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Film / Mr. Baseball

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A 1992 American Sports comedy directed by Fred Schepisi that has a first baseman (Tom Selleck) getting traded with the Chunichi Dragons of Japanese Central League during sports training and must deal with a different culture.

The movie also stars Dennis Haysbert, Ken Takakura, Kosuke Toyohara, and professional baseball players Leon Lee and Frank Thomas.

It was released on October 2, 1992.

Tropes for the film:

  • Artistic License Sports: The final climax involves Jack Elliot coming to bat with his team down one run and with bases loaded, two outs. He bunts after receiving two strikes against him, then essentially plows over a fielder while running to first base before he can get the force out, allowing two runs to score and his team win the game. The former, bunting with two strikes, is legal, but an extremely risky play that goes against all common sense since a foul ball would mean a third strike, and a third out. note  However, outright shoving the fielder would be called interference, resulting in Jack being called out by the umpire and no score. Not to mention that the first baseman is inexplicably absent from the bag he's supposed to be covering, necessitating the pitcher race the runner to it instead of a simple throw to him.
    • There is no chance that the Dragons would allow Jack or Max to pick up a contract back in America in the middle of the playoffs.
  • Captain Obvious: While driving through Tokyo, Jack asks Yoji where the temples and rice paddies are. Yoji merely looks at him with amusement and reminds him that he's in a city.
  • Dream Sequence: In the opening scene of the movie, Jack has a dream where he is at bat and keeps getting strikes more than three times.
  • Meet the In-Laws: Midway through, Jack Elliot's Japanese girlfriend Hiroko takes him to dinner with her parents. In a twist on the Introduction by Hookup, Hiroko's father turns out to be Uchiyama, Jack's team manager. Jack and Uchiyama both realize they've been set up.
  • Overly Narrow Superlative: Baseball has-been, Jack Elliot, resorts to one of these to try to avoid being traded.
    Jack Elliot: I'm a World Series MVP!
    Skip: That was four years ago, Jack.
    Trey: You hit .235 last season.
    Jack Elliot: Last season, I led this team in ninth-inning doubles in the month of August.
  • Place Worse Than Death: At the beginning, over-the-hill ballplayer Jack Elliot gets told by his team (The New York Yankees) has traded him, and that there was only one taker. He immediately asks with horror if they're sending him to Cleveland, and is visibly relieved when the manager says it's not Cleveland. Amusingly, his only objection to playing for Toronto is high Canadian taxes (of course this was when they were one of the best teams in the league, winning the next two World Series).