Rookie of the Year

Movie review by
Randy White, Common Sense Media
Rookie of the Year Movie Poster Image
Parents recommend
Fun, far-fetched baseball fantasy has some salty language.
  • PG
  • 1993
  • 103 minutes

Parents say

age 8+
Based on 5 reviews

Kids say

age 8+
Based on 3 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Professional success isn't everything. Family and friends matter. Childhood is precious and should be enjoyed.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Henry doesn't let sudden success go to his head. He exhibits integrity, choosing his mom and friends over the glamour of endorsement deals and life as a professional athlete. 

Violence & Scariness

Henry's mom punches a sleazy manager in the face. No blood. Tween boys get into a tame shoving match. Henry breaks his arm by slipping on a baseball. 

Sexy Stuff

A tween girl is described as being "stacked" by a tween boy. 


"F--k" is implied but not actually said. "S--t" and "hell" are said. A Little League coach calls one of his players a "moron" and an "imbecile." Childish name-calling like "big butt" and "underwear sniffer." 


Henry films a commercial for Diet Pepsi. He's also scheduled to do a photo shoot with Reebok. 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Brief cigar and cigarette smoking. Adults drink cocktails in a dance club. 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Rookie of the Year is a goofy '90s family comedy in which a 12-year-old becomes a star pitcher for the Chicago Cubs and takes them to playoff glory. Strong language includes "s--t" and "hell," plus a moment where "f--k" is strongly implied (but not said). You can also expect lots of name-calling along the lines of "funky butt lovin'," "big butt," "underwear sniffer," and "you suck." A tween boy describes a tween girl as being "stacked." Henry's mom punches a sleazy manager in the face. Characters smoke cigars and cigarettes briefly, and adults drink cocktails at a club. Henry's lucrative endorsement deals include some product placement. Despite the movie's unrealistic premise, it has positive messages about the importance of family and friends, and Henry shows that he has integrity by choosing those he loves over the glamour of life as a professional athlete.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 4 and 6-year-old Written byPuffPuffGibson May 17, 2019

Kids loved it!

I am very strict about what my kiddos (4.5 and 6.5) watch. My son plays baseball so we thought he would enjoy the movie and he and my daughter really did! We... Continue reading
Adult Written byTeamtucker March 24, 2019

Classic comedy the whole family can enjoy

I remembered liking this movie when it came out and I was a kid, but I wasn’t sure how it would hold up when I offered it to my own kids, ages 8 and 10. But my... Continue reading
Kid, 10 years old June 4, 2019

Greatest baseball movie ever!!!

This movie is awesome! You should definitely try it out with your kids! 9+ because of very little swearing and some adult humor. But it a totally amazing and... Continue reading
Kid, 9 years old December 31, 2011

I'm just say'n...

I don't want to give info, but get it. Very funny and classic film about Henry Yorks.

What's the story?

In ROOKIE OF THE YEAR, the Chicago Cubs are facing another dismal season. Meanwhile, 12-year-old Henry (Thomas Ian Nicholas) is a terrible Little League player whose mother is dating a sleazy guy named Jack (Bruce Altman). Trying to show off, Henry breaks his arm, and the tendons heal a little tight. The result is a 100+ mph fastball. After the Cubs' general manager sees him throw, Henry is recruited to pitch in the big leagues, where grumpy veteran pitcher Chet Stetman (Gary Busey) has to teach the boy to pitch. Henry's mom falls for Chet, and sleazy Jack isn't happy. Jack has also arranged to sell Henry to the Yankees so he can collect a huge fee. Will everything work out for Henry and the Cubs?

Is it any good?

Silliness fills to the brim -- and occasionally slops over the sides of -- this good-natured sports fantasy. Rookie of the Year sticks close to the established kids' sports movie formula: Single-parent mom works out dating issues; other kids are initially hurt by their friend's success but end up supporting him; and, of course, everything builds to the big game. But this movie has such a good time playing out the inevitable that you can't help but enjoy yourself.

Much of the fun comes from the strong supporting cast. Busey plays Chet with just the right mix of grumpiness and warmth. John Candy portrays the lovable blowhard baseball announcer with gusto. And first-time director Daniel Stern injects the movie with over-the-top comic relief both from in front of and behind the camera. It helps, too, that kids will like and identify with Henry, the dork in way over his head. Anyone who's stood, scared to death, in front of their class will understand the intense pressure he feels when he first steps on the mound.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how realistic Rookie of the Year is. Does this movie seem like other wacky sports movies you've seen before? How does it compare?

  • How does Henry demonstrate integrity? Why is that an important character strength?

  • Can movies that are formulaic still be entertaining? Why or why not? What is suspension of disbelief? How does it help you enjoy movies like this one?

  • How did you feel about the strong language in the movie? Do you think it was necessary to the story?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love baseball

Themes & Topics

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