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Mr. Baseball (1992)

aka Mr. Baseball

"An inspirational baseball movie."

Directed By: 
Details: 108 mins · English · PG-13 (USA)

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Cast:

Small Jack Elliot
Small Uchiyama
No_movie_poster Hiroko Uchiyama
No_movie_poster Yoji Nishimura
No_movie_poster Toshi Yamashita
Small Max 'Hammer' Dubois
No_movie_poster Ryoh Mukai
No_movie_poster Shinji Igarashi
No_movie_poster Hiroshi Kurosawa
No_movie_poster Issei Itoi
No_movie_poster Tomohiko Ohmie
No_movie_poster Akito Yagi
No_movie_poster Takuya Nishikawa
No_movie_poster Hiroshi Nakamura
No_movie_poster Lyle Massey
No_movie_poster Hiroko's Grandfather
No_movie_poster Hiroko's Grandmother
No_movie_poster Coach Hori
No_movie_poster Hiroko's Assistant
No_movie_poster Umpire #1
No_movie_poster Morita-san
No_movie_poster Commercial Director
No_movie_poster Skip
No_movie_poster Trey
No_movie_poster Doc
No_movie_poster Howie Gold
No_movie_poster Ryan Ward
No_movie_poster Billy Stevens
Small Duane
No_movie_poster Rookie
Small Rick
No_movie_poster Manuel
No_movie_poster Young Ball Player
No_movie_poster Player - New York
Small Umpire
No_movie_poster Coed in Bed
No_movie_poster Player's Wife
No_movie_poster Japanese Sportscaster
No_movie_poster Japanese Sportscaster
No_movie_poster Nikawa
No_movie_poster Sato
No_movie_poster Sugita
No_movie_poster Uemoto
No_movie_poster Tsuboi
No_movie_poster Koboyshika
No_movie_poster Takahashi
No_movie_poster Kobayashi
No_movie_poster Mutsui
No_movie_poster Ishimara
No_movie_poster Itami
No_movie_poster Umpire #2
No_movie_poster Umpire #3
No_movie_poster Niven
No_movie_poster Bartender (uncredited)
No_movie_poster Himself (voice) (uncredited)
No_movie_poster Fan (uncredited)
No_movie_poster Himself (voice) (uncredited)
No_movie_poster Cheering fan behind home plate (uncredited)

Crew:

No_movie_poster Doug Claybourne Production
No_movie_poster Fred Schepisi Director
No_movie_poster Fred Schepisi Production
No_movie_poster Gary Ross Screenplay
No_movie_poster Ian Baker Cinematography
No_movie_poster Jerry Goldsmith Original Music Composer
No_movie_poster John Junkerman Story
No_movie_poster Kevin Wade Screenplay
No_movie_poster Monte Merrick Screenplay
No_movie_poster Peter Honess Editor
No_movie_poster Theo Pelletier Story

Taglines:

"An inspirational baseball movie."

Plot:

Jack Elliot is an aging American baseball player unsuspectingly put on the trading block by the New York Yankees in favor of a rookie first-baseman (played by former Chicago White Sox player Frank Thomas), and there's only one taker: the Nagoya Chunichi Dragons of Japan's Nippon Professional Baseball.

Right away, the arrogant Elliot clashes with the Japanese culture and the team's manager; and he soon alienates his new teammates. He believes the rules and management style of his new skipper, Uchiyama (Ken Takakura), are ludicrous, and continues to do things his way, which leads his already dwindling performance to suffer that much more. His only ally on the team is another American ballplayer, Max "Hammer" Dubois (Dennis Haysbert), but even he's fed up with Jack's attitude and lack of respect for the game and his team.

At the same time, Elliot develops a relationship with the beautiful Hiroko (Aya Takanashi), who is, he later finds out, Uchiyama's daughter.

After one too many outbursts, including punching out his interpreter (during a brawl), Elliot is suspended from play. After meeting Hiroko's family, including Uchiyama, Uchiyama admits to Jack that he hired him over the objections of management (they wanted Pete Clifton from the Boston Red Sox) and now his own career, not just Jack's, is in jeopardy. After hearing this, Elliot swallows his pride and admits his deficiencies. In a rare show of humility, he apologizes to the team, who rally around him and teach him the value of sportsmanship and respect for hard work. Uchiyama lifts his suspension and begins to work with Elliot on improving his play. The reinvigorated Elliot's enthusiasm for team play is contagious and the mediocre Dragons become contenders for the Central League pennant. In the process, he also utilizes a Japanese tradition of being able to tell off Uchiyama while intoxicated to convince him to encourage his players to be more aggressive and "have a little fun."

Eventually, Elliot gets the opportunity to break Uchiyama's record of seven consecutive games with a home run. His new-found respect for team play becomes apparent in a crucial game against the Yomiuri Giants. With the bases loaded, two outs and his team down 6-5, the team brass expects Uchiyama to signal for a bunt to try and tie the game, even though it would deny Elliot the chance to break the home run record. Elliot goes to Uchiyama and asks if he read the sign correctly. Uchiyama nods and tells him to swing away, knowing that a home run would break his record. Elliot takes a called strike one with a questionable call on the first pitch. Elliot fouls the second pitch back. Faced with a no ball, two strike count, Elliot sees the Giants' infield is playing deep and bunts. The Giants are caught off guard and the bunt is successful in allowing the tying run to cross home plate. As the Giants struggle to field the ball, Elliot runs through the bag and knocks over the Giants' first baseman (a fellow American expat), which allows the winning run to score from second base.

With the Dragons winning the pennant, Max and Elliot return to Major League Baseball. Max signs a contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers, ending his five year career in NPB, and Elliot, who is married to Hiroko, becomes a coach and mentor with the Detroit Tigers. The movie ends with one of the players calling him Chief, the same name he called Uchiyama in Japan.

Release Dates:

DVD : 2001-05-15

DVD : 1998-01-01

DVD : 2003-07-01