Saturday, February 23, 2008

Fear Strikes Out

For Christmas, my wife got me "Fear Strikes Out," a baseball movie based on the book by the same name about Jimmy Piersall of the Red Sox. Today, since I am getting over the 'crud,' I decided to pop in the video and take it for a spin.

The DVD itself has nothing special or 'bonus' about it. You get the main menu which basically consists of SETUP, PLAY, and CHAPTER SELECT.

For those of you that don't know about this baseball movie, it stars a young Anthony Perkins (three years before Psycho) and Karl Mulden. Perkins plays Piersall in his early days as he battles with his grip on reality which ultimately leads to a breakdown. The movie was made in 1956/57, so there is a lot of that 50's "cheesy melodrama" in the movie, but it is actually pretty well done. Perkins definitely shows some of Norman Bates behind those eyes during the darkest (both literally and emotionally) moments of the movie. The movie holds it own, even today, in the story it tells - a father who forces his child to live out unfulfilled dreams. The fact that it is based on a real player makes the story even more poignant. He batted in only 6 games his rookie year before his breakdown, then came back two years later to play a total of 17 years in the majors. He played two years with the Tribe (1960-61), wearing Number 37, so we'll see him again later in the Uniform countdown! His overall career average? How about .272!?

If you have not seen this movie, I whole-heartedly recommend it. It is unrated (seeing as it was made in 57), and there was nothing in there that I saw that would be a problem for children to see.


  1. I haven't seen this yet, which is surprising because I love old movies. I need to check it out.

    By the way - my favorite cheesy old baseball movie - The Winning Team starring Ronald Reagan as Grover Cleveland Alexander.

  2. I haven't seen (or heard) of that one! It's now on my list of movies to get!