For Love of the Game (film)

For Love of the Game (film)

Infobox Film
name = For Love of the Game

caption = Theatrical release poster
director = Sam Raimi
producer =
writer = Michael Shaara (novel)
Dana Stevens (screenplay)
starring = Kevin Costner
Kelly Preston
John C. Reilly
Jena Malone
Brian Cox
music = Basil Poledouris
cinematography = John Bailey
editing = Eric L. Beason
Arthur Coburn
distributor = Universal Pictures
released = September 17, 1999 (U.S. release)
runtime = 137 min
language = English
budget = $50,000,000
amg_id =
imdb_id = 0126916

"For Love of the Game" is an American film drama based on the novel of the same title by Michael Shaara. It is directed by Sam Raimi and stars Kevin Costner and Kelly Preston. The film follows the final game of an aging baseball pitcher as he attempts to pitch a perfect game.

Plot summary

The Detroit Tigers travel to New York to play a season-ending series against the New York Yankees. At 63-97, the team has long since been eliminated from playoff contention and are merely playing for pride, but for 40-year-old pitcher Billy Chapel (Kevin Costner), this may end up being the most significant 24 hours of his life.

In his Manhattan hotel Billy awaits his on-and-off girlfriend Jane Aubrey (Kelly Preston), but she doesn't show. The next morning, Billy learns that the Tigers' owner Gary Wheeler (Brian Cox) is selling the team, and the new owner's first move will be to end Billy's 19-year tenure with the Tigers by trading him. Wheeler recommends to Billy that he retire. Billy also learns from Jane that she is leaving that day as she has accepted a job offer in London.

Billy goes to Yankee Stadium to pitch for the game, during which he begins recollection of Jane, detailing how they met five years prior and their experience together. These flashbacks are interspersed with the game itself, and glimpses of Jane watching the game at the airport.

Through the game, Billy dominates the Yankees' batters and recalls how his relationship with Jane was strained when he suffered a career-threatening injury in the off-season. He also continues to feel the wear and tear his age and career are taking on his arm. Billy is so distracted, it takes his catcher Gus Sinski (John C. Reilly) to confirm that it is in the eighth inning, and no runner has reached base -- Billy is working on a perfect game.

A final flashback shows Billy in a California restaurant, where he has a chance encounter with Jane's daughter Heather. This prompts Billy to call her mother and invite her to dinner in New York. Jane accepts, but she is already packing her bags for London.

While in the dugout, Billy writes a few words on a baseball and instructs the team's trainer to have it delivered to Wheeler. It states: "Tell them I'm through - For Love of the Game". Billy then goes out to the mound for the last inning. The final hitter is the son of one of Billy's ex-teammates. He makes a dramatic out for the perfect game, concluding with Billy being mobbed in celebration. Later, while alone in his hotel room, Billy cries.

The next morning he goes to the airport to fly to London, hoping to go after Jane, but he is surprised when he finds her there at the gate. He confesses that the "perfect game" he'd played the night before meant nothing without her by his side. Billy starts to walk away, but Jane grabs his hand, and they embrace.


*Kevin Costner as Billy Chapel
*Kelly Preston as Jane Aubrey
*John C. Reilly as Tigers catcher Gus Sinski
*Jena Malone as Heather Aubrey
*Vin Scully as Himself
*Brian Cox as Tigers owner Gary Wheeler

External links

*imdb title|id=0126916|title=For Love of the Game

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