I’ve wanted to see The Rookie for a long time — six years, in fact, since it came out in 2002. Dennis Quaid plays Jim Morris, the real life guy who tried out for major league baseball at the age of 35, long after he should have been through and long after he’d bombed out in baseball in his 20s due to injuries. But the guy threw a mean fastball as he got older; in fact, it was even better than when he was younger. And the high school baseball team he coached made a bet with him:
In 1999, Coach Morris made a fateful bet with his perpetually losing team. If they won the district championship, Morris — who threw a 98 mph fastball — would try out for the majors. The team went from worst to first, and Jim, living up to his end of the bargain, threw caution to the wind and was on the road to becoming the oldest rookie in the major leagues.
I love stories like this, because that’s what writing is about too. Not giving up. We don’t have to contend with aging bodies making our dreams physically impossible. We have only to contend with the doubt demons in our heads, the rotten contest scores, the rejections from our dream agent, or the editor who loved our concept but hated the execution. It’s tough and it can be brutal.
But you have to keep trying. That’s why I love movies like this. Because they remind me that someone had a dream and suffered to make it happen. That someone took all the hard knocks and managed to make it anyway.
What are your favorite inspirational movies? Do you like baseball movies? I don’t care for the actual sport, but I love baseball movies. (Bull Durham is my all time FAVORITE baseball movie — Kevin Costner and the “long, slow, deep, soft, wet kisses that last for three days” speech — how can you go wrong?)