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A 2002 film featuring Dennis Quaid as real-life former pitcher Jim Morris who began his pitching career at the late age of 35 for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. Morris, a high-school chemistry teacher and baseball coach when the movie opens, is a former Major League baseball prospect whose injuries sidelined him. In an effort to inspire his team to victory, Morris makes a bet stating he will try again to make it into the Majors if his team wins Regionals. So when they do just that, Morris has no choice but to keep his end of the bargain and pursue his dream. Along the way, Morris must come to terms with his past life and an non-supportive father who never appreciated his ambitions.

Tropes used in The Rookie include:

  • Big Game: More than one actually, as this includes the High-School Regional Final and Morris' First Major League game.
  • Celebrity Paradox: Immediately after the scene where a smiling Morris tells Brooks "You know what we get to do today, Brooks? We get to play baseball.", there's a scene where Morris is pitching his third strikeout in a game for a Triple-A ball team. The real Jim Morris is the red-shirted home plate umpire.
  • Crowning Moment of Heartwarming: When Morris comes out after his first MLB game and sees the entire town waiting for him.
  • Opposing Sports Team: The team the Owls play against in the Regional Final, complete with Jerkass power hitter.
  • Redemption Quest: Morris' quest is to fulfill his life's dream and, perhaps subconsciously, win his father's support.
  • The Casey Effect: Played straight when the Owls win the district championship, since it comes down to their pitcher getting a strikeout in the bottom of the last inning. Averted at the end of the movie with Morris's major league debut, since he was only brought into the game because the Devil Rays were losing badly. This counts as an aversion rather than a subversion because the point of the second half of the movie wasn't to show Jim Morris being successful as a major league baseball pitcher, but simply achieving his lifelong dream of becoming one.
  • "Well Done, Son" Guy: Much of Morris' lack of self-motivation comes from his father who never took an interest.
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