Kevin Costner has starred in three baseball movies. Two highly acclaimed movies Bull Durham and Field of Dreams, which were made before Costner won his Oscars for Dances with Wolves. The third Kevin Costner baseball movie, For the Love of the Game, was made after Costner’s box office bomb Waterworld. All three movies use baseball as a metaphor for life.
- In "Bull Durham", Costner starred as Crash Davis, a lifetime minor league catcher striving to break the record for the most minor league home runs. Crash, who knows his brief “cup of coffee” in the majors is all he’ll ever experience, has the task of mentoring young, pig headed pitcher Nuke LaLoosh (Tim Robbins). LaLoosh is a sure fire major leaguer if he can get his head in the game. Annie Savov (Susan Sarandon) is the team’s groupie who, each year, picks out a player to “mentor.” This year Annie is torn between the young stud pitcher and the old bull creating a love triangle. This is a story about life and love in the minor leagues. The movie was nominated for an Oscar for best Original Screenplay.
- In "Field of Dreams" (1989), Costner plays Iowa corn farmer and dreamer, Ray Kinsella. This is the movie that coined the now famous phrase, “Build it and they will come.” Ray starts hearing voices which seem to be after him to create a baseball field in his cornfield. Ray enlists the aid author Terence “Terry” Mann (James Earl Jones, taking a break from voicing Darth Vader) to help him interpret the meaning of the voices. Ray builds a ball field which attracts many of the great players of the past as well as a crowd of spectators anxious to watch the games. (Yes, they're ghosts) Costner's Ray even gets to finally play catch with his father who died. This is a story about being brave and bold enough to follow your dreams. It was nominated for three Oscars including Best Picture.
- In "For Love of the Game" (1999), Costner plays aging Detroit Tiger, Billy Chapel. Billy is the type of guy who was great at baseball but not so great at life. On the last game of the season and maybe his career Billy learns that his ex-lover and love of his life Jane Aubrey (Kelly Preston ) is moving to London. To complicate matters, the Tigers' new ownership wants to trade him to Oakland next year. The story of Billy and Jane’s relationship is told through flashbacks as Billy tries to finish out the season by pitching a perfect game, all while deciding if he should follow Jane to London. This is a story about coming to terms with age and righting past wrongs. The movie didn’t receive any Oscar nods but Costner was nominated for a Razzie award for worst actor.