The Rotation: The 5 Best Baseball Movie Soundtracks

Andy Patton's weekly column about baseball and music ranks the five greatest baseball movie soundtracks.

Welcome to The Rotation! This is a weekly column, written by yours truly, that talks about the wonderful blended worlds of baseball and music. These two have been staples of Americana for centuries and are as big a part of our culture as apple pie and Chevrolet. My goal is to pick a different topic between the beautiful, unified world of baseball and music and write about it each week.

Baseball and music have always paired well together—at least in my opinion—but so too have baseball and movies. While baseball movies range from funny (Mr. 3000, A League of Their Own, The Sandlot) to sappy (For Love of the Game, The Rookie, Field of Dreams) to technical (Moneyball), they all have their place in pop culture history.

Movies have soundtracks as well, which is another way to connect the worlds of baseball and music. Here are the five best baseball movie soundtracks, with some honorable mentions.

 

Best Baseball Movie Soundtracks

 

The Natural (Randy Newman, 1984)

 

Randy Newman’s Oscar-nominated score for the 1984 classic The Natural stands alone as its own piece of pop culture, a rarity in soundtrack history. The six-note “home run call” has been used in a variety of different sports montages, and parts of the soundtrack have even been featured in other areas of pop culture, including The Wonder Years and The Simpsons.

 

Field of Dreams (James Horner, 1989)

 

Another Oscar-nominated score, James Horner’s soundtrack to Field of Dreams perfectly captures the tender emotional feel of the movie. It does not have the heart-pounding, intense score that many sports soundtracks do, but that wouldn’t fit with this movie that is effectively a 1.5-hour tribute to playing catch with your dad.

 

Angels in the Outfield (Randy Edelman, 1994)

 

Angels in the Outfield is about as cheesy as it gets, and so is Randy Edelman’s soundtrack. It fits, however, and the theme used in the wave sequence is about as perfect of a fit for a movie as can be.

 

Bull Durham (Various, 1988)

 

Bull Durham will always be my favorite baseball movie—and one of my favorite movies period—and part of the reason is the soundtrack. Use of the song Centerfield by John Fogerty may be unoriginal, but songs like Born to be Bad by George Thorogood and I Idolize You by Ike Turner make this a soundtrack to remember, and give Costner his second nod in this list.

 

For Love of the Game (Various, 1999)

 

I just can’t quit you, Costner. While For Love of the Game is more of a romance than it is a baseball movie, it does have some nice tunes. Plus, it’s a hilarious reminder of what the late 1990s were like in music. Songs by Semisonic (the theme song), Lyle Lovett, Kim Richey and, yes, Shaggy, all round out this sappy but solid soundtrack.

 

Honorable Mentions: A League of Their Own, The Sandlot, Mr. 3000 and Moneyball

 

Walk-Up Songs of the Week

 

Note: If you want a playlist of all the walk-up songs of the week, go to Spotify and search “Pitcher List Walk-Up Jams”

 

Hitter: Jake Lamb, Shoop (Salt-N-Pepa)

I honestly don’t think I’ve gone a single week without picking at least one 1990s R&B song. From This is How we Do it, to Pony, to Let me Clear my Throat, to Party Up, this playlist is an absolute banger of my childhood.

Jake Lamb makes his way to the plate with this gem from Salt-N-Pepa. I can just imagine the crowd bobbing and weaving with this tune while Lamb strides to the plate. That alone makes the fact that he’s only appeared in 37 games this year a shame.

 

Pitcher: Taylor JungmannYMCA (Village People)

This song is a staple at all professional sporting events, so having it as a walk-up song almost feels redundant.

I wasn’t planning on picking it for that exact reason, but then I realized that Taylor Jungmann picked it for a very specific reason:

“Jungmann, there’s no need to feel down
I said, Jungmann, pick yourself off the ground
I said, Jungmann, ’cause you’re in a new town
There’s no need to be unhappy”

Amazing.

(Before you ask: Yes, that is how you pronounce Jungmann’s last name).

Jungmann had a solid rookie campaign with the Brewers back in 2015 but was disastrous in nine outings over the next two seasons, and now finds himself pitching in the NPB. No word if he still uses this ’70s classic over there.

 

Featured Image by Justin Paradis (@freshmeatcomm on Twitter)

Andy Patton

Andy is the Dynasty Content Manager here at PitcherList. He manages all of the prospect content on the site, while also contributing a weekly article on dynasty deep sleepers, and the weekly hitter and pitcher stash lists. Andy also co-hosts the Never Sunny in Seattle podcast on the PitcherList Podcast Network, and separately hosts the Score Zags Score Podcast.

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