drew Barrymore. I know this came out after the Sox ended the curse in 2004, but Red Sox Nation celebrated two more times in the time frame after this movie in 2007 & 2013. Plus, the plethora of playoff appearances since then.
Rookie of the Year 1993 The Cubs had not won a playoff series, let alone a World Series, since 1908. Then comes along Henry Rowengartner. The story of a kid who breaks his arm and turns into a pitching ace taking the Cubs on a ride. At the very end of the ten-year cycle in 2003, the Cubs won a playoff series, knocking out Atlanta in 5. We all know what happened in the next series against the Marlins. The Cubs finally got the last laugh in 2016.
Little Big League 1994 The Twins fans had not seen the postseason since 1991, and thanks to the fictional story of Billy Heywood, a 12-year-old who inherits the club after his grandfather dies. The movie Twins lost a one-game playoff against the Mariners and Ken Griffey Jr despite a brilliant pick-off play. The real Twins had success in 2002, reaching the ALCS and reaching the playoffs again in 03′ & 04.’
As I said, it doesn’t always lead to happy endings hoisting the Commissioner’s Trophy, but there is enough proof to make the theory stick. I’m starting a movie script tomorrow.
Kevin Seitzer. He finished 2nd in ROY voting behind Mark McGwire.