Starring Thomas Ian Nicholas, Gary Busey, Daniel Stern, Amy Morton, Bruce Altman, Eddie Bracken, Dan Hedaya, W. Earl Brown, Colombe Jacobsen, Albert Hall, Robert Hy Gorman, John Candy
Nice. Winning. Wish-fulfillment.
Chet Steadman: Henry, don’t take this serious. But its nothing to joke about. But one day, your gift will be gone.
Imagine being a 12-year-old pitching in the MLB. Most kids probably do imagine some version of that, whether it be baseball or football or any other sport. That’s why Rookie of the Year works as a solid kids’ film. It’s classic wish-fulfillment. Henry (Ian Nicholas) is a normal kid with little athletic ability, or perhaps just little confidence, until a freak accident blesses him with an arm capable of pitching over 100 mph. The struggling Chicago Cubs, his hometown team, in need of an attendance boost, sign him to their roster, but Henry quickly proves to be more than just a gimmick as he leads the Cubs into the playoffs. Gary Busey, at this point in his career, was playing a lot of psychos and weirdos, but he’s surprisingly appealing as the kind mentor figure here. This is a very likable film with a few juvenile moments but it proves to be a winning family flick.
-Walter Tyrone Howard-