Who is the greatest fictional baseball player ever? This list will strictly go off the baseball movies that depict fictional characters, so Shoeless Joe Jackson (from Eight Men Out) or Jackie Robinson (42) will not make the list — but both were tremendous baseball players.
This list will go from worst to best fictional baseball players in movie history.
6. Crash Davis: Bull Durham
Crash Davis only made it to the Major League level for a brief stint. His longest time was 21 days which he recalled “were the best of his life.” Although Crash probably would have been a fine back up on a big league team, his real calling was to teach the young guns in the minor leagues — specifically “Nuke” LaLoosh.
Think of this scenario like Chase Utley’s role is with the LA Dodgers. A veteran who is past his prime who is there mostly to manage the players and can get through to them because he’s technically still one of them. The only problem is Utley is in the show and Costner’s character is a career minor leaguer, which is why he is last on this list.
5. Rick Vaughn: Major League I & II
Rick Vaughn definitely could be higher on this list had he not been made into a closer. Closer is still a vital role to a ball club’s success but Vaughn would have brought more value to the table had he been able to keep his command over six or seven innings.
Speaking of command, Vaughn is low on this list because of his temper that changes with the wind. He’s a bit of a head case which makes him less reliable whether he is a starter or a closer. When you have a healthy Rick Vaughn (mentally and physically), you never have worry about the back-end of your bullpen.
4. Benny “The Jet” Rodriguez: The Sandlot
It’s difficult to tell how Benny “The Jet” Rodriguez turned out after he pickled “the beast” as a child prodigy. Clearly, The Jet made it to The Show with the Dodgers as the kids from the Sandlot expected him to. Benny was gifted with lightning-fast speed and a great deal of power because he was naturally athletic.
So to speculate, we’ll say The Jet turned out to be a good major league player with the Dodgers during the 1980s and into the ’90s. Which makes him No. 4 on this list, going strictly off of potential.
3. Henry Rowengartner: Rookie of The Year
Henry Rowengartner would have easily been No.1 on this list had he not popped his tendons back into place during the National League championship series against the Mets. Think of the career numbers lhe would have put up since he started at age 12 for the Cubs. We could have been looking at only person able of catching up to Cy Young’s record of 511 wins as a pitcher.
2. Roy Hobbs: The Natural
Roy Hobbs is another guy that could have — and should have — been No. 1 on this list. But like Rowengartner, Hobbs suffered an injury (more specifically a gunshot wound) that would hurt the longevity of his career. Before being shot, Hobbs was on his way to becoming the greatest to ever play the game. A pitching prospect like none other before.
When he did come back to baseball, he achieved his goal of being the best in the game…for a brief period of time. His bat turned around the failing New Yor Knights and was the difference maker when the team won the pennant.
1. Billy Chapel: For The Love Of The Game
Billy Chapel is the only guy on the list who had a long and successful major league career. He enjoyed 19 solid seasons in the big leagues as one of the premier pitchers for the Tigers and pitched a perfect game in his final start.
This was a hard choice because Hobbs seems like the logical choice given his potential, but potential doesn’t cut it at the big-league level. And Chapel’s imaginary numbers speak for themself.