I was watching the age-old classic, Rookie of the Year, the other day and thought to myself, This bad baseball movie is loaded with bad baseball action... so I'll do a movie-in-pictures entry on my bad baseball blog!
The basic premise: Henry, a little leaguer with no talent whatsoever, trips on a baseball while chasing a pop fly at his school (while trying to impress a girl). He falls hard on his shoulder which requires some sort of surgery (I'm assuming this - the movie conveniently skips through the whole healing process). The hitch? The tendons heal too tightly, so when he goes to throw a baseball, his arm snaps forward so quickly that whatever he's holding rockets out at an absurd speed.
This is almost too ridiculous to put in to words. I liked this movie a lot as a 10 year old, but I'll admit that it hasn't aged well. I didn't get the idea to take screen shots until Henry was discovered by the Cubs (after throwing a home run ball back onto the field from the centerfield bleachers), so that's where we'll start it off. So make some popcorn, sit back, and watch a slideshow of the mid-90's classic, "Rookie of the Year."
First off, I present to you Henry Rowengartner, elementary school (or middle, I don't think it specifies, but he builds a small motor boat with his friends throughout the flick, so I'm assuming he's at least 12). Nothing like the look of joy and bewilderment from a kid just called up to the big leagues:
Silly Henry doesn't know how to use a rosin bag, so when he picks it up, chalk flies everywhere... HA HA! Stupid rookie!
The big leaguer cameos don't come until later in the movie (keep reading, you'll see 'em), but what are the chances this guy would be randomly selected for steroids testing? None whatsoever.
OK, got the first inning out of the way, time to screw around in the dugout! Because jumping from little league to the majors should only take five or so minutes to adjust, right? Rally caps!
Hey, its "Janitor" from the television show, "Scrubs". He's the firstbaseman, if you're wondering...
Pitching is easy, but this the National League, rook - you gotta bat, too. But Henry is scared, so he doesn't get anywhere near the plate... HA HA HA! So funny...
Brush back pitch. Couldn't the Cubs have used smaller lettering to make "Rowengartner" fit better on the jersey?
Now the hilarity really begins. Henry gets on base! ALL of the nerves from the at-bat are apparently gone, because he wastes no time in taunting the pitcher. "Pitcher's got a big butt!" Oh man, I bet that pitcher was pissed...
The guy following Henry in the batting order hits a ball in to the outfield gap, but since he's so fast - and Henry is so slow - they run around the bases next to each other. Both are safe! Cubs go up two runs!!
OK, time for the MLB cameos. Henry strikes 'em all out! First up, Bobby Bonilla!
Pedro Guerrero, yerrrrrrrr ooooouuuutttt!
And then he gets a pre-steroids (waaaaay pre-steroids) Barry Bonds swinging. Nice pitch, kid.
So the movie goes on, Henry strikes out everyone he faces, blah blah blah. His corrupt manager (his mom's boyfriend) sells him to the Yankees (doesn't go through, not explained why - probably because it's not allowed?) and convinces the Cubs to rid themselves of former ace pitcher "Chet Stedman." Stedman is upset, Henry distracts himself by playing his Gameboy.
Fast forward a bit: Cubs are in the playoffs, just a game from clinching the National League pennant. Henry slips on a ball between innings (because remember, that's how he hurt his arm in the first place), and re-injures his shoulder. Nothing drastic, other than he can't throw hard any more! OH NOOOOOO!!!! What should we do Chet??
The team ace says, "Keep him in!" And yeah - that's Gary Busey. Never take advice from Gary Busey.
Good thing major league hitters can't adjust to change ups they know are coming. Henry's only got one pitch in his aresenal to end the game: the floater. How does the game end?
Cubs win! Cubs win! The Cubs are going to the World Series!!
Uh oh... the production budget ran out! How would the Cubs fare in the World Series without Henry? Could Chet Stedman carry the team by himself? Apparently:
Stedman (Gary Busey) ends up as the coach of Henry's little league team, and Henry robs a home run to end a game. He reacts the same as when he clinched the NL Pennant and flashes the World Series ring for all to see.