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Rookie of the Year

The movie poster for Rookie of the Year.
Directed by Daniel Stern
Produced by Robert Harper
Written by Sam Harper
Starring Thomas Ian Nicholas
Gary Busey
Neil Flynn
Daniel Stern
Dan Hedaya
Eddie Bracken
John Candy (uncredited)
Music by Bill Conti
Cinematography Jack N. Green
Editing by Donn Cambern
Raja Gosnell
Distributed by 20th Century Fox
Release date(s) July 7, 1993
Running time 103 min.
Language English
Budget $2 million

Rookie of the Year is a 1993 baseball movie starring Thomas Ian Nicholas and Gary Busey.

Albert Hall, Dan Hedaya, Eddie Bracken, Amy Morton, Bruce Altman, John Gegenhuber, Neil Flynn, and Daniel Stern (who also directed) co-star. John Candy also co-stars, but was uncredited.



Henry Rowengartner (Nicholas), a 12-year-old Little Leaguer, has dreams of playing in the major leagues. One day, Henry breaks his arm trying to catch a fly ball and has to wrap it in a cast. Once the arm is healed the doctor removes the cast and discovers Henry's tendons have healed "a little too tight", thus enabling Henry to cock his arm back and fire it forward with incredible force. In celebration of the cast's removal, Henry's mom presents him and two friends with tickets to the day's Chicago Cubs game. At the game, Henry and his friends catch a home run hit by the visiting team. In keeping with tradition, they throw the ball back onto the field. Henry takes the ball and launches it from the outfield bleachers all the way to the catcher standing at home plate which is about 435 feet. Everybody in the stadium stares in astonishment at the throw.

The Cubs sign him, making him the youngest-ever major leaguer. Henry's mother's boyfriend, Jack (Bruce Altman), whom Henry dislikes, signs on as Henry's manager. When Henry first enters the locker room he is awestruck to be in the presence of some of his heroes, including his idol Chet "Rocket" Steadman (Gary Busey), an irascible pitcher in the twilight of his career.

Henry's first appearance as a relief pitcher comes against the New York Mets which is almost a disaster. In that game, he gives up a home run on his first pitch to Alejandro "Butch" Heddo, with Heddo mocking Henry as he trots the bases. He hits the next batter, then throws a wild pitch, but gets the final out of the game when the runner gets thrown out trying to advance to third base on the wild pitch, earning Henry the save despite not throwing a single strike in the game. After this game, Chet Steadman gives Henry some advice on becoming a better major-league pitcher (especially control of the pitches). When Henry struggles with his control in a later game, Steadman goes out to the mound and gives Henry a nonsensical pep talk, encouraging him to "use your have to." Henry nods as Chet talks but doesn't understand him, Regardless, Henry saves the game, and afterwards the Cubs keep winning, and he keeps earning saves.

Henry endorses several products, including Diet Pepsi, where he replaces Ray Charles in the popular "You Got the Right One, Baby" campaign. However, he and Jack have a falling out when Jack reveals a plot to sell his contract to the New York Yankees As a result, Henry fires Jack. Henry's mother also breaks up with Jack and throws him out of the house.

The final game of the season pits the Cubs against the Mets with the division title on the line for both teams. Before the game, Henry announces to the Cubs' owner that it will be his final (and only) season with the team.. He also tells the owner about Jack and General Manager Larry Fisher's scheme to try to sell Henry to the Yankees, and later it is shown that Larry has in response been demoted.

It also proves to be Steadman's last game. At first he initially pitches like he hasn't pitched in years. However, his arm is blown out on his last pitch in the sixth inning, forcing Henry to step in to finish the game.

Henry completes the seventh and eighth innings. However, as Henry walks out to the field in the ninth, he trips on a baseball and falls on his side. He is all right, but he can no longer throw a 100-mile-per-hour fastball. After letting his teammates know what happened, Henry must rely on his wit with their help. He intentionally walks the first two consecutive Mets batters by geting the first runner out by doing a hidden ball trick

Finally, Henry faces Alejandro "Butch" Heddo. Henry throws, but since he can no longer throw fast the pitch is effectively a changeup and Heddo, expecting a much faster pitch, swings very early and misses for the first strike. Heddo is not fooled with Henry's next pitch and he sends it skyrocketing toward the fence. It has enough distance but barely curves past the left field foul pole for a foul ball, leaving Heddo with no balls and two strikes. Rattled, Henry bides his time and walks around on the mound. after pulling at some tape he discovers that his baseball glove belonged to his mother, His mother mouths to him, "Float it". Regaining his confidence, Henry lobs a palm-down underhanded floater pitch. Everyone watches as the ball flies high in the air and then down toward home plate. Heddo is surprised at first, then as the ball begins to slowly drop, he swings wildly and misses for the final out. The Cubs and their fans celebrate winning the division.

As the players are celebrating on the field, Henry shouts out to his mother and throws the game ball toward her seat. The shot of the baseball falling toward Henry's mom cuts to a scene of Henry - playing on a Little League team once again - catching a fly ball over the outfield fence to record the last out of his league's championship game. Henry shouts, "I got it!" and runs toward the infield, where his teammates mob him in celebration, with his mother and Chet Steadman cheering him on. In the midst of this, Henry flashes a ring with blue stones in it. The inscription reads: WORLD SERIES CHAMPIONS.


In Pop Culture

The film's plot is retold in Shwa Losben's 2008 song, [1] "The Ballad of Henry Rowengartner"[1]


External links



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