Barking at the Big Screen: Air Bud: Seventh Inning Fetch

Jake the Diamond Dog
Jake the Diamond Dog /

Buddy is back and takes to the diamond in Air Bud: Seventh Inning Fetch

While the Air Bud movie franchise is awful when it comes to continuity or realism, they just leave you feeling so doggone good that you’re willing to accept all the oddities that come with an insanely athletic Golden Retriever playing on human sports teams.

Air Bud: Seventh Inning Fetch is about baseball, as the title implies, and is the fourth in the series, following Air Bud: World Pup in 2001 and Air Bud Spikes Back in 2003.


Josh Framm (Kevin Zegers) has left for his freshman year at the University of Washington, leaving Andrea (Caitlin Wachs) lonesome and frustrated, as she feels like Jackie (Cynthia Stevenson) and Patrick (Home Improvement’s Richard Karn) are focusing too much attention on baby Noah.

Meanwhile, evil bumbling scientists seek to isolate a “super sports gene” in animals, specifically in Buddy’s offspring, who are likely his and Molly’s puppies from World Pup. 

Josh tells Andrea and Buddy to take care of each other, and lets her borrow their dad’s watch while he’s away.

The first day of junior high doesn’t go too well for Andrea and her best friend Tammy Sorensen (Chantal Strand), the younger sister of Josh’s friend Tom. They get lost on their way to math and show up late, and then at lunch Buddy is the center of attention. Things continue to go poorly.

They fail miserably at trying out for the gymnastics club or attempting to join the school band. But that’s nothing compared to blowing up an oven while baking cookies in Home Ec. So, discouraged, Tammy suggests they try out for Fernfield’s baseball team.

“What do we know about baseball?’ Andrea protests. But since practice would get her out of the house, she agrees to g along with this plan.

Tammy’s actually pretty good at baseball, while Andrea is utterly inept. But Tammy’s moving plea for friendship sways Coach Crenshaw into allowing them both to join the Timberwolves.

The scientists begin dognapping Buddy’s now-grown children, and Tammy leads the Timberwolves to victory time and again before injuring her elbow, forcing Andrea into the lineup.

They fall into a losing streak, though Buddy inspires Andrea to practice, where she improves her fielding and hitting, and discovers a talent for pitching. With Andrea on the mound and Buddy at first base, Fernfield goes on a winning streak and makes the league championship against the mighty Baboons.

The scientists’ raccoon picks up Josh’s misplaced watch, allowing them to dognap Buddy, which sets up a car chase through Fernfield that involves Andrea, Tammy and the sheriff, ending in a trailer park, where Buddy orchestrates a breakout. A return chase follows with the scientists landing in a mud bog on a pig farm and getting arrested.

While this is going on, Fernfield is playing the championship game with seven players, and is predictably getting pounded. When Andrea, Tammy and Buddy show up, things turn around for the Timberwolves.

Andrea hits the winning home run, and Fernfield wins 8-7.

Plot holes abound, of course

Pretty certain the Washington Interscholastic Athletic Association does not allow dogs to play varsity sports, as they are not students. Also, there’s no way that Fernfield would be allowed to play with only seven players.

Furthermore, Buddy is at least eight by this point, and is likely older health-wise given the appalling treatment his abusive owner gave him in the original movie. Wouldn’t catching thrown baseballs be awful on his mouth? And even if he could somehow swing a bat, the hits would be weak grounders, not line drives into the outfield.

Baseball is a spring sport, not fall. Also, high school and middle-school games are seven innings long, not nine.

Even for a town that loves sports as much as Fernfield does, it seems highly improbable that junior high baseball games would get major local newspaper coverage and be broadcast on radio.

Even if Buddy could play for the Timberwolves, there is no possible way that he could play in the major leagues for the Anaheim Angels, much less win World Series MVP. He could make the minor leagues as a batdog, though, like Jake the Diamond Dog or Deuce.

Next. Barking at the Big Screen: Hotel for Dogs. dark

Still, this is a fun movie if you can overlook the plot holes. As of this writing, it is currently available to stream on Netflix.