Rookie of the Year Movie Poster Image

Rookie of the Year



Fun, far-fetched baseball fantasy has some salty language.
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 1993
  • Running Time: 103 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

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

Positive role models

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. 

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.

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.

Families can talk 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

Theatrical release date:July 7, 1993
DVD/Streaming release date:January 29, 2002
Cast:Albert Hall, Gary Busey, Thomas Ian Nicholas
Director:Daniel Stern
Studio:Twentieth Century Fox
Genre:Family and Kids
Topics:Sports and martial arts, Friendship, Great boy role models, Middle school, Misfits and underdogs
Run time:103 minutes
MPAA rating:PG
MPAA explanation:some mild language

This review of Rookie of the Year was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.


Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

About Our Rating System

The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate. We recently updated all of our reviews to show only this age, rather than the multi-color "slider." Get more information about our ratings.

Great handpicked alternatives

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Adult Written byMovieMan26 October 9, 2010

One of my favorite comedies of all time!

This is a genuinely fun movie. The lead is loveable. The story is interesting. The lines are funny. This is just pure enertainment. Parents: Despite some mild language, brief moments of peril and action, and teen sensuality, there's nothing really bad here. Bottom Line: This is just a fantatic movie. You don't even have to like sports movies to like this movie (it's more like a fantasy sports comedy). Thanks for reading! - Movie Man
What other families should know
Too much swearing
Parent of a 6 and 11 year old Written byGddyupn January 14, 2011

Storyline is good for younger kids, but strong language rules it out

Very good family movie. You will definitely have to suspend your disbelief in order to get through it, but once you do, you'll find you enjoy it. The scene dealing with finding out about Henry's father is a little dicey for younger kids, and there are a few curse words, but on the whole, I think families can watch together.
What other families should know
Too much swearing
Kid, 10 years old March 7, 2010

For Tweens (10-14)

What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing