FINAL VOTE: Players Deserving Movies

Jackie Robinson has got a new movie — 42 — about him
coming out in 2013. Who else needs one?

After two exhausting rounds of voting — in which I had to write over 1000 words per post — we have finally reached the final vote, where we will determine the single more deserving baseball personality, the fella worth a quality Hollywood movie.

Here’s the poll. I encourage you not to vote for just the names you recognize, but the stories you think move-worth.

And follow the jump for the brief explanations of the players/personalities in case you missed them in the previous rounds.

Satchel Paige — Possibly one of the best pitchers in baseball history, but because he was black, he did not enter the MLB until he was 42 years old. Despite that, he finished with a career 81 FIP-minus — and still holds the distinction as the oldest player ever after an appearance in 1965 as a 58-year-old.

Lenny Dykstra — The All-Star Dykstra had a solid career with the Mets and Phillies, and then parlayed his career success into a fashionable story of fraud, tax evasion, NHL great’s house flipping, and ultimately house arrest and rehab. This story is still very much writing itself. Though the short version can probably be seen in any episode of Arrested Development — coocoo-kacha!

Roberto Clemente — Clemente was the first Latin superstar ( 129 wRC+). And while he was — at age 38 — still a solid, everyday outfielder, Clemente died in a plane crash while trying to deliver relief supplies to an earthquake-ravaged Nicaragua. He was posthumously inducted into the Hall of Fame and given the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Willie Mays — He could field, he could crush dongers, and he did it for 22 seasons — one fewer than he would have had he not served his nation in the Korean War. This guy lived a Life, I tell you.

Branch Rickey — Rickey was the revolutionary GM who broke the color barrier by signing Jackie Robinson, he drafted Roberto Clemente (the first Latin superstar), and was in all ways far, far, FAR ahead of his time (created the minor league system, introduced the batting helmet, used on-base percentage 70 years before Moneyball, etc.).

Moe Berg — A terrible-hitting catcher (49 wRC+) who, by the way, was a spy in World War II, a genius and a game show contestant, then spent the final years of his life mooching off his siblings.

Nolan Ryan — This guy pitched in the majors from age 19 to age 46. He then parlayed those earnings and that Hall of Fame career into owning his home-state team, the Texas Rangers, which are now a perennial powerhouse franchise.

Bill Veeck — Owner of the Cleveland Indians, St. Louis Browns (now Baltimore Orioles) and Chicago White Sox (at different times, not concurrently). He planted the ivy at Wrigley, served in World War II, purportedly tried to break the color barrier in 1942, built the first legit scoreboard in the league, got Minnie Minoso to play as a 50 and 54-year-old and hired the only little person to play in the MLB, Eddie Gaedel.

Dock Ellis — Threw a no-hitter while bugging out on LSD. THE SEVENTIES!

Bob Gibson — A Hall of Fame pitcher for the St. Louis Cardinals, Gibson — despite two awful late-career seasons — finished his MLB time with an 82 FIP- and nearly 3900 IP. He debuted at age 23 and retired at 39 — oh, and had rickets and some sort of asthma as a child.

Print This Post

Bradley writes for FanGraphs and The Hardball Times. Follow him on Twitter @BradleyWoodrum.

newest oldest most voted
Well-Beered Englishman

Everyone else is gonna pick Roberto Clemente, so I’m going to go with the two movies I most want to see: Bill Veeck and Dock Ellis. But mostly Bill Veeck. That would be such a fun movie.


How can there not already be a movie about Bill Veeck? Ashtray in the wooden leg. Hiding a microphone in the booth to catch Harry Caray singing “Take me out to the Ballgame,” (for the White Sox, by the way, not the Cubs). Exploding scoreboard, batting a midget as a pinch hitter, Disco Demolition, the only owner who supported Curt Flood.

Hell, he doesn’t need a movie, he needs a trilogy.

Well-Beered Englishman

Who should we cast as Bill Veeck? Unfortunately all I can think of is McLean Stevenson.


John Malkovich could probably do it. He’s played pretty crazy people like in Con Air. This would be like that, just not malevolent. Hey, Brad Pitt played Billy Beane.

I was thinking Phillip Seymour Hoffman could play Steve Dahl for Disco Demolition but they would probably get Jack Black instead.