10 baseball movie posters worth another look

Gathered here are ten of the most visually dynamic baseball movie posters ever created by the hand of man. As we shall see, not all baseball movies have baseball elements on their posters and not all movies with baseball elements on their posters are baseball movies.

The Warriors (1979)


The plot concerns a baseball team that must overcome great odds (like having to wear Kiss makeup) in order to win the championship. No, wait, that's not it. Based on Herbert Asbury's 1928 book, Gangs of New York ... no, not it either? Wait, I've got it: In a city filled with specifically costumed gangs, one of their number (the Furies) dresses in baseball togs and wields bats while committing all sorts of mayhem.  Why can't real street gangs be this creative?

Elmer the Great (1933)


Original movie posters can fetch prices that would make an oil sheik blush, but it's easy to see why when you look at the quality of the illustration and the printing. The plot of Elmer the Great is a silly contrivance, but watching Joe E. Brown's face is always worth the price of admission.

Inglourious Basterds (2009)


The blood-soaked bat and the stahlhelm on this poster sum up Quentin Tarantino's movie in one untidy image. For the uninitiated, the bat is used by a character known as the Bear Jew to extract information from captured Germans. But why didn't he wield a Hank Greenberg model?

The Natural (1984)


I hate it when movies about baseball hide their baseballness. While there is a Natural poster that features Robert Redford throwing a ball in a field, this is the more widely used image. It says, "Hey, you liked it when Redford wore period clothes in The Great Gatsby and The Sting, so you'll like this, too. Baseball player? No, he's not a baseball player. Okay, he might be a baseball player. But look! it's Robert Redford in period clothes!"

Moneyball (2011)


See? You don't have to do what they did with The Natural. And has there ever been a movie poster of equal or greater lushness? It practically commands you to imagine yourself gamboling about in its verdant expanse.

The Battery (2012)

The_battery_1_medium The_battery_2_medium

In a post-apocalyptic New England, zombies are running amok, as is their wont. In this particular zombie scenario, a buddy road picture takes place as two former ballplayers (pitcher and catcher, hence the title) strive to survive. The reviewer on IMDB said some positive things about it, such as: "Like the best zombie films, it's more about the living than the dead. This is a double-pronged character/relationship study (which thankfully never degenerates into the bad soap of The Walking Dead) ..."

Right Off the Bat (1915)


I'm sure you don't lose much sleep over the fact that half of the movies made in the silent era no longer exist. It does bother me, though. I think of the countless hours spent on movie sets by hosts of casts and crews, creating something that now exists only in the flickering memories of a handful of nonagenarians, and it makes me sad. This particular lost film starred ballplayer-turned-actor Mike Donlin and his ex-boss, John McGraw, playing versions of themselves.This poster is about all we have left of it.

The Rookie (2002)


The lone warrior at magic hour; it doesn't get much more iconic than this. (For the Love of the Game and Perfect Game have similar posters.)

The Bingo Long Traveling All Stars & Motor Kings (1976)


MAD magazine artist Jack Davis did not do the artwork on this poster, but he popularized this style of chaotic en masse assemblages of characters with It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World and Woody Allen's Bananas. (He also did The Bad News Bears art.) In any event, this artist certainly captured Bingo Long's high-energy slapstick.

How to Play Baseball (1942)


This entertaining short from Disney bequeathed us this wonderfully dynamic poster. Goofy displays a formidable stance against a rich, blue background. He looks so serious that you think you're going to learn something from the film. You probably won't, though, unless you know absolutely nothing about baseball to begin with.

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