Revisiting Two Baseball Prophecies made in 1990 Futuristic Films


If you’re doing classic Americana summer word association, then “movies” and “baseball” would probably be right at the top of anyone’s list.  So when these summer staples combine, sometimes the result can be sublime. Other times, the result is something on par with the 1985’s “The Slugger’s Wife” or 2001’s “Summer Catch.”

In 1990, two science fiction films were released that foretold a future World Series result, and today we look at how those prophecies panned out. If that seems like a lot of effort wasted on analyzing something trivial, well, this isn’t the first time we’ve done something specific to this wheelhouse.

total recall

Go here for our take on what awful Christmas Eve bowl game, featuring USC vs Notre Dame, features in the 1988 classic Christmas movie “Die Hard.

Anyway, let’s see how those two sci-fi allusions from early 30 years ago hold up today.

“Total Recall”

Tokyo Samurais set to face Toronto Blue Jays in Game Five of 2084 World Series 

It’s extremely rare that a movie literally tells you its ending/plot trajectory two (some would argue three) different times within the dialogue, but then again Total Recall was never your average, run-of-the-mill shoot ’em up.

Additionally, in the end, it’s all really up to you the viewer anyway- whether you want to believe the events of this action flick actually happened, or it was all just an implanted dream.

Set nearly a century into the future from its initial release, we learn early on that ESPN still has hegemony on the sports media industry in the year 2084. It’s obviously October too, as the “WORLD” is emphasized in this edition of the World Series.

The writer pitted one of MLB’s two foreign teams against a fictional team in a far off land that is known for loving the sport of baseball.

What’s really interesting about this prophecy is how the Blue Jays, just two years after the release of this film, appeared in and won their first World Series. They then repeated the next season.

And it wasn’t until just last week that Canada ended their title drought for the three major sports within which they have a franchise. Congratulations to your 2018-19 NBA Champion Toronto Raptors.

As for the Tokyo Samurais, well, we have a few decades yet for someone to start that franchise and build them into a National League pennant winner.

Total Recall screened this past Saturday night at Cinepocalypse, the Midwest’s largest genre film festival, and the guy who played Richter, the #2 villain in the film, Canadian character actor Michael Ironside, was on hand to give a talk and Q&A after the movie.

Of all the plot holes, far-fetched premises and unlike future prophecies in Total Recall, this one takes the take.

USA Today still has a print edition, called Mars Today, and it’s successful enough that they can legitimately market themselves as “The Newspaper of the Universe” and “#1 in the Galaxy.”

mars today total recall

Back to the Future Part II”

Chicago Cubs Sweep Miami in 2015 World Series

For some reason, USA Today also has a presence in this film as well, albeit much stronger. The Cubs World Series Back to the Future prophecy is certainly one that has been discussed and analyzed enough already, but most people still don’t understand the origin of the bit.

The movie, set in 1985, 2015, 1955 and a dystopian, dark 1985, was marketed with a trailer that included “It’s a future where anything can happen” and then cuts to the Cubs winning the World Series. That’s what happens when you get a film directed by a Chicago White Sox fan (Robert Zemeckis) and written by a St. Louis Cardinals fan (Bob Gale).

Credit them for being just one year off though; and Miami did get a MLB team just three years after this film came out. Of course, for this scenario to have actually played out in real life, you would have needed: the Marlins to rebrand/change their mascot to an alligator, and either them, or the Cubs, would have had to pull a Milwaukee Brewers/Houston Astros and switch leagues.

It’s also worth noting that Hill Valley in 2015 looks just like the new gentrification development adjacent to Wrigley Field/the SoDoSoPa neighborhood on “South Park.”

So kudos to them for sort of “calling” that one.

Also, it’s worth mentioning that just three years after this movie came out, a Cubs World Series win was also portrayed, once again extremely briefly, in another flick, but this one was a legit baseball film: 1993’s “Rookie of the Year.”

After beating the New York Mets to win the NL East and advance to the NLCS, the scene shifts to Henry Rowengartner back playing little league the following season.

In the final scene, he flashes a Cubs World Series championship ring.

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports, which is partnered with News Now. Banks, the author of “No,  I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry,” regularly appears on WGN CLTV and co-hosts the “Let’s Get Weird, Sports” podcast on SB Nation

Banks, a former writer for NBC and Chicago, also contributes to Chicago NowFollow him on Twitter and Instagram. The content of his cat’s Instagram account is unquestionably superior to his.

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