Twilight Is A Baseball Movie (and Edward Cullen Is A White Sox Fan)

Do These Facts Make The Twilight Saga More Epic?

Brian Deines
14 min readOct 30, 2023

Intro: Say it Ain’t So!

Here’s an odd premise — Twilight isn’t a Vampire movie. It’s a Baseball movie.

Here’s another — Edward Cullen’s favorite baseball team is the Chicago White Sox.

Guess who his favorite player is? ‘Shoeless’ Joe Jackson (Yes, the ghost in Field Of Dreams).

How do I know? (Or better yet — where did I come up with answers to questions no one asked?)

And could it be that this baseball revelation makes Twilight a more epic saga?

Hold on tight spidermonkey — this article will explain everything!

Twilight: For Mature Audiences Only

Our story begins like this.

Back in 2008, when the first movie came out, I was 28, and not mature enough for Twilight. That’s right.

In order to fully appreciate Twilight, I needed to grow into the middle-aged prodigy I am today.

Flash-forward 15 years, we finally re-watched Twilight with the kids.

I wasn’t expecting much based on faint recollections of bad acting. But I admit it was much better than I remembered.

You heard it here first. The first Twilight movie ages quite well.

I also didn’t remember how huge Baseball is in Twilight.

It’s a baseball movie (that happens to have Vampires in it) about sacrifice, choices, and relationships. More on these topics later.

Twilight’s Global Fandom: Swing and a Miss?

In reality, baseball becomes such a heavy-handed reoccurring theme throughout Twilight, I found it somewhat odd.

First of all, Twilight was a global phenomenon back in the late-aughts. As such, I’m surprised the Saga’s global fandom missed this entire baseball thing.

But all that doesn’t matter anymore. It’s almost irrelevant whether you’re Team Edward or Team Jacob now.

Because by the end of this article we’ll all be on Team Baseball.

Twilight is a Fully-Formed Mood

I would like to point out that Director Catherine Hardwicke shot a beautiful film. Indeed, I’d describe Twilight as a fully-formed mood. It’s certainly distinct, like a cup of Earl Grey tea.

The rainy Pacific Northwest is the low-key star of the show. The rainy forests and mountainous terrain. The blue camera filter. Heavy slo-mo. The music. A beautiful sense of brooding. The Cullen House. Nostalgic flip phones. And yes, the reoccurring theme of baseball.

It occurs to you that Twilight reflects a simpler time. Just before the Great Recession changed everything.

This entire bittersweet mood can all be summarized perfectly — and without words — by the iconic, brooding Twilight theme song, Bella’s Lullaby.

Feel free to let this ride while read the rest of this story. (I listened to it the entire time I was writing).

Bella’s Lullaby Wakes Something Up In You

Here’s the thing.

The cyclical, stark piano. Bella’s Lullaby made me look up and notice everything we’re talking about in this article.

It caught my attention. The song Bella’s Lullaby made me put my smartphone down— and watch.

Can you think of any greater compliment these days than to say this — “It made me put my phone down, and pay attention.”

When I paid attention, I noticed that Twilight is a baseball movie.

How’d I know?

The Iconic Twilight Baseball Scene — Clues In Plain Sight

First of all, reason number one why Twilight is a baseball movie is obvious. They actually play baseball.

We’re talking about what’s become known as, “Twilight’s iconic baseball scene.”

As many have noted, the baseball scene is how Twilight’s director Hardwicke introduces us to the Cullen’s skill, speed and strength.

Of course, the way the ball comes off the bat like a laser is very cool.

Here’s the scene:

First You Have To Learn Some Baseball History

During the baseball scene, there’s something about the way Edward knowingly states, “Baseball is America’s Pastime.”

That phrase originated back in 1857. It hints at what I’ll call, Edward’s old-timey world view.

***Brief backstory*** Part of my personal journey since 2008, is that I’ve become an amateur Baseball History enthusiast.

Specifically, as a White Sox Fan, my interest peaked around the 100-year anniversary of the 1919 Chicago Black Sox Scandal.

And having moved to Iowa in 2014, my interest in the White Sox, Black Sox, and Shoeless Joe Jackson, wove into some deep meditations on “Field Of Dreams.”

(I’ll tease you with a question.. does Field of Dreams embody the spirit of baseball? And if you say yes, what does that mean for causality, and the true legacy of the Black Sox?”

I happen to believe the Black Sox scandal is a fascinating way to access world history — a tip of the iceberg if you will. That’s a different story. Feel free to read more here:)

Yes Team Edward Has a Uniform.. It’s A Chicago White Sox Jersey

Okay, so I’m on a personal journey. I’m just trying to square-up my feelings about the challenging past of my sad-sack Chicago White Sox.

You know who else is on the same journey as me? Edward Cullen.

Here’s how I can write that with confidence.

My self-directed PH.D. in baseball history primed me to notice one major detail in the Twilight baseball scene that I totally missed back in 2008.

Here it is.

The Cullen’s aren’t simply wearing generic baseball uniforms. And they aren’t just wearing old-timey uniforms. No, if you look closely, each Cullen is wearing a uniform appropriate to the era that they were turned into a Vampire.

A Tip of The Hat To Bella

Prime example. It was Bella’s hat that I recognized first.

Edward knows who’s hat it is too.

That isn’t Bella’s hat. It’s Edward’s. He’s a chivalrous young man.

But do you know who’s hat it also is?

Shoeless Joe Jackson’s. Look at the picture below of Shoeless Joe and Babe Ruth.

Iconic picture of Shoeless Joe Jackson, talking hitting with Babe Ruth.

Bella’s wearing an old-timey Chicago White Sox hat. Holy shit!

Edward’s Death: Another Clue Everyone Missed (Until 2020)

Now, here’s another detail about Twilight that hits much differently in 2020's than it did in the late-aughts.

We know that Carlisle turned Edward into a Vampire. Do you remember why? Edward was dying from Spanish Influenza.

When Twilight came out, most people had never heard of The Spanish Flu.

Do you remember learning about The Spanish Flu in school? It killed millions —including Edward! More people died of Spanish Flu than did fighting in World War 1.

Most people couldn’t tell you when World War 1 was even fought — let alone tell you Spanish Flu was way deadlier, killing 17–100 Million people from 1918 to 1920!

Yeah, that all changed of course in 2020 when the Covid-19 pandemic hit.

The Covid-19 Pandemic Changed Everything

Now as noted, I’d already dove down the Black Sox rabbit hole in 2019.

So I had studied The Spanish Flu quite a bit. The whole “Millions-Dead” part freaked me out from the comfort of 100 years later.

But it made me think maybe the Black Sox players were freaked out too, when it was happening!

What I’m trying to say is this. The first time I heard Covid-19 compared to Spanish Flu — it really caught my attention.

The Black Sox threw the World Series in the middle of the Spanish Flu epidemic and WW1. Did it seem like the world was ending for those guys? (Why don’t us angels ever talk about the Spanish Flu, or the World War, when psychoanalyzing the Black Sox).

Do we see any echoes in our world today? The Black Sox scandal is a portal, an on-ramp into History. (History Teachers I’ll work on a syllabus).

Fact: Edward Cullen was a Born-and-Raised Chicago-Guy

So Edward became a Vampire in 1918.

But according to the Twilight Saga Wikipedia, he was born and raised a Chicagoan.

There’s no mention of whether Edward was a North-sider or South-sider. But as Chicagoan’s know, this North-South designation isn’t a perfect science. There’s no Mason-Dixon line in Chi-town.

I’m an example of this. I was raised in one of the Northwest suburbs of Chicago, as a Sox fan. “I was born into it.” The roots of fandom are often more generational than geographic.

My Lithuanian ancestors settled in the city first. But it was my Grandpa Albin who became the first Sox fan when he attended Armour College, right next to Comiskey Park.

Edward’s Jersey Is a 1919 Chicago White Sox Home Pinstripe Uniform

Clearly Edward’s jersey and hat look exactly like the Chicago White Sox home pinstriped jersey from 1919.

Yes Edward’s 1919 Chicago White Sox jersey lacks the SOX logo. We could chalk this up to copyright infringement issues common to the movie industry.

The missing SOX logo could be a legal, budgetary, or stylistic decision made by the Twilight production team.

Team Edward wears pinstripes

Ultimately, I believe the evidence suggests Edward Cullen’s jersey was the 1919 Chicago White Sox home pinstripes. That makes Edward a White Sox fan.

Edward Probably Thinks Shoeless Joe Should Be In the MLB Hall Of Fame

Edward was alive and died during the Spanish Flu era. Which means he was also in fact a fan of the Black Sox, the infamous team that threw the 1919 World Series.

As a young White Sox fan living in Chicago in 1919, its logical to say Edward watched Shoeless Joe play live and in-person.

After all, Shoeless Joe Jackson was one of the greatest ballplayers of his era. He should be in the Hall Of Fame. His stats are worthy alone.

But people don’t understand Jackson revolutionized hitting. Babe Ruth said he mirrored his lefty home run swing on Joe Jackson’s. Which is to say that statistically speaking, there’s a good probability Shoeless Joe was Edward’s favorite player.

And don’t forget, Edward plays outfield in the baseball scene. Just like his favorite player?

Jackson’s legacy obviously changed forever when he and his fellow Black Sox threw the World Series in 1919.

And now the Black Sox legacy stretches from scandalous nearly ruining baseball, to saving baseball via Field of Dreams.

Edward’s lived through it all. Poor guy.

The Ghosts at ‘Field of Dreams’

Perhaps the real reason why Edward is so moody all the time is he’s still upset about the Black Sox scandal?!

All the Men in Bella’s Life are Absolute Baseball Freaks

But this baseball thing in Twilight doesn’t stop at the baseball scene. It goes waaay deeper.

There’s three more baseball examples we’ll look at next:

  1. Forks, WA.
  2. Charlie.
  3. Stepdad Phil.

Each reference could merely be a way to add weight to these characters. By alluding to baseball (a game with a long history), it adds instant backstory and flesh to characters. A simple storyteller’s trick.

Or it could be more than just backstory. The reason I say that is an odd symmetry of the fact that nearly each man in Bella’s life is introduced as a baseball fanatic. Consider the following:

“We Only Play Baseball When It Rains” in Forks, WA (The Rainiest Town In the Lower 48)

Based on the baseball scene, we know all the Cullen’s are absolute baseball fanatics.

We only see them play baseball once.

And as Carlyle said, “Vampires can only play baseball during a heavy storm, because their superspeed and super-strength is so loud and potentially earth-shaking that they need the camouflage of thunder and lightning.”

This implies that playing baseball is their favorite thing to do. But that the fun is limited because the Cullen’s can only play baseball when it rains.

Except for this. Forks, WA the rainiest town in the contiguous states. It’s literally the town motto of Forks, WA. They have it written on the town crest:

In short, the Cullen Tribe moved to the rainiest place they could find for one reason. Why? So they could play more baseball. They’re baseball freaks.

Team Charlie, the Macklemore of Forks

Charlie Swan- Bella’s Dad is a diehard Seattle Mariners fan.

He takes Opening Day off of work to watch the Mariners’ season opener. He invites friends over, including Jacob and his dad. The purpose of the festivities? To partake in the classic Opening Day ritual of day-drinking, and dreaming of Mariners World Series glory.

Later on, Bella is in a fit of teenage angst, and says the meanest thing she can possibly think of to Charlie —

“Sitting around, watching baseball on the flat screen is you, not me.”

I can really relate with the concerned look on Charlie’s face whenever he talks to Bella. Especially after she says that.

Sad about Bella, or Griffey getting traded to Cincy?

Bella’s insult about baseball echoes the insult Ray Kinsella said to his dad which ultimately lead to him plowing out his cornfield in Field of Dreams. Ray told his dad, “I can’t respect anyone whose hero (Shoeless Joe) was a criminal.”

Upon further review, the fact that Charlie invested in a new flat screen says a lot about his love for baseball. After all, back in 2008, flat screens were like $2000. (That’s a lot in 2008 dollars).

For a small-town sheriff’s salary, that tells us about Charlie’s commitment and willingness to sacrifice. He’s a diehard Mariners Baseball fan.

In addition, consider the high-likelihood that in the Twilight Cinematic Universe (TCU), our guy Charlie loves Macklemore’s epic homage to the 1995 Mariners.

Upon reconsideration, forget the Vampire or Werewolf. I think Charlie should be everyone’s favorite Twilight character.

Phil Dwyer (Bella’s Professional Baseball Playing Stepfather)

Okay, Bella’s step dad Phil Dwyer is essentially unseen in the movies.

I think it’s been noted elsewhere that despite that, Phil plays a vital role in pushing the entire plot of Twilight. His baseball dream is basically why Bella moves to Forks in the first place.

That said, in a movie full of baseball nuts — Phil’s arguably the biggest baseball nut of all in Twilight.

How so? Because Phil is a Minor League Baseball Player.

Phil’s fleeting baseball career aspirations are why Bella moves in with Charlie. Bella wanted to allow her mom to travel with Phil during the season — perhaps his last?

Phil’s Dying Dream

Phil’s struggling to hold on to a dying dream of playing professional baseball. He’s gotta be in his mid-30’s. You know what that means? It means Phil’s effectively sacrificed his entire life to baseball.

If you know anything about professional baseball, you understand Phil’s nomadic lifestyle. A baseball career requires an athlete to bounce from city to city, hotel to hotel for 9 months a year. And that’s a flourishing career. Now imagine how it goes for a fleeting career!

(Any pro baseball players out there — feel free to weigh in on this.)

In Twilight, we learn that Phil chased the dream from Phoenix, AZ to Jacksonville, FL, where he’s landed with a new team named the Suns.

Bella calls her Mom at one point, and ballplayers can be seen in the background taking batting practice.

If any one of those players is Phil, he looks legit in BP. Indeed, the actors taking swings actually look like ballplayers.

The Eternal Cycle of Phoenix

It’s worth noting that Twilight author Stephanie Meyer grew up in Phoenix.

Half of the MLB universe descends upon Phoenix every year for the Spring Training Cactus League. This annual baseball rite of passage runs from February to Opening Day in April.

As such, it’s easy to imagine Meyer absorbed a lot of baseball culture. But in a unique, behind-the-scenes way.

She watched men literally struggling year in and year out. Chasing the dream. Trying to find a baseball home.

Does The Life of A Baseball Player Foreshadow Bella’s Life as a Vampire?

Now, the fact that he’s a ballplayer allows us to make a few assumptions about Phil.

For example, it’s safe to assume Phil’s what’s called, “a baseball-lifer.” Allow me to opine:

Phil’s in his mid-30’s to be with Bella’s mom Renee, right? That’s ancient for a minor-league ballplayer. Statistically, most minor leaguers hang it up by the end of their twenties.

But the game of baseball is infamous for holding men in it’s grip.

You can, you must, sacrifice an incredible amount personally in order to pursue the game at the highest level.

I’ve coached both my sons in travel baseball. And I can attest that you must sacrifice an incredible amount just to pursue the game at a lower level.

It’s safe to say Phil basically sacrificed everything for the game.

Players Gonna Play

Time. Energy. Spirit. Other career opportunities. Stability. Money. A nuclear family. The ability to put down roots in any one town.

A ballplayer rolls the dice that all these sacrifices will pay off. In what way? Yes MLB players make incredible money. But triple-A and below make terrible money. So what’s the real pay off? Having made it.

I can say from experience, every kid who ever had a baseball dream is chasing immortality itself.

The similarities between ballplayers and Vampires don’t stop at immortality.

It’s a lifestyle thing. Ballplayers have notoriously weird schedules. Night games begin at 7 PM and don’t end til midnight.

On road trips, teams travel into the wee hours of the morning to get to the next town in time for another night game.

So Phil’s sacrifices are essentially “normal” for the game.

In short, it’s such an interesting character arch and theme to find in a Vampire movie. One must wonder if there’s an underlying statement?

Image courtesy of boysdontrcy

In Conclusion

So we’ve unpacked the argument that Twilight is a baseball movie. We established that Edward is a Chicago White Sox fan, and probably moody because of Shoeless Joe and the Black Sox scandal.

We tried to figure out which guy in her life is the biggest baseball fanatic. We settled on Stepdad Phil because the life of a baseball nomad potentially foreshadows Bella’s life as a vampire.

There’s one last conclusion we can make, and it’s the other side of that same coin.

Is Stephanie Meyers attempting to say baseball player’s live like Vampires and Werewolves? Interesting take if she was. After all, Meyers came of age in the land of Spring Training baseball— maybe she sees ballplayers differently than the average fan? Regardless fun to think about.

End of the day, October is the season of Halloween, Vampires, Werewolves, and Ghosts. And October is also the season for the Major League Baseball World Series.

But October 2005 was one of the greatest. That’s when Twilight was published, and the White Sox won the World Series. Immortality indeed.

Chew on that iceberg!



Brian Deines

Pattern recognition is the task of A.I. (Artistic Intelligence). *This is the pattern recognition you’ve been looking for