Toronto is abuzz with Blue Jay fever. Try fielding these questions without an error and you’ll sound like a true blue fan even if you don’t know Mike Trout from a rainbow trout. Remember, “When you come to a fork in the road, take it.” (Yogi Berra, 1925-2015)
- The Toronto Maple Leafs were a baseball team (1896-1967) three decades before the hockey Leafs (1926). Which 1992 film portrays the wild life of legendary slugger Babe Ruth who hit his first professional home run at Hanlan’s Point Stadium in 1914?
- Baseball and movies are “The Natural” fit. The game’s meanest player stroked his last hit in a major league uniform in a 1928 exhibition game against the Leafs. Tommy Lee Jones played the “Georgia Peach” in which 1994 biopic? Quote (to an umpire): “You’re missing an excellent game.”
- In the 1930s, 40s and 50s the diamond at Kew Gardens was a hotbed of baseball action. Big crowds turned out to watch teams like Tip Top Tailors who became fastball world champions in 1949. Women’s softball was also popular. In 1937 pitcher “Billie” Hallam (shown at right) won the Miss Toronto contest and was given a police escort to her team’s game at Kew. Toronto’s Gladys Davis was the first batting champion of the newly formed All-American Girls’ Professional Baseball League in 1943. Along with catcher Helen Sandiford of Toronto, Davis played for the Rockford Peaches. Which 1992 movie depicted that Peaches team with the tagline, “a woman’s place is at home … first, second and third.” Quote: “There’s no crying in baseball.” The film was inspired by a documentary about Vancouver sisters Helen and Marge Callaghan.
- Outfielder Goody Rosen of Toronto had an All-Star season with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1945 hitting .325. Rosen finished up his career playing for the Leafs and three teams in the Beaches Fastball League. What 2014 film tells the powerful story of the most famous Dodger, Jackie Robinson, who played at Maple Leaf Stadium in 1946 while hitting .349 for the Montreal Royals? Quote: “I need a player who’s got the guts not to fight back.”
- The most flamboyant owner of the baseball Toronto Maple Leafs was Jack Kent Cooke, who went to Malvern C.I. and lived on Neville Park Boulevard and later Lawlor Avenue. Cooke became a media mogul and bought the Leafs in 1951. His dream was to bring major league baseball to Toronto. Cooke went on to own NFL and NHL teams south of the border. What 2011 movie depicts the management style of Billy Beane of the Oakland Athletics? Quote: “I don’t watch the games.” (Maybe if he had watched Josh Donaldson play, Beane wouldn’t have traded our MVP to Toronto, but THANKS!)
- Canadian POWs introduced baseball to Stalag Luft 111 in 1942. The star pitcher for the Canadian teams was Bill Paton from the Beaches League. You must know this classic 1963 film about that prison camp with a baseball-tossing Hilts, the “Cooler King.”
- Jimmy Fallon played touch football at Withrow Park in a 2005 romantic comedy revolving around the Boston Red Sox. The ending had to be re-written when the Red Sox actually won the World Series in 2004 and lifted the “curse of the Bambino” (for selling Babe Ruth to the Yankees). Quote: “Will you go to opening day with me?”
- In which 1989 comedy do the hapless Chicago Cubs finally win the World Series in 2015?
- Ninth inning, don’t choke now: “Who’s on third?”
Scroll down for answers to Bernie’s baseball movie quiz
Answers to Bernie Fletcher’s baseball movie quiz, brought to you in part by Toronto Blue Jays fever:
- A League of Their Own
- The Great Escape
- Fever Pitch
- Back to the Future II
- “I don’t know” (Abbott & Costello)
“Little League baseball is a very good thing because it keeps the parents off the streets.” – Yogi Berra