Major League Baseball could use some angels right about now.
When this year started, I was so excited for the start of Spring Training at the end of this month. Finally, I thought, football will be over, baseball will be starting, and maybe my Rangers will finally have another winning season! Instead, for the last 80 days, we’ve had a lockout while the owners and the players negotiate the terms under which the season can begin. The start of Spring Training has been delayed. Opening Day could be delayed. All I want to do is to enjoy some baseball but who knows when that’s going to happen.
At least I can still watch baseball movies. The original Angels in the Outfield is about the general manger of the Pittsburgh Pirates, Guffy McGovern (Paul Douglas). The Pirates are having a terrible season. They’re last in the league. Guffy starts fights with the umpires and shocks the media with his unprintable language but he just can’t put together a winning season. Things are so bad that an orphan named Bridget (Donna Corcoran) stops praying for a new family and instead prays for the Pirates Then, one night, Guffy hears the voice of an angel who tells him that if he stops cursing and stops fighting, the Pirates will get some heavenly help.
Guffy cuts back on his cursing and learns to control his temper and the Pirates start winning. Is it because of the angels or is it because Guffy has become a better manager? He falls in love with reporter Jennifer Paige (Janet Leigh) and they make plans to adopt Bridget but then the voice tells Guffy that, when it comes to the Pennant, he’s going to have to win that one on his own. Can Guffy lead his team to victory without the help of the angels?
For many baseball fans, Angels in the Outfield is all about wish fulfilment. That’s especially true if you’re a fan of a team that lost two World Series in a row and who hasn’t had a winning season in a while. There’s been a lot of times when I’ve watched the Rangers and wished for some heavenly intervention! Maybe if our coaches would stop cursing or yelling, the Rangers would actually finish somewhere other than in last place. It’s worth a shot, guys!
Angels in the Outfield is a sweet movie. I especially liked the scenes where Guffy used Shakespearean language to argue with the umpires so that he could avoid having to curse at them. Angels in the Outfield captures the excitement of watching your team win. I actually got jealous of the fans in the movie because it’s been a long time since I’ve seen anyone get that excited over baseball. When Angels in the Outfield calls baseball “America’s pastime,” you believe it. I also liked that the angels themselves were never seen. Instead, all that is seen are the fantastic catches and the home runs that come about as a result of their help.
I’d love some angels to come down right now and talk to the players and the owners for all of us. Get it worked out, people. Don’t take away our opening day!