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A baseball field in the middle of a field near a house mirrors the classic baseball movie "Field of Dreams."

10 Classic Baseball Movies Teach Faith Lessons

Who doesn’t love a good baseball movie? The roar of the crowd, the warm summer days, the tense moments in the game the hero has to overcome. There’s nothing like it.  While enjoying the cinema and drama of it all, we can also find some lessons because in a lot of ways, faith is like baseball. Here are 10 lessons from classic baseball movies that I think will resonate with people of faith. There may be a few spoilers, but they won’t take away from the experience. 

1. Field of Dreams (1989) – Vision and Obedience  

The iconic line in this baseball movie, “If you build it, he will come,” speaks to the power of vision and faith. Despite skepticism, farmer Ray Kinsella follows a mysterious voice to build a baseball field in his Iowa cornfield. This mirrors the journey of faith, where believers are often called to act on divine inspiration, trusting in a vision even when it seems irrational or faces opposition. 

The story of Noah serves as a great example. Build a big boat? It had never rained on the earth before. Not just for a long time, like in famine years that were to come. Never. But Noah knew God had called him to do that very thing. And so, he built it. And the animals came. 

2. The Natural (1984) – Redemption and Perseverance 

Baseball player Roy Hobbs’ journey in the 1930s highlights the themes of redemption and perseverance. After facing a significant setback early in his career, the former baseball phenom never loses hope, returning to baseball as a rookie 16 years later. This reflects the faith lesson that no matter the failures or mistakes in life, there is always a chance for redemption and new beginnings. 

Consider the story of King David. He had an adulterous affair with Bathsheba, finds out she’s pregnant, then arranges for her warrior husband to be killed in the line of duty. Riddled with regret, David confesses his sins when the prophet Nathan confronts him, and God restores him. He became known as a man after God’s own heart. He went on to be a revered king and author of numerous psalms, including the beloved Psalm 23

Baseball players on the field under bright lights like from classic baseball movies.

3. A League of Their Own (1992) – Community and Purpose 

This movie underscores the importance of community and finding purpose. The formation of the women’s baseball league during World War II provides a sense of belonging and purpose to its players. Similarly, faith communities offer support, shared goals, and a sense of purpose, showing how we are strengthened when we come together for a common cause. 

The story of Nehemiah in the Old Testament is a prime example. Invaders had destroyed the wall in Jerusalem, and for decades it had been left in rubble. When he heard from a messenger that the wall had not been restored, Nehemiah, risking his life, begged Artaxerxes, the king of Persia, to let him go rebuild it with the help of the other Jews. The king agreed and the enthusiasm with which Nehemiah and his community rebuilt that wall shows what shared purpose can accomplish. 

4. Moneyball (2011) – Innovation and Trust 

Oakland A’s general manager Billy Beane’s revolutionary approach to building a competitive baseball team teaches us about the importance of innovation and trust. He trusted in a then-new method of evaluating players based on sabermetrics despite widespread skepticism. This can be likened to having faith in new paths and trusting in God’s plan, even when it deviates from traditional methods or expectations. 

This idea of innovation and trust reminds me of when Jesus commissioned Paul to preach the gospel to the Gentiles. There were Jewish laws governing a Jew’s association with Gentiles—the “uncircumcised”—But Paul knew God had given him this task. In Galatians 2, Paul says, “For God, who was at work in Peter as an apostle to the circumcised, was also at work in me as an apostle to the Gentiles.” Paul had been a Pharisee. He was well aware of the laws. But he trusted the plan God had set out for him. The world would look very different had he not obeyed. 

5. 42 (2013) – Courage and Integrity 

The story of Jackie Robinson breaking the color barrier in Major League Baseball in 1947 is a profound lesson in courage and integrity. Robinson faced extreme adversity with grace and dignity, embodying the faith principle of standing firm in one’s beliefs and values despite opposition and hardship. 

Soon after the Holy Spirit came upon the disciples on the day of Pentecost, they began speaking to anyone who would listen about Jesus. As the entire book of Acts tells us, this didn’t go well in many places. It’s broadly accepted that a faithful man by the name of Stephen was the first apostle to be martyred. Acts 7 tells the whole story of Stephen’s impassioned speech, the Jewish leaders’ anger, and Stephen’s subsequent death by stoning. It’s also widely accepted that all the disciples, except for John, died at the hands of people who opposed them. But none of them ever recanted. None of them ever denied Jesus. They preached the gospel with courage and demonstrated a willingness to give their lives. 

6.  The Sandlot (1993) – Innocence and Joy 

This film captures the innocence and joy of childhood, centered around a love for baseball when a young boy moves to a new neighborhood. It reminds us of the importance of retaining a childlike faith—one that finds joy in simple pleasures, maintains a sense of wonder, and approaches life with enthusiasm and trust. 

During Jesus’ earthly ministry, He spoke to many thousands of people. Men, women, and children all listened to Him. Mark 10 records a time when people brought their children to Jesus for Him to bless. The disciples tried to stop them. The Bible doesn’t tell us why the disciples didn’t think they should be bringing their children to Jesus, but we know Jesus was indignant. He said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” 

7. Eight Men Out (1988) – Consequences of Actions and Integrity 

The story of the game-fixing Black Sox Scandal of 1919 highlights the consequences of unethical choices. It serves as a reminder that faith involves integrity and that our actions, especially dishonest ones, have repercussions. Maintaining ethical standards and honesty is crucial, even when faced with temptation. 

One dramatic story of this principle is that of Ananias and Sapphira in Acts 5. They sold a piece of land, as many of the followers of Jesus were sharing everything they owned, but they held back a portion of the proceeds for themselves. God revealed this to Peter who first asked Ananias if what he gave was the full price of the land. When Ananias lied and said it was, Peter confronted him with lying not only to them but to God. At that moment, Ananias fell down, dead. In a sad addition to an already sad story, Sapphira also lied about the money and died as her husband had as soon as Peter confronted her sin. Integrity matters, in baseball and in faith. 

8. The Rookie (2002) – Dreams and Divine Timing 

Based on a true story, this film shows Jim Morris achieving his dream of playing Major League Baseball as a 35–year-old rookie in 1999. It illustrates that faith involves believing in dreams and recognizing that divine timing may differ from our own expectations. Persistence and belief in God’s plan can lead to the fulfillment of long-held dreams. 

Abraham and Sarah, promised by God to be the parents of a great nation, waited for decades for God to fulfill that promise. They did grow impatient and try to fulfill things on their own, which was a huge mistake, but eventually, they saw the promise come to life when Sarah got pregnant when she was more than 80 years old. Now that promised child, Isaac, is listed among the patriarchs of the Jewish people, and Abraham and Sarah’s descendants are too numerous to count. 

9. Bull Durham (1988) – Mentorship and Growth 

The relationship between veteran catcher Crash Davis and promising pitcher Nuke LaLoosh highlights the value of mentorship and personal growth. In faith, mentors and spiritual counselors help us grow, providing wisdom and support as we navigate our spiritual journeys. 

A significant mentoring relationship mentioned in the Bible is that of Paul and Timothy. They traveled together, worked together, and Paul would call Timothy his beloved child in the faith. Paul was an evangelist and Timothy, a pastor. Timothy was young and still learning. Their relationship was strong, caring, and long-lasting.  

A baseball coach mentors a young player like in a classic baseball movie.

10. Angels in the Outfield (1994) – Hope and Miracles 

This family-friendly classic baseball movie centers on the belief in miracles and the power of hope as a young boy prays for a miracle to help his losing baseball team and receives unexpected help from a group of heavenly angels. It teaches that faith often involves believing in the unseen. It involves holding onto hope even in the most challenging circumstances, trusting that miraculous interventions are possible. 

So many stories throughout the Bible show us God’s miraculous power. From the unexpected parting of the Red Sea, leading the Israelites out of Egypt and into the hope of the Promised Land, to the Resurrection of Jesus and the hope of heaven, hope and miracles permeate God’s redemption story. 

Listen now to a short segment of this Abide meditation based on Genesis 6:9 and the story of Noah. Let God speak to your heart about what it means to follow Him and look different than the world. 

Of course, all these classic baseball movies are rife with imperfect characters. The Bible overflows with such people as well. Even in faith, like baseball, we encounter people in need of a Savior. The characters in these classic baseball movies don’t always make good choices, but the redemption arc shines through. 

Childlike faith, hope, a vision and a purpose. The parallels in these classic baseball movies go on. How can God use your story to shine His glory in the world? 

Let Abide be your daily companion as you exemplify biblical truths like these classic baseball movies. Download the app and start a premium subscription. This will gain you access to more than 1500 meditations, 400+ Bible-based sleep stories, daily devotionals and more. Use this link for 25% off. 

Stephanie Reeves and her husband live in Orlando, Fla, as do their three adult children and one adorable grandson.