The Rookie
The Rookie poster
The Rookie film poster
Directed by John Lee Hancock
Produced by Mark Ciardi,
Gordon Gray,
Mark Johnson
Written by Mike Rich
Starring Dennis Quaid,
Rachel Griffiths
Distributed by Walt Disney Pictures
Release date(s) March 29, 2002
Running time 127 min.
Language English
Budget $24,000,000
IMDb profile

The Rookie is a 2002 drama, directed by John Lee Hancock. It is based on the true story of Jim Morris, who had a brief but famous Major League Baseball career.

Tagline: It's never too late to believe in your dreams.


Twelve years prior to the setting of the movie, Jimmy Morris (played by Dennis Quaid) injured his shoulder, putting an end to his Minor League Baseball career as a pitcher. After that, he became a chemistry teacher, head baseball coach, and assistant football coach at a Texas high school. In an attempt to motivate and encourage his currently struggling high school team, he makes a deal with his players: if the team reaches the district playoffs, he will try out for Major League Baseball.

The team performs well, makes it to the playoffs, forcing Jimmy to meet his end of the bargain. When he does, the professional scouts discover his ability to throw the ball at 98 miles per hour, a feat that less than ten professional baseball players at the time could accomplish. This ability gives him the opportunity to play professional baseball and he signs on with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. He then is assigned to the Durham Bulls, but is later called up to the Major Leagues.

James Morris spent two seasons with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, as a relief pitcher. He pitched 15 innings in 21 games, with an earned run average of 4.80.

Main castEdit

  • Dennis Quaid — Jimmy Morris
  • Rachel Griffiths — Lorri Morris
  • Jay Hernandez — Joaquin 'Wack' Campos
  • Beth Grant — Olline
  • Angus T. Jones — Hunter Morris
  • Brian Cox — Jim Morris Sr.
  • Rick Gonzalez — Rudy Bonilla
  • Trevor Morgan — Young Jimmy Morris

Film vs. RealityEdit

  • The film has Morris making his debut against the Texas Rangers, striking out Royce Clayton on three pitches, with the last swing being a complete swing. In reality, Morris struck out Clayton on four pitches, with the last swing being a check-swing.
  • The film portrays Morris as a resident of Big Lake, Texas, however he never actually lived in Big Lake. Even during his time teaching at Reagan County High School he lived in San Angelo, Texas, and commuted to work daily.
  • The film shows Morris teaching chemistry, and a broadcaster called him a chemistry teacher. In reality, he taught physical science.
  • The scene with the radar gun, which was copied by ESPN in a commercial with Bobby Valentine taking the part of Morris, never actually happened.
  • In the film, the school that Morris teaches at is named Big Lake High School; in real life, though the school is in Big Lake, its actual name is Reagan County High School.
  • In the film, the uniforms the Tampa Bay Devil Rays wear are incorrect to the era.
  • After making his MLB debut, the film shows him giving the game ball to his dad. In reality, he never did.


  • Though this movie had a family-friendly G rating, there is some strong language in it.
  • The real Jim Morris has a cameo appearance in the film as an umpire in one of the games.

External linksEdit

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