We all grew up with dreams of grandeur, that we’d be at the center of some incredible and fantastical event. It’s Disney classics like Rookie of the Year that inspire those youthful yearnings. America’s pastime is at the focus of this delightful story from 1993 that follows a Little Leaguer that finds an unexpected way to fulfill his wish to play in the big leagues.
Sam Harper delivered this script revolving around young Henry Rowengartner (Thomas Ian Nicholas) and his journey to becoming a Major League baseball player with the Chicago Cubs. Gary Busey joined the cast as the team’s aging pitcher in a delightful coming-of-age story that, while critically panned, garnered a fan-base.
Watch Rookie of the Year online to see actor/director Daniel Stern’s vision of a baseball prodigy come to life.
Here’s how to stream Rookie of the Year right now:
How to Stream ‘Rookie of the Year’ – Exclusively on Disney+
Rookie of the Year is one of the popular Disney sports movies from the that is streaming exclusively on Disney’s new subscription streaming service, Disney+.
You can sign up for a 7-day free trial of Disney+ HERE, which will allow you to stream Rookie of the Year and hundreds of other movies and shows on your computer, phone, tablet, smart TV or streaming device. If you extend past the free trial, the service costs $6.99/month. You may also opt for this discount bundle of Disney+, Hulu and ESPN+ for $12.99/month.
- 1. Sign up for Disney+ here
- 2. Go to Disneyplus.com or download the Disney+ app on your device
- 3. Log in using your information
- 4. Search for “Rookie of the Year”
- 5. Tap on Rookie of the Year
- 6. Tap the Play Button
- 7. Enjoy!
Disney+ also boasts a vast library of Disney-owned movies and series — plus several new original series coming soon. The service includes unlimited downloads so you can watch offline whenever and wherever you want. The list of compatible devices and smart TVs includes iPads, Apple TV, Amazon devices, Amazon Fire TV, Android, Chromecast, Roku, PS4, and Xbox One.
‘Rookie of the Year’: Overview
Release Date: 1993
Creators: Sam Harper
Director: Daniel Stern
Starring: Thomas Ian Nicholas, Gary Busey, Amy Morton, Daniel Stern, Bruce Altman
After a broken arm leaves him with the ability to throw 100 MPH fastballs, the Little Leaguer finds what it’s like to be a part of the big league.
How Long Is ‘Rookie of the Year’?
Rookie of the Year has a runtime of 103 minutes.
‘Rookie of the Year’ Plot
Little Leaguer Henry Rowengartner has dreams of playing with the Major League. When a broken arm suffered while catching a fly ball leaves him capable of out-pitching the professionals, he gets the opportunity he grew up dreaming of. What he isn’t prepared for is the fame and pressure of his 100 MPH pitch. As he joins the down-and-out Chicago Cubs, Henry learns the importance of teamwork and that it’s not always about being the best.
‘Rookie of the Year’ Cast
It wasn’t the most star-studded cast, but Rookie of the Year featured several familiar faces, including an uncredited appearance by John Candy.
Thomas Ian Nicholas as Henry Rowengartner
The young protagonist with a dream to join the Major League. After suffering from a broken arm, he’s given the opportunity to follow his dream. Following the release of Rookie of the Year, Nicholas threw out the opening pitch of a Chicago Cubs game.
Gary Busey as Chet “Rocket” Steadman
Henry’s hero and pitcher of the Chicago Cubs, Steadman, fills a tragic role in Rookie of the Year. The aging player fills the role of Henry’s tutor as he faces his own demons on the diamond. Al Hoffman stood in for Busey during filming certain scenes.
Amy Morton as Mary Rowengartner
Amy Morton fills the role of Henry’s mother, who finds difficulty helping balance her son’s ambitions, his new role on the Cubs, and being a teenager. She frequently has to fight off her boyfriend, Jack (Bruce Altman), who wishes to use Henry’s talents for his gain.
Daniel Stern as Phil Brickma
When not behind the camera directing Rookie of the Year, Daniel Stern stepped in as Phil Brickma, the Chicago Cubs’ coach. His role as Brickma wasn’t large as Busey was the primary player at Henry’s side, but his comedic talents draw many of the movie’s biggest laughs.
‘Rookie of the Year’ Songs and Soundtrack
Soundtracks for Disney’s live-action movies don’t tend to have the same star power as its animated films, but Rookie of the Year featured several big names. Tony Bennet, Ray Charles, and Mike + The Mechanics around out the brief soundtrack, which only includes six featured tracks. Pepsi Cola and Sony helped create two of the movie’s most notable tracks, “The Second Time Around” by Bennet and Charles’ “You Got the Right One Baby, Uh Huh.”
‘Rookie of the Year’ at the Box Office
Off a budget of $31 million, Rookie of the Year took in $56.6 million at the box office. The movie opened in 1,460 theaters and immediately took in $9 million during opening weekend. Its international take home was only $2.8 million.
‘Rookie of the Year’ Reviews – What the Critics Said
Rookie of the Year’s less-than-stellar box office take home was reflected in its critical reception. Sitting at a 35% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, Rookie of the Year was panned for its simplistic plot. Roger Ebert enjoyed the film, relating himself to Henry Rowengartner. Stephen Holden of The New York Times wrote off the film as a “lighter-than-air movie fantasy of major-league stardom.”
Where ‘Rookie of the Year’ Fits in the Disney Movie Pantheon
Rookie of the Year may not have had the lasting power of the studios other films, but it’s a well-remembered movie of the ‘90s. The more live-action Disney movies that release, however, it’s clear to see that only a devoted fan base (including Daniel Stern and Thomas Ian Nicholas) will keep the memory of Rookie of the Year alive. The movie has become one of many Disney sports films that have served as inspiration for many of the studio’s younger viewers.
‘Rookie of the Year’ Trailer
‘Rookie of the Year’ Trivia: 5 Fast Facts
Rookie of the Year was a delightful film of the ‘90s that had plenty unfolding behind the scenes. Read through these facts to learn more about Daniel Stern’s Disney directorial debut.
1. Hoping for a Second Time at Bat
Despite the mediocre critical response and forgettable box office performance, Twentieth Century Fox ordered a remake in 2018. Little has been said about the possible remake since, but it falls in line with Disney’s love for revisiting its older movies.
2. All for the Love of the Game
Both Daniel Stern and Thomas Ian Nicholas showed their love for both the Chicago Cubs and Rookie of the Year. In 2015, Nicholas attended Game 4 of the National League Championship Series in a Rowengartner # 1 jersey. Daniel Stern briefly reprised his role of Brickma following the Cubs’ 2016 World Series victory over the Cleveland Indians.
3. An Uncredited Star
John Candy is unmistakable as his role of the radio broadcaster, Cliff Murdoch, but you won’t find his name in the credits. The reason is that he was not originally part of the movie’s cast. Rookie of the Year was his fourth and final film.
4. Finding Inspiration for “Rocket”
Gary Busey’s portrayal of Chet “Rocket” Steadman was inspired by real-life Major League Baseball player Roger Clemens. Like Steadman, Clemens was also known as “Rocket” and was best known for his skills as a pitcher.
5. Directorial Debut and Swansong
Daniel Stern is best known for his acting chips, but he decided to take a swing at directing for Rookie of the Year. The film was his first time behind the camera. It also happened to be the last time he would step in as a director.
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