Despite serving as a secondary plot to the love story, the baseball aspects of For Love of the Game are pretty accurate. It's the little things, like the Tigers having home and away hats and the time Billy Chapel spends on the bike at Spring Training- that stuff is authentic. Costner's a baseball guy- he knows it's in the details.
One of the most ridiculous, yet usually overlooked, scenes shows John C. Reilly wearing his New Era 59/50 Tigers hat up to Costner's hotel room. You're a Big League catcher and you wear your game hat struttin' around New York City? I stopped wearing my team's game hat in public in Little League, and even then people gave me crap for it. Hey, better the hat than his catcher's helmet forward I guess. (Kinda ridiculous he's even in a movie where he's not screaming "Shake'n'Bake!" or wearing a Chewbacca mask.)
The whole "clear the mechanism" thing is pretty far-fetched also. I realize pitchers get "in the zone," but total silence? Not a speck- drop? ounce?- What's the unit for a tiny bit of noise? Maybe that's it, "bit." Either way, unless there are guys out there working on a whole other level that I'm not even aware exists, I'd say it's a stretch- gotta admit though, it's kinda cool.
The best character in this movie has got to be the Yankee fan at the airport bar. "I can name a Yankee for every number. One, Billy Martin..." He's classic, and his reaction after the final out of Billy Chapel's perfect game is priceless. "What! Are you kiddin' me, he was safe! Are you blind? Safe! ... alright. Perfect game..."
This movie gets pretty lovey dovey at some points, but I must say, I didn't hate it. Costner brings a level of legitimacy to any sports movie because of his natural athletic ability- his windup is believable, the way he talks during and about the game has a certain credibility, and he just has that look of an aging pitcher. He gets it- which is probably why he continues to pump out movies that showcase his sports skills set.