A Lineup of Classic Baseball Films on MOVIES! Lets You Spend a Day at the Ballpark Without Leaving Home

Paul Douglas and Janet Leigh in a scene from the 1951 baseball fantasy film Angels in the Outfield. They are both crouched down on a baseball field, wearing Pirates uniforms.
@ MGM/Courtesy of MOVIES!
Paul Douglas and Janet Leigh in 1951's Angels in the Outfield

The 2023 Major League Baseball season is now underway after officially starting last Thursday, and the MOVIES! network is getting into the swing of it with a hard-hitting lineup of five classic baseball movies airing the afternoon and evening of Monday, April 3, beginning at 2:15pm ET.

Opening Day MOVIES! — Monday, April 3, on MOVIES! (All Times ET)

2:15pm: Leading off is the Oscar-nominated biographical drama The Pride of St. Louis (1952), about the life of Hall of Fame pitcher Jerome Herman “Dizzy” Dean (portrayed by Dan Dailey). Joanne Dru and Richard Crenna (in one of his earlier film roles, portraying Dean’s brother Paul “Daffy” Dean, also a pitcher) costar.

A scene from the 1952 sports biopic <i>The Pride of St. Louis</i>. Dan Dailey as legendary baseball pitcher Jerome "Dizzy" Dean, wearing a St. Louis Cardinals uniform and leaning up against a railing in a baseball stadium. Seated on the other side of the railing is Joanne Dru, who plays Dean's wife, Patricia Dean.

Dan Dailey and Joanne Dru in The Pride of St. Louis (20th Century Fox/Courtesy of MOVIES!)

4:15pm: Next is the comedy It Happened in Flatbush (1942), whose story is inspired by the 1941 Brooklyn Dodgers’ first pennant win in 21 years. Lloyd Nolan plays a washed-up ballplayer who returns to Brooklyn to manage his old team, but ends up clashing with — and falling for — the new owner (Carole Landis).

6pm: Then, in the comedy It Happens Every Spring (1949), Ray Milland plays a chemistry professor who accidentally discovers a fluid that repels wood. Realizing the possibilities from applying this to a baseball, he takes a leave of absence to join the big leagues, where he becomes an unhittable pitching sensation. Jean Peters and Paul Douglas costar.

8pm: Batting cleanup is The Kid From Left Field (1953), which reteams star Dan Dailey with his Pride of St. Louis director Harmon Jones. In the comedy, a struggling baseball team goes through a phenomenal transformation when a washed-up former player (Dailey) secretly passes winning tips to the team through his son, who is the team’s bat boy (Billy Chapin). But can the turnaround last when the team owner promotes the kid to manager? The film costars Anne Bancroft in one of her earlier film appearances.

A scene from the 1953 black-and-white baseball comedy film <i>The Kid From Left Field</i>. Picture depicts a 10-year-old boy (played by Billy Chapin) leaning up against a railing in a baseball dugout and blowing a bubble with bubblegum after being named manager of a fictional baseball team.

Billy Chapin in The Kid From Left Field (20th Century Fox/Courtesy of MOVIES!)

9:45pm: The day’s final baseball-themed film is Angels in the Outfield (1951), the original comedy led by Paul Douglas, Janet Leigh and Keenan Wynn.