21 April 2006 | ccthemovieman-1
A 'Must" For Real Baseball Fans
This is, appropriately, a nine-part series on the history of baseball up to the 1990s, shown on PBS and done by Ken Burns. Since it's the latter, you know it's going to be Liberal-bias PC but you put up that. Overall, it is well-done and a must for any baseball fan and historian. There are many interesting profiles of players and facts of each era. Every "inning," about an hour-and-a-half covering the sport decade-by-decade, has fascinating material.
Inning 1 (Our Game) - 1840s-1900. This segment reveals some facts probably 98 percent of all fans don't know, such as Abner Doubleday did NOT invent the game baseball, that it slowly evolved from a combination of rounders and cricket.
Inning 2 (Something Like A War) - 1900-1910. This might have been the most interesting tape (or disc) featuring incredible stories of riots on the field, in the stands, a stadium and 13 adjacent building all catching fire, one wild story after another. It's the era of the most hated player in the history of the game: Ty Cobb.
Inning 3 (The Faith Of 50 Million People) - 1910-1920. Almost as good as the previous decade. this was a time when America went absolutely batty over baseball. The players were the toughest they have ever been, playing for horrible wages where the game was "life and death" for many. The last half hour centers on the famous Black Sox Scandal.
Inning 4 (A National Heirloom) 1920-1930. This tape centers primarily on Babe Ruth, but who's complaining? Ruth was arguably the greatest player the game has ever known because he could pitch and well as he could hit and was an extremely colorful personality.
Inning 5 (Shadow Ball) 1930-1940. This segment revolves around the beginnings of the Negro Leagues as perhaps the game's greatest pitcher ever: Leory "Satchel" Paige.
Inning 6 (The National Pastime) 1940-1950. Baseball was now open to all people as Jackie Robinson breaks the color barrier. Being Liberal-bias, Burns went overboard on this - and similar topics throughout the series - but Robinson's entry, nonetheless, was the biggest change in the history of the sport and he was an incredible man.
Innning 7 (The Capital Of Baseball) - 1950-1960. This tape is definitely for New York City area fans, but the rest of us can enjoy a lot of this, too. The Yankees, Dodgers and Giants all dominated in this decade.
Inning 8 (A Whole New Ballgame) - 1960-1970. Being a decade of social upheaval, riots, assassinations, etc., this centers on the effect on baseball and with the big change in owner-player relations with the players hiring Marvin Miller, a labor lawyer, to represent them.
Inning 9 (Home) - 1970-time of film release. This is potpourri of items from Earl Weaver and the Orioles to Willie Stargell and the Pirates and The Big Red Machine, the Red Sox horrible defeat in the 1986 World Series, among other things.
It would be interesting to see this updated and revised to include the strike in the mid '90s, the home run record-breakers and subsequent steroids scandal and, yes, the Red Sox finally winning it all.