Brewster's Millions (1985)
The Pitch: Based on George Barr McCutcheon's 1902 novel, this Walter Hill adap stars the irrepressible Richard Pryor and John Candy as buddies who are bailed out of jail by a stranger, who reveals that Brewster (Pryor) has been left a massive fortune by his dead great uncle.
Home Run? Though critics were a little sniffy back in the '80s, the Pryor-Candy combo is pure magic.
Their manic energy ensures that even if some of the jokes don't land perfectly, you'll have a ball watching them stumble from one stitch-up to the next.
Mr 3000 (2004)
The Pitch: Conceited baseball champ Stan Ross (Bernie Mac) chucks it all in when he smashes his 3,000th hit, only to discover that he was actually three hits away from that record-breaking figure.
Which means heading back to bat for a team that, well, doesn't exactly want him back…
Home Run? Though your enjoyment of the film sort of depends on if you're a fan of Bernie Mac's breed of comedy, Mr 3000 contains some impressive baseball action scenes and keeps its humour on the more 'grown-up' side of the fence.
Mr Baseball (1992)
The Pitch: 'He's the biggest thing to hit Japan since Godzilla' claimed the film's tagline, referring to first baseman Jack Elliot (Tom Selleck).
He's sold to the Chunichi Dragons and discovers that things are done a little differently there.
Home Run? Yes, it's up-front silly and yes, Selleck mostly acts through his moustache, but its all-out cheesiness has ensured that Mr Baseball has become a cult classic almost despite itself.
Definitely worth a punt.
The Babe (1992)
The Pitch: Biopic centring on the titular baseball player, Babe Ruth, played by John Goodman.
We follow him from his childhood in 1902, when he's raised by Catholic missionaries, through his emergence as a baseball hero and into his gradual decline.
Home Run? Goodman may have stated that he wasn't happy with his performance in the film, but don't listen to him. He's fantastic in this immensely likable drama.
True, it's not as sturdy as the big-hitters on this list, but it's a largely unbiased portrait of a troubled hero that never gives in to sentimentality.
Angels In The Outfield (1951)
The Pitch: A baseball spin on It's A Wonderful Life (sort of), as nasty-piece-of-work Guffy McGovern - the manager of the Pittsburgh Pirates - starts hearing the voice of an angel who promises to turn his team's fortunes around if he mends his ways.
Home Run? It didn't do much in terms of box office returns, but Clarence Brown's film is a charming, timeworn must-see for baseball fanatics.
Disney's remake (featuring a young Matthew McConaughey) relied on saccharine campiness. Not so this classy original.
The Pride Of St Louis (1952)
The Pitch: Fact-based biopic of the life of Dizzy Dean, the Major League player who was the last pitcher to win 30 games in just one season.
Dan Daily plays Dean in a film that spans the player's career from start to finish.
Home Run? As entertaining as you'd expect a film to be that focuses on "one of the most colourful characters of our time" (as the film's opening crawl announces), this benefits from a grandstanding performance by a cheeky-grinned and charming Daily.
Fever Pitch (2005)
The Pitch: Loosely based on Nicky Hornby's book (which was about football, not baseball), the Farrelly brothers' romantic comedy takes a look at couple Ben (Jimmy Fallon) and Lindsay (Drew Barrymore), whose relationship is suffering thanks to Ben's obsession with the Boston Red Sox.
Home Run? Barrymore and Fallon boast serious chemistry, even if the film's a mixed bag of hits and misses.
Happily, it's a more adult-friendly comedy from the Farrelly's, who set aside the fat suits and toilet humour in favour of something a little more nuanced.
The Stratton Story (1949)
The Pitch: Classic sporting drama and the first film to pair up Jimmy Stewart and June Allyson. Sam Wood's film tells the true story of Chicago White Sox pitcher Monty Stratton.
Home Run? The Academy certainly thought so - it awarded the film a golden baldie for its screenplay.
Meanwhile, Stewart sparkles in a role that the real-life Stratton applauded. Praise doesn't come much better than that.
The Pitch: Tommy Lee Jones smokes cigars and looks sinister as baseball player Ty Cobb in this adaptation of Al Stump's book.
Robert Wuhl plays the author, who's hired by Cobb to write his memoirs as he prepares for his deathbed.
Home Run ? Part buddy picture, part biopic, Cobb finds Jones on blistering form, ensuring that the titular anti-hero isn't watered down for the big screen.
Thanks to him, Cobb is as funny as it is daring.
Damn Yankees! (1958)
The Pitch: Faust gets a baseball spin in an all-singing, all-dancing musical that pits the New York Yankees against the Washington Senators.
It's based on the 1955 Broadway show, in which a baseball fan makes a pact with the Devil to end his team's losing streak.
Home Run? The premise alone is enough to have us singing baseball songs at the top of our lungs.
With its tongue-in-cheek reimagining of Faust, this is lively, hugely entertaining stuff that benefits from the fact that most of the original Broadway performers took their roles to the screen.
The Sandlot (1993)
The Pitch: Coming-of-ager set in the summer of 1962. New kid Scotty Smalls (Tom Guiry) attempts to join a young baseball team when he moves to a new neighbourhood, but his lack of skill could be a problem...
Home Run? Laced with nostalgia and ably played by its young cast, The Sandlot i sn't big on subtlety, but its sweet nature and comedic moments make for a winning formula.
There's something to be said for straight-forward storytelling, and that's what The Sandlot has in spades.
Off The Black (2006)
The Pitch: Indie coming-of-ager in which cantankerous high-school umpire Ray Cook (Nick Nolte) asks terminally-ill player Dave (Trevor Morgan) to pretend to be his son for a 40th high school reunion.
Home Run? Nolte's performance certainly is. As the alcoholic umpire, Nolte steals every scene, imbuing Ray with a tangible sense of tragedy.
It's visceral and heartbreaking - how it was overlooked by the Academy is a mystery.
The Pitch: Miguel Santos (Algenis Perez Soto), also known as Sugar, dreams of escaping his poverty-stricken life and making it big as a major league pitcher in Anna Boden's drama. When it seems he might achieve that goal, though, Sugar wonders if it's all it's cracked up to be.
Home Run? With its documentary-esque feel and naturalistic performances, Boden's absorbing film offers fresh insight into the great game.
It's part sports flick, part immigrant drama and crammed with gorgeous detail.
Fear Strikes Out (1957)
The Pitch: A pre- Psycho Anthony Perkins stars as baseball player Jimmy Piersall. Based on Piersall's own shocking autobiography, director Robert Mulligan charts the star's rise from high school player to Red Sox phenomenon.
Home Run? While it's interesting to see Perkins playing a role so similar to Norman Bates (this time he has father instead of mother issues), Mulligan's film also stands alone as a hugely watchable drama that successfully gets under the skin of one of baseball's greatest - and most troubled - players.
The Rookie (2002)
The Pitch: Based on Jim Morris' memoirs, John Lee Hancock's adap stars Dennis Quaid as Morris, who dreams of becoming a player despite being older than most big-hitters.
Home Run? "They were all very good stories," said Quaid of his attraction to sports movies, and he's not wrong.
The Rookie is full of heart and hope - it's a sports flick for all the family that refuses to become saccharine, instead finding drama in the little things.
Ballplayer: Pelotero (2011)
The Pitch: John Leguizamo narrates this doc, which goes behind the scenes at a Major Baseball League training camp in the Dominican Republic. We follow 16-year-old Miguel Angel and Jean Carlos as they aim high and swing it to win it.
Home Run? Shocking in places, touching in others, this doc works as an eye-popping expose that shows the corruption in a flawed system.
It's been called a Spanish-language Moneyball for good reason…
The Pitch: Billy Crystal directs the story of Roger Maris (Barry Pepper) and Mickey Mantle (Thomas Jane), who compete to beat the single-season home run record held by Babe Ruth.
Home Run? It's no secret that Crystal's a baseball aficionado, and his love of the game is in every frame of this touching drama.
It's a film made by a baseball fan for baseball fans, but that doesn't stop it from being a baseball movie great with two fantastic lead performances.
Up For Grabs (2004)
The Pitch: Documentary about two men who claim to have caught the ball hit by San Francisco Giants' Barry Bonds during his infamous 73rd home run.
Incorporating news footage and talking heads, we get the full story as the pair head to court…
Home Run? Definitely. Up For Grabs nabbed Best Documentary awards at numerous film fests, probably because it works as a hilarious examination of greed and obsession that doesn't require audiences to know a thing about baseball.
Eight Men Out (1988)
The Pitch: Based on Eliot Asinof's same-named novel, John Sayles' adap revolves around the 'Black Sox scandal', in which members of the Chicago White Sox sought to make money by intentionally losing the 1919 World Series.
Home Run? Though it was labelled a cursed production when numerous filmmakers failed to get the film into production, Sayles' film turned out to be a moving/depressing look at baseball's darkest hour.
With a cast that includes John Cusack and DB Sweeney, it also contains one of the greatest on-screen ensembles of any sports flick.
The Life And Times Of Hank Greenberg (1998)
The Pitch: Documentary about Detroit Tigers baseman Hank Greenberg, a Jewish player who suffered anti-Semitism on the pitch. We also gain insight into his off-pitch life, which included enlisting with the US Army Air Force during World War II.
Home Run? Take a look at the film's glut of awards and then come ask us again.
Despite its serious themes, Aviva Kempner's doc has a fantastic sense of humour and the filmmaker's affection for her subject is clear throughout. Warm, thought-provoking documentary-making at its best.
A League Of Their Own (1992)
The Pitch: Fictional re-telling of the story of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League.
Set in 1943, manager Jimmy Dugan (Tom Hanks) attempts to sate the public's demand for baseball during wartime by heading up the first women's league.
Home Run? Though it's frothy and occasionally over-sentimental, Penny Marshall's sporting comedy has a fantastic cast (yes, including Madonna) and a perfect feel for the era. The games are great, too.
The Pride Of The Yankees (1942)
The Pitch: A moving tribute to New York Yankees first baseman Lou Gehrig, who passed away aged 37 a year before the movie was made.
Gary Cooper plays Gehrig in a film that's more about his relationships with his family and friends than it is about the game.
Home Run? If you make it through the film's climax - in which Gehrig's farewell speech at Yankee Stadium is re-enacted - without blubbering, you're a stone-hearted fiend.
This is moving, emotionally-draining stuff and the very definition of a sporting tear-jerker.
Bang The Drum Slowly (1973)
The Pitch: An early home run for a pre- Mean Streets Robert De Niro, who stars in John D. Hancock's adaptation of Mark Harris' baseball novel.
De Niro plays Bruce Pearson, a New York Mammoth whose friend and co-player Henry Wiggen (Michael Moriarty) is the only who knows that he's suffering from Hodgkin's disease.
Home Run? Though it occasionally errs on the side of melodrama, this is De Niro on seriously fine form ahead of his stratospheric rise to fame.
Easily earning its place on this list, Hancock's film is a humorous, even-keeled drama of surprising poetry.
The Pitch: Biographical drama following Jackie Robinson (Chadwick Boseman), who makes history by becoming the first ever black Major League player when he's signed to the Brooklyn Dodgers by Branch Rickey (Harrison Ford).
Home Run? Brian Helgeland directs the film with old-school skill, affording 42 a knowing charm as it tackles the big issues both on and off the pitch.
It's gorgeous to look at and features a fantastic performance from Boseman. When the climax comes, you're guaranteed to have your heart in your throat.
The Pitch: Oscar-nominated sports drama penned by Aaron Sorkin. Based on a non-fiction book by Michael Lewis, it stars Brad Pitt as manager Billy Beane, whose approach to signing players is unconventional to say the least - he relies on their stats.
Home Run? Yes, it alters history slightly, but Moneyball is another win for Sorkin, whose script is scalpel sharp and briskly-paced.
It's also notable as an early 'serious' role for Jonah Hill, who easily holds his own against A-lister Brad Pitt.
The Natural (1984)
The Pitch: Based on the novel about 'natural' baseballer Roy Hobbs. Robert Redford plays Hobbs, who's signed to the New York Knights aged 35, infuriating team manager Pop Fisher (Wilford Brimley).
Home Run? The story may sound familiar now, but Barry Levinson's film is a well-paced, beautifully crafted ode to American sports.
Basically, if you love baseball, there's no chance of striking out with this one.
Major League (1989)
The Pitch: Charlie Sheen, Rene Russo and Tom Berenger star in this comedy about the Cleveland Indians. Margaret Whitton plays Rachel Phelps, who inherits the team and assembles a terrible set of players she hopes will lose the season.
Home Run? Though it follows a simple formula, director David S. Ward's era-defining baseball flick features some truly stunning sports scenes - and it knows a good joke when it sees one.
It also plumbs surprisingly touching depths, with Sheen in particular given a chance to really shine.
Field Of Dreams (1989)
The Pitch: Farmer Ray Kinsella (Kevin Costner) hears a mysterious voice whispering to him that he should build a baseball pitch over his corn field, much to the concern of his wife and brother-in-law.
Home Run? Easily one of the most recognisable baseball movies to modern audiences, Field Of Dreams may slip into soppiness, but its fairytale feel and keen wit ensure it's also one of the best.
"It you build it, he will come" has also become one of the most famous (and misquoted) lines in sports movie history. Which counts for something.
The Bad News Bears (1976)
The Pitch: Beer-swigger Morris Buttermaker (Walter Matthau) takes on the coaching duties of a little league team in the San Fernando Valley.
His disgust at their lack of talent is only overshadowed by the kids' parents own outrage. Then Buttermaker brings in a pair of sexy ringers…
Home Run? Foul-mouthed and bad taste it may be, but director Michael Ritchie's film is also unflinchingly honest and laugh-out-loud funny.
Matthau's performance is a force unto itself, proving just what a comic genius he was, while the satire of 'go big or home home' is expertly played.
Bull Durham (1988)
The Pitch: Kevin Costner stars as Crash Davis, a veteran player who's hired to teach Nuke LaLoosh (Tim Robbins) the ropes. Meanwhile, Davis attracts the attention of baseball groupie Annie Savoy (Susan Sarandon).
Home Run? And then some. Though the Academy Awards all-but turned a blind eye (it received one nomination), Costner's baseball flick is the holy grail of baseball flicks.
Funny, moving, and with Costner dialling the charisma up to 11, it's a knowing sports movie that's about as feel-good at they come.