Moneyball had a big day yesterday, garnering a surprise six Academy Award nominations, including nods in four of the bigger categories: Best Actor, Best Actor in a Supporting Role, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Picture. It’s nice to see a baseball movie get this kind of recognition, but nobody should really expect the movie to actually win anything, because 1) the movie wasn’t really that good, and 2) baseball movies, when they get nominated (which is rare), tend to fare abysmally in the final voting. To whit:
– The Pride of the Yankees (1942) received 11 nominations, including Best Picture, Best Actor, and Best Actress. It won only one, Daniel Mandell for Best Film Editing.
–The Natural (1984) received four nominations, including Glenn Close for Best Supporting Actress. It won none.
–Bull Durham (1988) received only one (!) nomination for Best Original Screenplay. It lost to Rain Man.
–Field of Dreams (1989) received three nominations, including Best Picture. It won none, losing best picture to Driving Miss Daisy.
-Vincent Gardenia earned a Best Supporting Actor nomination for Bang The Drum Slowly (1973). He lost to John Houseman in The Paper Chase.
The closest baseball has had to a major Oscar victory is when Robin Williams won Best Supporting Actor for Good Will Hunting in 1997. “I just slid my ticket across the table and I said ‘Sorry guys, I gotta see about a girl.'”