Like Free Willy, The Secret Garden, Searching for Bobby Fischer and The Man in the Moon, this is a "family movie" that doesn't condescend. It takes its 12-year-old hero as seriously as he takes baseball, and nothing is "dumbed down" for the PG audience.
Scheinman, whose long list of producer credits includes Stand by Me and Misery, makes his directing debut with a good sense of storytelling and a low-key comic style all too often absent in this kind of entertainment. [30 Jun 1994, p.28]
The movie is a little too long, and sinks briefly into the doldrums when it turns overly serious in the last half hour or so. But Little Big League recovers nicely, and the ending is terrific. This is one of the few recent movies that parents and children would enjoy together. [03 Jul 1994, p.16C]
As baseball movies go, Little Big League is a bunt single. Metaphorically speaking, it knows how to put the bat on the ball, though it's too lightweight to knock anything out of the park. [29 Jun 1994, p.83]
First-time director Andrew Scheinman -- one of the partners in Castle Rock Entertainment -- may have too much of the Billy in himself to bring out the true roisterousness of baseball. He manages the movie with too soft a touch. The film's injected pathos isn't true to what most adults respond to in the sport -- let alone children. [29 Jun 1994, p.F5]
Surprisingly, first-time director and co-writer Andrew Scheinman relentlessly fails to find anything magical or especially funny here. Little Big League seems to have no sense of the absurdity of its situation and uses the premise mostly as an excuse for one more by-the-numbers competition movie. [29 Jun 1994]