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Baseball: A Film by Ken Burns (PBS Series)

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  • Baseball: A Film by Ken Burns (PBS Series)



    I did a search and couldn't find a thread about this and was wondering if anyone else has seen or is planning on seeing this documentary. This is a 9 DVD set done for PBS by an extremely respectable film-maker.

    I've just recently moved it up (every other DVD in order that is) in my Netflix que. Saw Inning One last week and this week Inning Two should come to the house. Each DVD is like 2 hours long so it's more of a Saturday/Sunday morning watch; for me anyway.

    I'm also reading through the newest version of "Baseball's Book of Firsts" and there were a lot of things in greater detail just in Inning One of the documentary that are also in the book

    "I believe in the soul ... the small of a woman's back, the hanging curveball, high fiber, good scotch, that the novels of Susan Sontag are self-indulgent, overrated crap. I believe Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone. I believe there ought to be a constitutional amendment outlawing Astroturf and the designated hitter."

  • #2
    I own the set and watch at least the first 4-5 discs 2-3 times a year. Excellent series!!!! Highly recommended.
    My eyes perceive the present, but my roots are imbedded deeply in the grandeur of the past. "Chief Meyers"


    MLBC

    Comment


    • #3
      It's a great series and the only criticism I have of it is the amount of time spent on the Negro Leagues. Don't get me wrong, he covers that shamefully episode in baseball history wonderfully. I just think he focused too much of his efforts there. He could have went much further into depths of MLB history.
      "I think about baseball when I wake up in the morning. I think about it all day and I dream about it at night. The only time I don't think about it is when I'm playing it."
      Carl Yastrzemski

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      • #4
        Originally posted by runningshoes53
        It's a great series and the only criticism I have of it is the amount of time spent on the Negro Leagues. Don't get me wrong, he covers that shamefully episode in baseball history wonderfully. I just think he focused too much of his efforts there. He could have went much further into depths of MLB history.
        I smell a sequel!
        (fantasy football)
        JM: Only did that for a couple of years and then we had a conspiracy so it kind of turned me sour. Our league's commissioner, Lew Ford(notes) at the time, was doing some shady things that ... I'd rather not talk about [laughs].
        DB: Isn't he in Japan right now?
        JM: I don't know where Lou is right now. He's probably fleeing the authorities [laughs].

        Comment


        • #5
          the series was great for footage and did a good job in general especially for the casual fan which was of course the purpose - can't say that i was awed or overwhelmed with stuff i didn't know - i personally learn a lot more just reading comments from the men/women here on bbf - i also don't need billy crystal or such telling me anything and b.s.ing the world that dimaggio and mantle are all you need to know about the 1940s and '50s

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          • #6
            I've seen five or six films that Ken Burns has made and Baseball is easily the worst of the lot. This film should be titled Blacks in Baseball because that what Burn's major focus seems to be.

            Someday a good documentary made be made about the history of baseball but this isn't it.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by bkmckenna
              the series was great for footage and did a good job in general especially for the casual fan which was of course the purpose - can't say that i was awed or overwhelmed with stuff i didn't know - i personally learn a lot more just reading comments from the men/women here on bbf - i also don't need billy crystal or such telling me anything and b.s.ing the world that dimaggio and mantle are all you need to know about the 1940s and '50s
              This documetary committed the worst sin a documentary can: I didn't learn anything from it. It's grade school baseball at best. As for Billy Crystal, I'm not interested in the musings of a fan who got to visit the Yankee clubhouse when he wnet to his first game. 'd rather the musing of a fan who had to sit in the bad seats because that's what I can relate to. I also found some of Dan Okrent's and John Sayle's comments to be incredibly dumb.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by wamby
                I've seen five or six films that Ken Burns has made and Baseball is easily the worst of the lot. This film should be titled Blacks in Baseball because that what Burn's major focus seems to be.

                Someday a good documentary made be made about the history of baseball but this isn't it.
                Completely agreed here.

                Both Ken Burns and his baseball magnum opus both seethe with white guilt.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by csh19792001
                  Completely agreed here.

                  Both Ken Burns and his baseball magnum opus both seethe with white guilt.

                  Interesting, I found the segments on Black baseball so boring that I always just fastforward through those parts didnt pay enough attention to notice the white guilt part. A monologue from Buck O'Neill is just not very captivating to me. I guess I enjoy the set mostly because I am a deadball fan and there is just not a whole lot of video available on that topic outside of Burns epic.
                  My eyes perceive the present, but my roots are imbedded deeply in the grandeur of the past. "Chief Meyers"


                  MLBC

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Certainly Burns's Baseball documentary suffers from too much white guilt, but bringing Buck O'Neill to the attention of baseball fans has to be praised.
                    Buck O'Neil: The Monarch of Baseball

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                    • #11
                      Are we all talking about the Ken Burns film from 1994? I thought the main complaint was that he spent too much time on New York and "Eastern" baseball and not too much on baseball on the West Coast.
                      Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic.-Crash Davis

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Honus Wagner Rules
                        Are we all talking about the Ken Burns film from 1994? I thought the main complaint was that he spent too much time on New York and "Eastern" baseball and not too much on baseball on the West Coast.

                        Yes, and thank everyone for their input so far.

                        From what I gather the first half is going to be decent but nothing new (to anyone who knows baseball). The second half of the set more hum-drum. Not that there was much "new" information on the first disk but I did enjoy it. I think the best thing was Abner Doubleday being credited for creating Baseball in Cooperstown when he was nowhere near New York at the time; that last part I did not know. Not to reopen the can of worms opened already a few times but I also thought is cool to learn about Moses Fleetwood Walker.
                        "I believe in the soul ... the small of a woman's back, the hanging curveball, high fiber, good scotch, that the novels of Susan Sontag are self-indulgent, overrated crap. I believe Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone. I believe there ought to be a constitutional amendment outlawing Astroturf and the designated hitter."

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Nomtoc
                          Yes, and thank everyone for their input so far.

                          From what I gather the first half is going to be decent but nothing new (to anyone who knows baseball). The second half of the set more hum-drum. Not that there was much "new" information on the first disk but I did enjoy it. I think the best thing was Abner Doubleday being credited for creating Baseball in Cooperstown when he was nowhere near New York at the time; that last part I did not know. Not to reopen the can of worms opened already a few times but I also thought is cool to learn about Moses Fleetwood Walker.
                          The photos, film and music for the early days are great.
                          My eyes perceive the present, but my roots are imbedded deeply in the grandeur of the past. "Chief Meyers"


                          MLBC

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            It's a great series but I agree with Honus. They spent way too much time on New York and Boston. You wouldn't think that there were any teams outside of those two.

                            But the footage of some of the old-timers is awesome.
                            "Batting slumps? I never had one. When a guy hits .358, he doesn't have slumps."

                            Rogers Hornsby, 1961

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by bkmckenna
                              - i also don't need billy crystal or such telling me anything and b.s.ing the world that dimaggio and mantle are all you need to know about the 1940s and '50s

                              well they WERE pretty much all you need to know about the 40s and 50s

                              Comment

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