This weekend is Memorial Day, which is the unofficial start of summer here in the States. And when I think summer, I think baseball.

Now, since I’m not a jock and probably the biggest “indoor kid” you’ll ever meet, I only think about baseball for about 15 minutes. But the thought does cross my mind.

Real-life Jared and I are going to see our Triple-A baseball club – the I-Cubs (Chicago’s farm team) – play the Fresno Grizzlies tonight at 7:05 PM. Or, rather, we’re going to sit in a baseball stadium for 3 hours, drink overpriced beers and catch up with each other’s lives as a baseball game is played in front of us.

Major League - Charlie Sheen, Tom Berenger, Corbin Bernsen, Wesley Snipes, Rene RussoAll this talk about baseball made me think of a movie I’ve probably seen two dozen times, but don’t own – Major League.

I’ve always enjoyed this movie and I can’t explain why. Probably because the first time I remember watching it was at a friend’s house who got HBO and I remember it being vaguely dirty. Plus, it has that lovable loser angle going for it as it charts the improbably goal of the Cleveland Indians winning The World Series so their owner doesn’t move the team to Florida.

You get to see Charlie Sheen before he became a sex addict, Wesley Snipes before he became a tax cheat and Corbin Bernsen before people stopped caring about Corbin Berson. Tom Berenger does a good job playing an over-the-hill catcher trying to win back his wife (Rene Russo, of all people!) and the voice of the Milwaukee Brewers, Bob Uecker shows up delivering some of the best one-liners and withering play-by-play commentary as the Indian’s at-home radio broadcaster.

There were a couple of unfortunate sequels made to this movie (and the less said about the third one, the better). But the original stands out to me as a comedy with relaxed charm. Comedy always seemed more confident in the 80’s. Less ironic and less self-conscious like it is today. It’s a treat to watch characters deliver a funny line without breaking their stride. These days, a lot of comedies seem to have “WAIT FOR APPLAUSE” pauses built into ever scene.

Or maybe I’m just an old man griping.

I’m curious what your favorite baseball movie might be – and it doesn’t have to be a comedy. Certainly Bull Durham and Field of Dreams are the first two to pop into my minds. But I’m wondering if there are any others. Let me know!

Or, if you just want to talk about Major League, we can do that, too…

Batter up!