Meet the Real Players of Moneyball
The best-selling book Moneyball, written by Michael Lewis, made its big screen debut over the weekend. Starring Brad Pitt, Jonah Hill, and Phillip Seymour Hoffman, the film follows Oakland A's general manager Billy Beane through the 2002 season as he and newly hired Peter Brand attempt to change how baseball players should be valued. Through the use of statistics, Beane and Brand begin throwing out the "conventional" strategy of evaluating prospects, which apparently includes how good-looking a player's girlfriend was.
Whether you subscribe to the Moneyball way of thinking or not, the film is a solid recreation of a book that cast light on the upheaval of baseball's old guard and is a must-see for baseball fans.
Here is a look at some of the players highlighted in the film, as well as some of their key baseball cards. Please note that these profiles may contain spoilers.
The focus of the film is Billy Beane and his new philosophy for evaluating players. He felt the approach was important so that the small-market Oakland Athletics could compete with baseball giants like the Yankees and Red Sox. The film also inserts flashbacks to Beane's days as a prospect and player.
Scott Hatteberg is forced to move from catcher to first base due to nerve damage in his throwing arm. Hatteberg gets a lot of screen time in the film and is the cause of the main conflict between Beane and on-field manager, Art Howe.
As Beane pushes his manager to start Hatteberg at first, Howe insists on putting Pena in the lineup. The Hatteberg versus Pena argument is used to show the power struggle that takes place between the general manager and the club manager.
Key Card: 1999 Topps Traded Autographs Carlos Pena
A veteran at this point in his career, Beane urges Justice to embrace the new philosophy. In doing so Justice is given a chance to be a leader and help change the chemistry of the team.
The younger brother of Jason, Jeremy is given a contract despite the fact that he is portrayed as a drug-using party animal.
Footage of the overweight Jeremy Brown unknowingly hitting a home run is used when Peter Brand attempts to teach Beane a life lesson in winning.
The unorthodox relief pitcher, known for his submarine pitching style, gets a lot of screen time in the film.
Rincon is a relief pitcher coveted by Beane and Brand. When the trade is made, Rincon actually has to walk from the visitor locker room to the A's locker room just before game time.