It Happens Every Spring, Lloyd Bacon (1949)

Charming. A baseball-loving chemistry professor (the under-appreciated Ray Milland, who always looks to me like he’s dying for a drink) accidentally discovers a compound which repels wood, and quickly realizes its potential: a little dab in the pitcher’s mitt, and no hitter will be able to connect. Goes on to win 30-odd games and the championship for St. Louis, and his girlfriend’s father’s begrudging admiration to boot. Interestingly, at no point, ever, does the movie contemplate the fact that our hero is a cheat. Who cares! He’s a winner! Barry Bonds would enjoy this.

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