RUNNING THE BASES tells about a high school baseball coach who runs afoul of the school superintendent when the coach brings the superintendent’s son to Christ. As a senior in high school, Luke Brooks discovers he has the same congenital heart defect that killed his brother. This news shatters Luke’s dreams of becoming a professional baseball catcher. However, Luke finds new life when he learns he has a talent for coaching baseball. Twenty years later, after winning nine state championships for his hometown, Luke moves his family to Texas to coach at a larger high school. Luke must rely on God when the school superintendent objects to Luke’s public expression of his Christian faith.
RUNNING THE BASES is a wonderful, inspiring, family-friendly drama about relying on Jesus. It has a strong Christian, biblical, moral worldview, with powerful references to prayer, faith, God, the Bible, religious liberty, evangelism, and Jesus. The acting is particularly good throughout the cast, but especially by Bret Varvel as the adult Coach Brooks. RUNNING THE BASES is one of the most captivating faith-based movies in the last few years.
(CCC, BBB, PP, L, V, AA, M):
Dominant Worldview and Other Worldview Content/Elements:
Very strong Christian, biblical, moral worldview promotes prayer, faith, Christian marriage, repentance, forgiveness, salvation, baptism, God, the Bible, religious liberty, evangelism, and, of course, Jesus
One light profanity
Boys punch one another (one punch is accidental), implied beating up and threats in a county jail, teenager collapses on baseball field and dies, man collapses on baseball field but survives, and drunken, distraught man hits fence and barrel with baseball bat
Alcohol use and antagonist gets drunk
Smoking and/or Drug Use and Abuse:
No smoking or drugs; and,
City government officials engage in persecution of the Christian protagonist and some joking insults go too far in one scene, resulting in the fight mentioned above.
RUNNING THE BASES is a drama about a high school baseball coach who runs afoul of the school superintendent when the coach’s son brings the superintendent’s son to Christ. RUNNING THE BASES is a wonderful, inspiring, family-friendly drama about standing up for Jesus and relying on God when the chips are down.
The baseball coach, Luke Brooks, opens the movie by telling his story in flashback. Twenty years ago, he and his twin brother, Joshua, applied to attend a Christian school and take part in the school’s baseball program. However, in the last baseball game for their high school, Luke was waving Joshua in to stretch a triple into an inside-the-park homerun when Joshua grabbed his chest, collapsed and died.
It turns out that Luke has the same congenital heart defect that killed his brother. This news shatters Luke’s dreams of becoming a professional baseball catcher. His mother tells him he’ll find a new dream, but Luke can’t imagine his life without baseball, not to mention his life without his brother. However, Luke’s mother angrily admonishes him to never give up.
Cut to Luke at the Christian college. He likes to study in the baseball stands while the team practices. One day, the baseball coach informally recruits Luke to help the catcher who’s practicing his throws to second base. Luke has a timer showing that the catcher is not getting up fast enough to throw the ball to the second baseman. Luke gives the catcher some pointers. At first, the catcher resents Luke’s interference, but at the end of the short session, the catcher sees his performance improving. So, when he leaves, the catcher says, “Thanks, Coach.” In this way, Luke has found his new calling, and it involves baseball! Even better, he rediscovers the unbreakable bond he had with his late brother.
In the next scene, Luke gets married to Jessica, who was close friends with Luke and his brother in high school. The movie then skips ahead 20 years, where Luke is now coaching high school baseball team in their hometown in Oklahoma. Luke’s teenage son, Joshua, will be starting high school and joining the team in the coming year. Under Luke’s leadership over the years, the team has won nine state championships and is looking forward to winning its 10th when the superintendent of a high school in Texas, William Jamison, approaches Luke to coach their baseball team. He offers to double Luke’s salary and promises that Luke won’t have to teach during baseball season. Jessica and Joshua don’t really want to move to Texas, but they agree to move when Luke tells them he thinks God is calling him to take the job.
At first, the coaching job in Texas seems like a dream come true. Under Luke’s tutelage, the team starts winning games consistently. However, Luke has to suspend three of his best players, when two of the players, including his own son, get into a fight instigated by the third player, Ryan. Making matters worse, Ryan happens to be the son of Jamison, the school superintendent.
Things go from bad to worse when Jamison discovers that Luke’s son, Joshua, has brought Ryan to Christ, and Jamison discovers a Bible in Ryan’s room. This sets Jamison on a collision course with Luke over Luke’s own expressions of faith.
RUNNING THE BASES is a wonderful, inspiring, family-friendly drama about relying on Jesus. It has a strong Christian, biblical, morally uplifting worldview, with powerful references to prayer, faith, Christian marriage, repentance, forgiveness, salvation, baptism, God, the Bible, religious liberty, evangelism, and, of course, Jesus. The acting is particularly good throughout the cast, but especially by Bret Varvel as the adult Coach Brooks. RUNNING THE BASES is one of the best faith-based movies in the last five years. The movie’s triumphant ending is extremely heartfelt.
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