The action has started at Maryvale Baseball Park in Phoenix. Brewers pitchers and catchers have begun formal workouts, many position players are doing drills and the first full-squad workout is slated for Saturday.
Baseball season is drawing closer ... but, we are still several weeks from opening day.
What's a fan in Wisconsin to do?
I suggest cracking open a bag of peanuts and a cold beverage and popping in a baseball movie.
Here is a list of some of my favorites. Feel free to add yours.
"Bull Durham" -- Every team needs a Crash Davis.
"Eight Men Out" -- Good baseball scenes and some courtroom drama as well.
"Bad News Bears" -- It's got to be the original version. Tanner Boyle is one of my all-time favorite characters. Walter Matthau is incredible, too. Decades later, it still stands up as a sociological statement on overbearing little league parents.
"Major League" -- I don't buy the part about players spending spring training in a barracks, but how can you not like Wild Thing, Willie Mays Hays, Harry Doyle and County Stadium?
"The Natural" -- Parts of it may be syrupy and I'm not thrilled with the Max Mercy character, but that winning homer still gets me.
"A League of their Own" -- Tom Hanks is hilarious. Geena Davis never looked better. Someday, I hope to sign an autograph and write "Avoid the clap."
"61*" -- Billy Crystal does a good job detailing the home run chase between Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle.
"Field of Dreams" -- A lot of people list this as their favorite movie -- baseball or otherwise. I'm not in that camp.
"The Sandlot" -- Kids love it, but it's more than a kids movie.
"Bang the Drum Slowly" -- Baseball's version of "Brian's Song." Have the Kleenex handy.
"Fever Pitch" -- I'd have liked it more if the Red Sox had lost. But, you can't mess with history.
"The Rookie" -- Predictable sports film, but still well done.
"Little Big League" -- Kid inherits team (sadly, it's the Twins) and makes himself the manager. It has its moments.
"Mr. 3000" -- Worth watching mostly because it was filmed at Miller Park and features the Brewers.
"Damn Yankees" -- Probably more entertaining on stage, but Tab Hunter looks like a movie star.
"Angels in the Outfield" -- I'm not a Tony Danza fan, but this is one of my 9-year-old's all-time favorites.
"Summer Catch" -- Jessica Biel is the only redeeming feature about this flick.
Host of “The Drew Olson Show,” which airs 1-3 p.m. weekdays on The Big 902. Sidekick on “The Mike Heller Show,” airing weekdays on The Big 920 and a statewide network including stations in Madison, Appleton and Wausau. Co-author of Bill Schroeder’s “If These Walls Could Talk: Milwaukee Brewers” on Triumph Books. Co-host of “Big 12 Sports Saturday,” which airs Saturdays during football season on WISN-12. Former senior editor at OnMilwaukee.com. Former reporter at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.