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Baseball Movie Happiness: Happy Birthday to ‘Major League’, ‘The Sandlot’ and ‘The Bad News Bears’

Here’s a fun fact: Three classic baseball movies all released on April 7.

“The Sandlot” was released on April 7, 1993, “Major League” was released on April 7, 1989, and “The Bad News Bears” was released on April 7, 1976.

If you’re going to produce a baseball movie, it makes sense to target early April for the release date. Baseball’s opening day is around that time, although sometimes it falls at the end of March and in ancient times sometimes it doesn’t start until the middle of the month.

MORE: The 10 Best Baseball Movies of the 90s, Ranked

We thought we would celebrate this trio by looking at the top three quotes from each movie. We also did longer quotes breakdowns for “Major League” and “The Sandlot”. There is another baseball movie that came out on April 7, 2006, but we’re not going to waste any part of your time or our lives talking about “The Benchwarmers”. You are welcome.

Now to the quotes …

Major league

3. “Earn it all in the ‘thing’.

The implementation: Brown just told the team that the owner, Phelps, picked this team because she thought it would be horrible and the players would all be released or traded after the season. Taylor, the veteran, stands up.
The words …
Taylor: “Well, then, I guess there’s just one more thing to do.
Dorn: “What is it?
Taylor: ‘Win the whole f-in’ thing.
Why it’s the best: Makes you wanna walk through a brick wall, doesn’t it?

2. “Juuuust a little outside.

The implementation: Ricky Vaughn is making his big league debut and Harry Doyle is there for the storytelling.
The words …
Doyle: “Vaughn in the wind, and his first offering… juuuuust a little outside. He attempted the turn and missed.
Doyle: “Ball four.”
Doyle: “Balloon eight.”
Doyle: “Low, and Vaughn went through the loaded bases 12 straight lengths. Boy, how can these guys interrupt lands so close?
Why it’s the best: The “juuuust a bit on the outside” part is probably the most iconic line in the whole movie. For me, however? It’s the “try the corner and miss” part – on ground that was about three feet from home plate – that makes him a contender for No.1.

1. “The Indians Win! The Indians win it! OH MY GOD, THE INDIANS WIN IT!

The implementation: Drawn, ninth round. Taylor drops a cavity as Hayes tries to steal the third, then turns the corner and comes home …
The words …
Harry Doyle: “He’s slipping! It is …”
Referee: “Sure! Sure!”
Doyle: “The Indians win! The Indians win it! OH MY GOD, THE INDIANS WIN IT! “
Why it’s the best: If you haven’t just had the chills reading this, we probably can’t be friends. The movie starts off with a series of fun one-liners, but along the way you care about the players (laughing all the time). And see them win? To see the emotion? Hear Uecker so excited? Just the best.

The Sandlot

3. “A lady’s name is Ruth. Baby Ruth.

The implementation: Smalls just hit the autographed baseball over the fence, and Team Sand is about to learn why Smalls is in the biggest pickle of his life.
The words …
Squints: “Listen to me, Smalls. Its a question of life or death. Where did your old man get that ball from?
Smalls: “What? I do not know. A lady gave it to him. Why?”
Several players: “Lady?”
Smalls: “Yeah. She even signed her name on it. A lady named Ruth. Baby Ruth.
Why it’s the best: They understand. Smalls, however, is a bit behind the rest of the kids. Yes, I had to split this part into two entries. Too much kindness for one group.

2. “You mean it’s the same guy?”

The implementation: Benny hits the blanket of the team’s lone baseball, so Smalls goes to look for the one on his stepdad’s coat, not knowing its meaning. And then Smalls hits his first home run, in The Beast’s backyard. Here he realizes exactly what he has done.
The words …
Squints: “But it was signed by Babe Ruth!”
Smalls: “Yeah. You keep telling me this, but who is she?
“The Sultan of Swat!”
“The king of the crash!”
“The Colossus of Clout!”
“The Colossus of Clout!”
“Baby Ruth!”
Ham: “The great Bambino!”
Smalls: “Oh my God! You mean it’s the same guy?
Why it’s the best: This moment of realization is simply golden. Poor little ones.

1. “You are killing me, Smalls!”

The implementation: The boys camp in the treehouse to tell Smalls the story of the beast. But first, a child must eat.
The words …
Ham: “Hey, do you want a S’more?”
Smalls: “A little more what?”
Ham: “No, no. Do you want a S’more?
Smalls: “I haven’t had anything yet, so how can I have a little more?”
Ham: “You’re killing me, Smalls!”
Why it’s the best: That would’ve made the list just for the S’mores exchange, but it’s # 1 because it’s the first – and best – time this iconic line, “You kill me, Smalls!” is pronounced. If I had a dollar for every time I used this line, I could buy all the 98-cent baseballs I wanted.

The bad news bears

3. “But that quit smoking thing …”

The implementation: The kids pretty much hate Coach Morris Buttermaker at this point. Opening day was a disaster. They are dazzled at school. They voted as a team and decided to resign. Tanner struggled with the whole seventh year and came out with a broken lip.
The words …
Buttermaker: “I can understand how you guys feel. I haven’t been a manager or anything else for that matter. I am sorry. But this quitting smoking thing is a hard habit to break once you start. You’re a damn good bunch of boys, probably deserved a lot better than me. Looks like we’re stuck with each other. “
Notable: For a moment you think Buttermaker turned a corner, that he saw the mistake of his manners. And then he throws the capture gear against the wall and yells at everyone and they start practicing.

2: “Throw the ball, Joey!”

The implementation: Joey Turner, pitcher and son of the Yankees coach, has tortured the Bears as much as anyone all season. When Joey’s dad tells him to throw him low and make Mike Engelberg walk in the championship game, he gets angry and throws the ball at Engelberg’s head instead in an act of defiance. The coach runs down the field, yells at Joey for lying and hits him, knocking him to the ground. Everyone is stunned. When play resumes, Engelberg hits a Grounder at Joey, who holds him.
The words …
Coach Turner: “Throw the ball, Joey!”
Engelberg goes from first to second to third.
Coach Turner: “Throw the ball, Joey!”
Joey’s teammates try to repel the ball, but it doesn’t work and Engelberg scores.
Notable: After the play, when Joey walks up to his dad and drops the ball at his feet? No words, but says it all.

1. “Hello Yankees!”

The implementation: The championship game is over. The Yankees have their giant first place trophy and the Bears have their tiny second place prize. One of the Yankees players comes up with a pseudo-excuse, at least giving the Bears credit for guts. Then they applaud the bears: “Two, four, six, eight! Who do we like! Bear! Bear! Bear!”
The words …
Tanner: “Hi Yankees! You can take your excuses and your trophy and shove it in the ass! “
Lupus throws them the second place trophy.
Lupus: “And something else! Wait until next year!
Notable: Then the bears celebrate. Not just the end of the season, but their growth and rebellion and all that good stuff.

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