I don’t know if I’ve ever discussed this in detail here at The Diner.

But I made a mental note to do so when Kid1 relayed this story to me. Apparently, she and her gaggle of friends had seen a preview for the upcoming 3D release of the movie Titanic. Each of the girls made some comment about their favorite scenes or memories of that award-winning movie and asked my daughter hers. Her response? “I’ve never seen it. In my house, me and my dad watched baseball movies together.”

Kid1 was referring to the reality that, each and every year around this time, I’d take my parenting responsibility to pass the love for the Great Game on to the next generation. We’d pile up with microwave popcorn on the nights leading up to baseball season and watch my favorite baseball movies As they grew older, I let the ratings expand as I could add some of them to the menu.

That little tradition has faded as our life has changed with Kid1 moved out and Kid2 decidedly NOT into baseball on the level where she’d invest a week getting emotionally ready for 8 months of baseball season grind by watching movies. I consider it a victory that she’s found a clothing line from an underwear retailer that makes t-shirts with our team’s logo on them that have kinda-baseball/kinda-suggestive sayings on the back. For example, one pink ladies-cut t-shirt has the Rangers logo and glittery stuff around it with the phrase, “Caught Looking” as she walks away. Still, I’ll take it, as she’s moved past going to the games and wanting to leave as soon as the cooler of snacks was emptied in the 4th inning.

Anyway, I forgot my movie-watching ritual until last night I was searching the channel guide and one of them was on.

So, here’s the list of movies I watch annually to get geared up for the season and the order in which I watch them…saving the best for last:

Day 7: The Sandlot. Still love this one.
Day 6: The Bad News Bears. Tanner, the smart-mouthed shortstop, is one of my favorites.
Day 5: A League of Their Own. There’s no crying in baseball. And, if you have daughters, you gotta watch this one, but I like it.
Day 4: For Love of the Game. Clear the mechanism. Might be the most underrated baseball movie.
Day 3: The Natural. Kid1 loved it that she recognized the movie’s music the first time one of our players hit a home run and it came over the loudspeakers.
Day 2: Bull Durham. The speech Crash Davis gives Annie about what he believes is priceless. When he leaves the rookie Nuke at her apartment with the parting shot, “See ya at the yard, Meat” it’s even funnier.
Day 1: Field of Dreams. James Earl Jones soliloquy on baseball is beautiful, but I’m always drawn to the storyline of the dynamic between son and father and how a game of catch is really all you need/want sometimes.

Sure, I left off Major League (tons of people love it, but I always thought stunk, anyway), Eight Men Out (makes me too sad to think that guys would throw a World Series for money) and Pride of the Yankees (I loathe the romanticism about the Yankees, and how can you take a movie where the actor who plays Lou Gehrig bats right-handed seriously?)…but you gotta cut the list somewhere. And, for sure, this season I intend to add Moneyball.

So, today’s topic: Does your family have must-see movies that you make a point to sit down and watch together? What are they? What do you love about them?