Kevin Costner in the 1989 "Field of Dreams," one of the most popular of baseball-themed films. Sports movies do not often entice fans to the multiplex, but some baseball movies have hit a home run at the box office, and have endured in the hearts of movie buffs.
By CBSNews.com senior editor David Morgan
One of the most affecting sports films was "The Pride of the Yankees," which recounted the career of New York Yankee slugger Lou Gehrig (played by Gary Cooper), his bout with a debilitating illness, and his farewell in which he declared himself "the luckiest man on the face of the Earth." Also appearing in the film as teammate Babe Ruth was Babe Ruth.
"The Jackie Robinson Story" (1950) told the true story of the Brooklyn Dodger who broke major league baseball's color barrier. Robinson played himself, and co-starred Ruby Dee and Minor Watson.
Anthony Perkins and Karl Malden in "Fear Strikes Out" (1957), about baseball pitcher Jimmy Piersall's battle with mental illness.
Whatever Lola wants, Lola gets: Stanley Donan's film version of the Broadway musical "Damn Yankees!" (1958) retold the Faust legend on the ball field, and starred Tab Hunter and Gwen Verdon.
One of Robert De Niro's earliest films featured one of his most acclaimed performances, as a dying baseball player, in "Bang the Drum Slowly" (1973). Also starring was Michael Moriarty as the pitcher who tries to conceal his teammate's struggle against Hodgkin's Disease.
James Earl Jones and Billy Dee Williams played barnstorming ball players in "The Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars & Motor Kings" (1976).
Profane. Wild. And that's the kids! Walter Matthau played the coach of a Little League team (including Tatum O'Neal and Jackie Earle Haley) in "The Bad News Bears" (1976), which spawned sequels, a TV series, and a remake starring Billy Bob Thornton.
Adapted from Bernard Malamud's 1952 baseball novel, "The Natural" (1984) tells of a legendary young baseball player who disappears, only to turn up years later to raise the prospects of a struggling ball club. Robert Redford topped an exceptionally strong cast - Robert Duvall, Glenn Close, Wilford Brimley, Joe Don Baker, Richard Farnsworth, Barbara Hershey, Darren McGavin - but the film was criticized in some circles for turning the novel's downbeat ending to a more uplifting note.
"I've tried all the major religions, and most of the minor ones . . . and the only church that truly feeds the soul, day in, day out, is the Church of Baseball."
One of the most popular sports films wasn't really about sports, or at least not about play on the field. "Bull Durham" starred Tim Robbins and Kevin Costner as minor league players who become romantically entangled with a baseball groupie (Susan Sarandon).
The central figures of the notorious "Black Sox" scandal, as portrayed in John Sayles' "Eight Men Out": Eddie Cicotte (David Strathairn), "Shoeless Joe" Jackson (D.B. Sweeney), Arnold "Chick" Gandil (Michael Rooker), Charles "Swede" Risberg (Don Harvey), Claude "Lefty" Williams (James Read) and Fred McMullin (Perry Lang).
Charlie Sheen played an erratic Cleveland Indians pitcher nicknamed "Wild Thing" in "Major League" and its sequel, "Major League II."
Babe Ruth may have been the only one who could play Babe Ruth in "Pride of the Yankees," but in the 1992 bio-pic "The Babe" John Goodman tackled the outsized legend.
Dennis Quaid played an aging high school teacher and baseball coach who keeps a promise to his team (and himself) by trying out for the sport long after many players are finishing their careers, in "The Rookie" (2002). It's based on the true story of Jim Morris, who went on to pitch with the Devil Rays at age 35.
"There's no crying in baseball!"
Also based on a true-life story - that of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, founded during World War II - was the comedy-drama "A League of Their Own" (1992) starred Tom Hanks and Geena Davis.
Madonna in "A League of Their Own."
Christopher Lloyd (center) provides some heavenly help to the hapless California Angels in "Angels in the Outfield," a remake of a 1951 baseball comedy.
Tommy Lee Jones as one of the sport's most hated players, Ty Cobb, in "Cobb" (1994).
Brad Pitt stars in "Moneyball," the true story of Oakland A's general manager Billy Beane, whose countered his team's thin wallet with a new statistical strategy to hire cheaper players who could perform. The film was nominated for six Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Actor (Pitt), Best Supporting Actor (Jonah Hill) and Best Adapted Screenplay.
Chadwick Boseman, who was among the cast of the 2008 film "The Express," about the first African American football player to win the Heisman Trophy, stars as Jackie Robinson in "42" (2013), about the first black player in baseball's major leagues.
Ebbets Field, hallowed ground for fans of the Brooklyn Dodgers, is recreated in the 2013 film "42," about the legendary Jackie Robinson.