In honor of the West Michigan Whitecaps' home opener tonight, I dug up my five favorite moments from baseball movies.  Two of which feature Kevin Costner.

5. A League Of Their Own -- "There's No Crying In Baseball"

When grizzled, ex-major leaguer Jimmy Dugan takes over as manager of the Rockford Peaches, he finds out very quickly that women don't respond to the same motivational methods as men.

4. Eight Men Out  --  "Live Forever"

John Sayles uses the Buck Weaver character's relationship with some neighborhood kids as a vehicle to express his love of the sport and why he plays.  At one point, the kids, disillusioned by the scandal that saw the expulsion of eight Chicago White Sox players fro throwing games, ask Buck about what happened, he responds with a soliloquy about the game that is simple and heartfelt.

The clip below has the audio edited out (why? I'm not sure), but here's the text of his speech:

"You get out there, and the stands are full and everybody's cheerin'. It's like everybody in the world come to see you. And inside of that there's the players, they're yakkin' it up. The pitcher throws and you look for that pill... suddenly there's nothing else in the ballpark but you and it. Sometimes, when you feel right, there's a groove there, and the bat just eases into it and meets that ball. When the bat meets that ball and you feel that ball just give, you know it's going to go a long way. Damn, if you don't feel like you're going to live forever."


3. The Sandlot -- "You Play Like A Girl" 

This movie about a group of kids who aren't good enough to play in the local Little League reaches a crescendo when the group tries to challenge the local team to a game.  At first, they laugh it of, but then, after a series of classic insults, the ultimate gauntlet gets thrown.

 2. Bull Durham -- "Lollygagging"

When the manager of a minor league team fails to get them to respond to his instructions, he takes Crash Davis' (Kevin Costner) advice and scares the crap out of them.

1. Field of Dreams -- "A Catch With Dad"

When deceased players return to life to play ball on a field in rural Iowa, Ray Kinsella is able to finally play catch with his late father, something he was never able to do in real life.  If you don't cry during this scene, you're not alive.