Why the ‘5 Best Baseball Movies’ Are Actually Terrible

$212.46. That is what the average family of four spent at a major league ballgame last year.  For the budget-conscious, that price tag makes it mighty tempting to stay home and enjoy the boys of summer on TV—either a live game or a classic baseball movie.

But watching some of the most fondly remembered films about the national passtime suggest that maybe both the game’s time and what made America great are passing. Here are five films that make the case.

5. Moneyball (2011)

Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill take the Oakland Athletics from a mediocre, going-broke franchise to a cash-cow winner by using analytical, evidence-based “sabermetrics.” The film garnered six Oscar nominations, critical acclaim, and box-office success.  That’s terrible. Celebrating the “corporatization” of baseball is not a good thing. Sure, making money is a good thing. “Last season,” Forbes reports, “MLB saw gross revenues of over $8 billion, and the expectation is it will reach $10 billion within a year or two.”

But where is the gut, the intuition, the love of sport for sport’s sake that we learned from movies like The Pride of the Yankees (1942), Gary Cooper’s epic portrayal of the greatest star of baseball’s finest hour?