It's the off-season and sometimes I'll go off the minor league path to do something a little different here.
Here they are, my choices for the most romantic and sexiest moments in baseball cinema.
5. Major League- 'Winner'- Jake. That Jake. The cad that hurt Rene Russo's 'Lynn Wells' doesn't exactly deserve her, but forgiveness is essential to life and love. And Lynn proves how deep her love is for the Cleveland Indians catcher, when she's waving in the stands, the engagement ring from another man gone, when they win the ALCS. You want to believe that he takes her home and never again takes her for granted.
4. A League of Their Own- 'Homecoming' - With all that baseball, laughter, excitement, competing, Madonna dancing, and Tom Hanks being perfectly awful, it's hard to forget that the reason the Rockford Peaches exist is because there is a war going on. Geena Davis's 'Dottie' is a formidable catcher and the natural team leader, but she's also a worried wife. When we first think she might be the one getting news of tragedy, it's a different girl on the team. Dottie gets to see her man, Bob, again and the look on her face and the passionate embrace remind you that a very real battle was playing out, away from the baseball diamond. And you're just glad to know Dottie will not mourn.
3. The Natural - 'Stand' - Why does she do it? What makes Iris stand, when Roy Hobbs goes to the plate and is trying to find his way? She tells him, "I didn't want to see you fail." Whatever history has gone between them, whatever they've lost, they have a chance to be together, despite all the odds. When she stands, it's the simplest gesture, but it is the most powerful statement of love she could have made.
2. Bull Durham- 'Finally' - You can hear the fire engines if you listen close. Well, no, not really, but, wow, do Crash Davis and Annie Savoy smoke the screen up when they finally tear each other's clothes off (ok, it's more like peeling) and jump into bed...and on the floor...and in the tub...and on the counter... That might not be the hottest sex scene of all time, but it's enough to make you say, 'Oh my.'
1. Bull Durham- 'Front Porch'- Annie returns to her house one night to find Crash has returned from his final stint in the minors. All guards are down when they see each other. No more 'boys and baseball', no more sultry gazes or word games. In that moment you understand that those two people are meant for each other. The singular moment that should get any romantic's eyes to fill is the way she folds her ankles like a little girl, sitting beside him on the porch swing. 'Bull Durham' isn't a chick flick, as some have called it. It's a story about the human heart and that, ultimately, love is the most important thing you'll never find in a game or games of the heart. In that moment, the two beloved characters embody that.