Everyone's Hero

Film
SPORTS ILLUSTRATED Yankee and friends swing into live action.
SPORTS ILLUSTRATED Yankee and friends swing into live action.

Time Out says

When a baseball film about a ten-year-old named Yankee (Austin) testing his gumption is titled Everyone’s Hero, it’s quite unlikely that the pint-size Papelbon will let us down. But though suspense is lacking in this innocuous animated feature—Christopher Reeve’s final project before his 2004 death—it compensates for it with an appealing cast of characters, most notably a scene-stealing talking ball named Screwie (Reiner).
The movie’s villain is a bumbling would-be Chicago Cubs pitcher who swipes Darlin’, Babe Ruth’s lucky bat, hoping to ruin the slugger’s chances of winning the 1932 World Series. When the crime is pinned on Yankee’s janitor dad, the plucky boy hooks up with Screwie. The two head to Penn Station to locate the pinched bat (Goldberg), whose affected Southern-belle accent suggests she might be rehearsing for a production of Steel Magnolias. The rest of the story follows Yankee’s burgeoning friendship with the bat and ball as they travel to Chicago to return Darlin’ to Ruth, their journey culminating in an opportunity for Yankee to prove his newfound courage and athletic prowess to the world. Despite its hackneyed baseball-as-life metaphor, Everyone’s Hero has just enough charm to cause a spike in sports-equipment sales.—Erin Clements

(See Now Playing for venues.)

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