In the spring a fan’s thoughts drift to a good sports video, and more than a few noteworthy ones are available this month.
At the top of any list should be two of the most engaging movies about baseball ever produced, Robert Redford’s “The Natural” (1984) and “A League of Their Own” (1992) with Tom Hanks, Geena Davis and Madonna.
Columbia TriStar Home Video makes them available this month in a boxed set at $24.95, which has to be the biggest hit on the sports-video schedule this season.
Robert Duvall co-stars in “The Natural” with Glenn Close, Kim Basinger, Wilford Brimley, Richard Farnsworth, Barbara Hershey and Robert Prosky, who combine for a touchingly sentimental adaptation of Bernard Malamud’s novel.
Penny Marshall directed “A League of Their Own,” a joyful story about the women’s league that emerged when many Major League players were in the armed forces during World War II. Lori Petty, Rosie O’Donnell, Jon Lovitz and Megan Cavanagh co-star.
Also in the Columbia TriStar release are a pair of little-guy baseball films at $14.95 each: “Safe at Home” (1962), with Bryan Russell, William Frawley, Mickey Mantle, Roger Maris, Whitey Ford and Ralph Houk; and “Little Big League,” with Luke Edwards as the 12-year-old who inherits and manages the Minnesota Twins.
On April 16, Turner Home Entertainment releases “Hank Aaron: Chasing the Dream,” a 95-minute, Oscar-nominated documentary ($14.98).
The same day, Turner releases the three-volume “Idols of the Game” set ($39.98), almost five hours of lore about the greatest names in sports.
PolyGram Video is distributing “Dallas Cowboys: Super Bowl XXX Champions,” a 55-minute NFL Films tape about the first team to win the Super Bowl three times in four years ($19.95).
Those headed for the links this spring can share the time-tested secrets of Byron Nelson, winner of 54 PGA events, and his pupils Tom Watson, Ben Crenshaw and Ken Venturi - with ABC Video’s “Byron Nelson’s Timeless Golf Lessons” ($19.95).