First Pitch: 1:10 PM CT
TV: Bally Sports North
Know Thine Enemy: Halos Heaven
Because I grew up in Twins Territory, the film Little Big League will always be my favorite comedic baseball flick. It’s thesis of “baseball-obsessed teenager gets a chance to manage the Minnesota Twins” remains my life goal (albeit being 37 slightly dampening such aspirations). But there is another fun baseball movie that, while not necessarily speaking directly to Minnesotans, is equally as whimsical and enjoyable.
In 1994—just weeks before a strike would shut down the rest of the Major League Baseball season—Angels in the Outfield premiered in theaters. I didn’t see in at the cinema, but I ended up with the ubiquitous Disney clamshell-case VHS not long after. It currently holds a 6.2/10 IMDB rating—but deserves far better (10/10 in my book).
Shot at a pre-renovation Angels stadium, the film tells the story of young orphan Roger (Joseph Gordon-Levitt!) who desperately wants to be reunited with his father. Dead-beat Dad (Dermot Mulroney!) tells the youngster it’ll happen “when the Angels win the pennant”—a problem considering the Halos’ sad-sack nature (it even holds up historically!).
So one night, Roger makes a wish on a shooting star—and it is granted by AL (Christopher Lloyd!), head angel to help the Californians claim the flag.
A highlight of the proceedings is manager George Knox (Danny Glover!), who progresses from tirade-spewing tyrant to bench-jockey policeman. Many of the mortal Angels (Neal McDonough! Adrien Brody! Matthew McConaughey!) are hilarious caricatures of real-life baseball tropes, such as wacky reliever Whitt Bass.
Lest you think it is strictly comedic, I challenge anyone not to tear up a bit when Mel Clark (Tony Danza!) gets his final bout of encouragement—as the violin soundtrack swells—to finish off the pennant push.
Sadly (for Orange County denizens), the current Angels vintage is similar to the celluloid ‘94 version. I’m sure that some kid, somewhere, has recently wished for Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani to lead them back to the promised land. Such an exodus will not happen this afternoon at Target Field, to be sure.
|Randal Grichuk - LF||Edouard Julien - 2B|
|Zach Neto - SS||Jorge Polanco - 3B|
|Brandon Drury - 1B||Max Kepler - RF|
|Logan O'Hoppe - C||Alex Kirilloff - 1B|
|Mike Moustakas - DH||Matt Wallner - DH|
|Jo Adell - RF||Kyle Farmer - SS|
|Michael Stefanic - 3B||Ryan Jeffers - C|
|David Fletcher - 2B||Trevor Larnach - LF|
|Brett Phillips - CF||Michael Taylor - CF|
|Jaime Barria - RHP||Joe Ryan - RHP|