Penny MarshallThe 1992 comedy-drama A League of Their Own was so well-received that it immediately spawned a CBS TV spinoff. The story of a World War II women’s baseball team seemed compelling, but the spectacle quickly faded. Now, stepping up a gear is a revival on Prime TV. The new series (starting August 12) is co-created by and stars Broad City’s Abbi Jacobson.
“America’s Pastime” has a rich on-screen history. Jimmy Stewart was a baseball player in The Stratton Story in 1949; Robert Redford played The Natural in 1984. Chadwick Boseman’s breakout role was as Jackie Robinson in 42 (2013). When Fever Pitch was getting an American remake, the football fandom had switched to baseball with Jimmy Fallon as Nick Hornby. At the niche end of the scale is the little-seen Game 6, scripted by Don DeLillo. have a train line running through their ballpark.
In an irresistibly corny moment last year, Kevin Costner echoed a famous scene from Field of Dreams when he led the New York Yankees and Chicago White Sox through a cornfield and to a recreation of the film’s farm diamond before a game of Major League Baseball. “Is this heaven? he asked the crowd. Kev loves baseball movies (and sports movies in general), having starred in Bull Durham and For the Love of the Game.
Desperately looking for Kevin
A less heralded moment in Costner’s oeuvre is his appearance in 1991 Madonna Truth or Dare documentary. The singer hangs out after a show in Los Angeles with boyfriend Warren Beatty (!) when celebrities pass by, including Costner in an eye-catching blazer and mullet. He describes the show as “neat”, Madonna instantly pisses him off. A flawless connection.
The documentary came at the height of Madonna’s imperial phase, which included a role in A League of Their Own (one of her best acting efforts), alongside Tom Hanks and Geena Davis. Rosie O’Donnell, which featured in the original, is set to return in the new series. And that’s the ball game.
Read/Watch Michael Lewis’s 2003 book Moneyball about how data analytics revolutionized baseball is partly responsible for your brother-in-law talking about expected goals when you watch football, but whatever in itself, the excellent adaptation of Brad Pitt in 2011 is at the base.
To eat Snacking is arguably America’s true pastime, and Thrillist has ranked every Major League Baseball stadium for its food offerings: the Seattle Mariners take home the pennant with everything from lobster rolls to wontons to ice cream sandwiches. Take me to the ball game (for a big dinner).