'Moneyball' features the story of Oakland A's general manager Billy Beane and his revolutionary use of statistics in baseball. His unique story is about to be adapted to the big screen, and with that adaptation comes a comparison with the hundreds of other sports films that have ever been produced. ESPN Page 2's Jim Caple took the time to look at similar trends between ‘Moneyball' and other baseball movies, summing up his findings in the 10 universal rules of baseball films.
Some of the highlights: the presence of a stubborn, old-school manager who won't change (number three), the occurrence of an enormous, turnaround wining streak (number six) and the recuperative ability of baseball in parent-child relationships (number six). If you think about it, these traits do seem to pop up time and again in baseball movies.
‘Moneyball' is, however, unique in several ways. It has a big A-list star (Brad Pitt), a unique emphasis on math/statistics (the whole premise of the film, to some extent) and possible Oscar potential. You can't claim those three characteristics about a lot of baseball movies. But does different really mean better?
It certainly doesn't have to, but early reviews of the movie have been positive and the movie is generating some Oscar buzz. Perhaps those ten universal traits work in the movie's favor: if there's anything that sports can teach you, it's the fact that you have to start from a solid foundation to build something great.
‘Moneyball' is set to release this Friday, Sept. 23rd at a theater near you.