When somebody gets hit in the nuts in a baseball movie, it is customary to laugh. When the plucky underdog wins in a baseball movie, it is customary to cry.
Back in my days as a Real World, Non-Movie Little League catcher, the opposite was often the case, let me tell you. Except that I very rarely won the big game, especially when I played for the plucky underdog.
Nut violence notwithstanding, it is abundantly clear that the famous Tom Hanks line from A League of Their Own is patently and deliberately false.
In every baseball movie ever made that didn’t have a lesser Tom in it (Especially of The Substitute variety), somebody is supposed to cry*. Either the players are crying, their coaches are crying, or, just as familiarly, the men watching it pining for childhood and fatherly connection, choking back sobs in their seats.
But in real-life baseball, the kind where catchers get hit in the nuts and nobody laughs, there isn’t a heck of a lot of crying (I’m kind of a wimp, I admit it. I should have learned to take it without flinching. I did eventually get a cup).
Tom is right about real baseball, but he’s not in real baseball – he’s in movie baseball. And he’s lying about movie baseball. Movie baseball follows different rules. All movie sports follow different rules.
And in movie sports rules, reality is inverted. Sports movies are studies in opposites.
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