The Chicago Cubs needed a miracle... they got Henry Rowengartner.
12-year-old Henry Rowengartner is a Little Leaguer who is a little...inept at playing (as in, he inadvertently throws a fielded ball over the outfield fence instead of to the infield). When he breaks his arm trying to catch a fly ball, it seems like another downer for the kid - until he discovers that the tendons in his arm have healed a little too tight, giving him the ability to throw the ball with amazing force.After a startling demonstration of this newfound ability at Wrigley Field, he is signed on as a pitcher for the Chicago Cubs, where he learns that being a professional baseball player is a lot harder than it looks. Needless to say, Hilarity Ensues.Was the big acting break for future American Pie star Thomas Ian Nicholas. Also featured Gary Busey, Albert Hall, Daniel Stern, Eddie Bracken, Dan Hedaya and Amy Morton.One of two big semi-family-oriented baseball movies in 1993. The other was The Sandlot.
Custom Uniform: Henry's Little League team allows him to wear jeans and sneakers rather than proper the proper stirrup pants and cleats. Hand Waved by saying he never gets to play in the first place.
Death Glare: During his first game, Henry yells out some Little League-style encouragement to his idol Chet, who promptly gives up a base hit amidst the noise; Chet gives one of these to Henry, who meekly sits back down.
Game-Breaking Injury: Steadman's surgically repaired shoulder finally gives out in the final game of the film. Henry also resets his tendons accidentally after taking a fall similar to the one earlier in the film, and loses his superhuman velocity for the final inning.
When Henry throws the home run ball from the outfield bleachers back to the catcher, the players and ump treat it like a live play. It isn't.
At the end of the film, Henry is allowed to play in Little League after his Major League stint. Even if he were able to pitch in the Majors (see above), that would disqualify him from playing in Little League.
Like a similar goof-up in Major League, Heddo is the last batter Henry faces in the climactic game after setting down eight in a row. However, that would've meant Heddo should've been the last batter Steadman faced before leaving (even weirder, everyone acts surprised Heddo is even coming to bat, as if he just materialized into the game). This one could, however, be adequately explained if Heddo were coming in as a pinch-hitter.
The hidden ball trick is a time-honored tradition in MLB; however, the way they used it in the climax here should have been called a balk, as Henry is standing astride the rubber without the baseball. Further, he hides the rosin bag in his glove to further fool the runner, a big no-no in baseball (he can only use it to dry his pitching hand; he can't apply it to anything else, including the ball.) At the very least, the runner should've been at second; at the very worst, Henry should have been ejected.
Ice-Cream Koan: Chet delivers a long, rambling Rousing Speech to Henry during one of his first times on the mound, all about "The Have-To". As he heads back to the dugout...
Chet: The 'have-to'? What the heck was I talking about? Henry: What the heck was he talking about? Manager: What did you say? Chet: You wouldn't understand.
Locked Up And Left Behind: Brickma accidentally gets stuck between the connecting doors of two hotel rooms and only gets rescued when housekeeping finds him. Then before the final game, he gets locked in his clubhouse locker and is stuck there the whole time.
The first thing he does when he's first seen in the film is catch the clubhouse locker door as it's closing before he gets locked in. It seems to be a recurring issue for him.
Fish: You wanna see Henry pitch? Come out to Wrigley! *cut to everyone watching on TV* Henry's teammates: AHHHHHHHHH!!!! Henry's Little League coach: AHHHHHHH!!!! Henry's doctor sits on his patient's leg: AHHHHHHHH!!!!
Montage: The four months Henry's been in the cast, as well as when he becomes a pitching sensation.
Musical Gag: The opening drumming fanfare when the classic Fox logo comes up initially makes the viewer think they're going to hear the famous studio theme; instead, the drums slightly changes melody as it instead segues into the film's main theme.
Oh, Crap: When Henry's about to throw the baseball back in the field.
Old Shame: In-Universe. The manager beaned Brickma during their playing days, implying that brain damage from that beaning led to how he acts today. He also implies this is why Brickma has his current job.
Precision F-Strike: Mary and Chet get increasingly angry at what they perceive to be the Dodgers pitcher throwing at Henry (despite the fact he's basically outside the batter's box and is so skittish, he falls even if when it's not close to him).
*Henry takes another dive during a pitch* Mary: You big ugly piece of-- Chet: SHIT!
Suicidal Overconfidence: Played with. A man in the stands who failed to throw back a home run gets angry when Henry throws it from the nosebleed section of center field to Home Plate, thinking it was to show him up. He tries to go after Henry, but his friend stops him, saying simply "He'd kill ya" if he tried to fight a kid with such a strong arm.
Talk to the Fist: How Mary finally ends her relationship with Jack; it knocks him out the screen door and down the front steps.
Took a Level in Jerkass: Mary's boyfriend Jack goes from a dorky, if well-meaning guy to a complete and total ass as soon as he gets a taste of big money. Also becomes jealous when Mary and Steadman are becoming a couple.
Try Not to Die: Chet's very brief pep talk to Henry before the latter goes to bat for the first time.