For Love of the Game
|For Love of the Game Movie|
I have many favorite (baseball) movies I love to re-watch each winter. One of the top ten on my list is For Love of the Game which stars the actor I consider the best and most believable at playing the part of a baseball player ~ Kevin Costner.
Costner's character in the movie is a Detroit Tigers pitcher named Billy Chapel. Billy has an on-again, off-again girlfriend, Jane (Kelly Preston) who tells him she's leaving him just before what is most likely Billy's last professional game. It's the last game of the season against rival team the New York Yankees. Vin Scully (playing himself) announces the game.
This 1999 movie was filmed in the real Yankee Stadium where a 40-year-old pitcher (Billy Chapel) is pitching the final game of his 19-year career. Battling a sore arm and coping with the news that the team has been sold and he will be traded, on top of learning that his long-time girlfriend is leaving to take a job in London, Billy enters the game fighting both physical and emotional limits.
The movie opens with Billy taking the mound to pitch. The loud sounds of the crowd slowly diminish as Billy enters his 'zone' where he blocks out everything to concentrate on pitching, leaving a total silence as he winds up for the pitch. We hear his thoughts as he approaches each batter and each pitch, giving us a glimpse into what a real life professional baseball pitcher goes through.
What makes the movie most interesting is that the entire movie takes place during this one baseball game and the story of everything that led up to this day is reflected in flashbacks. Girlfriend Jane is shown in subsequent scenes as she watches the game on TV at the airport while waiting for her overseas flight. The suspense of the game builds as one out after another is recorded, leading toward the crowning glory moment for a baseball pitcher, a Perfect Game.
Kevin Costner as Billy Chapel giving us 'one more day of summer' in the movie For Love of the Game.
To me, For Love of the Game is the perfect title for this baseball movie, as it is exactly how I feel about the game of baseball. My wintertime will be filled with this and my many other baseball movies and my home library of books about baseball until my favorite time of year (Baseball's Opening Day) returns.
Enjoy the off-season and join me again when my favorite phrase resounds in baseball parks around the country ~ “Play Ball”.
For Love of the Game is available on Amazon.
*Kevin Costner has starred in several movies with a baseball-theme, such as Chasing Dreams, Bull Durham, Field of Dreams, For Love of the Game and The Upside of Anger. I own most of them!
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