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Baseball - A Film by Ken Burns


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DVD 10-Disc Version
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Product Details

  • Actors: John Chancellor, Daniel Okrent, Ossie Davis, Paul Roebling, Studs Terkel
  • Format: Box set, Black & White, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Subtitles: English, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 10
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: PBS Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: October 17, 2000
  • Run Time: 1500 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (776 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 0780630459
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #96,049 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Baseball - A Film by Ken Burns" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Bonus Documentary The Making of Baseball which includes: Charlie Rose interviews with Ken Burns, Bob Gibson, Yogi Berra, Bob Costas and more
  • Over 25 hours on 10 DVDs
  • Additional Interviews With Renowned Baseball Figures
  • Key Baseball Statistics Through the 1999 Season
  • Historical Baseball Timeline
  • Interactive Trivia Quiz - 225 Trivia Questions

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Ken Burns tops himself with this epic of American history, told in "nine innings," with a skilled narration by John Chancellor and the voices of Paul Newman, Jason Robards, Billy Crystal, and other stars. The series spans 150 years, starting with the myth-debunking tale of baseball's true beginnings -- when it was a game "one degree above mayhem." Then follow the growth of America's National Pastime through the decades of glory and record-setting achievements, as well as the scandals, the bigotry, and the big money. The series portrays the game as a mirror of America itself -- the passions, prejudices, and ambitions that have shape the country.

Additional Features

Ken Burns's Baseball works magnificently on DVD, if only for the reason that scene selection in such a massive documentary is essential for viewing and re-viewing your favorite sections. The DVD menus are purely functional, and the timelines and baseball stats will appeal primarily to diehard fans of the game. Clicking on the PBS logo will take you to the stats and bios of players, although the bios are minimal. Each of the first nine discs contains these as well as trivia questions. Get the question right, move on to the next question. Get it wrong and a snippet of the documentary plays, showing you the correct answer. The real appeal of the DVD set (other than, of course, the fabulous documentary itself) is the 10th, "extra inning" disc. This final disc contains the documentary The Making of Baseball, as well as team info (which, again, is pretty basic) and episodes of Charlie Rose's talk show, in which he interviews Ken Burns, Bob Gibson, Yogi Berra, Bob Costas, and Rachel Robinson (the widow of Jackie Robinson). --Jenny Brown

Customer Reviews

I love to learn about baseball's rich history.
Paul Giangrasso
There are so many good things about this I have listed a few but there are so many I could go on forever, so I simply say get it now.
Shanahan42
I loved every second of it, and I can't wait to watch it again a 2nd time.
Cory

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

339 of 347 people found the following review helpful By Terry Wagner on July 19, 2010
Format: DVD
I've watched the first 9 innings numerous times and this series is by far my favorite sports documentary. If your a baseball fan and have never watched this it is an absolute must watch it will give you a whole new perspsective on the game especially if you are younger like me (25).

Just an FYI the 2010 box set comes with the 10th inning. I don't know why Amazon has them available as a "frequently bought together" combo order but I just wanted to give you guys the heads up just buy this box set and you'll get all 10 innings plus the bonus features which include 2.5 hours of deleted scenes and additional interviews. Check the PBS site for a picture of the box set and it clearly states it includes the 10th inning and the run time and disc count are identical to what's on here.
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112 of 118 people found the following review helpful By M. A. Filippelli VINE VOICE on May 16, 2007
Format: DVD
Contained in these ten DVD's are just about every historical moment in baseball.

Inning 1 Baseball from its inception in the 1840's to the 1900's This explores baseballs roots from Abner Doubleday to the beginnings of what we know as modern day baseball.

Inning 2 1900 to 1910. The beginning of the World Series. Great footage and photos of old parks and players.

Inning 3 1910 TO 1920. Covers Babe Ruth, the Black sox, Grover Cleveland Alexander and more. Footage of Fenway being built

Inning 4 1920 to 1930 Really the beginnings of the Yankee dynasty but the Cardinals rule the National league with the famed gas house gang.

Inning 5 1930 to 1940. More footage of all the great stars of the day, Ruth, DiMaggio, Williams and more.

Inning 6 1940 to 1950. The effects of war on the American pastime. The splendid splinter goes to war, he comes back and picks up where he left off.

Inning 7 1950 to 1960. The Yankee dynasty continues. Willie Mays, Hank Aaron, The shot heard around the world, Don Larson's perfect game. The Giants and Dodgers pick and leave.

Inning 8 1960 to 1970. The Los Angeles Angels are born, The Kansas City A's become the Oakland A's, The Royals and Mets are born. The Padres are born and move into a small stadium outside of San Diego. And then there was the Seattle Pilots. Those amazin Mets win the World series. Don Drysdale and Sandy Koufax get agents but are unsuccessful in changing baseballs anti trust act and re sign with the Dodgers. Maris passes the Babe with an asterisk.

Inning 9 1970 to 1994. Curt Flood loses his war against baseball but the players eventually win. The players union gets stronger. The Reds come to power. The A's win a couple world series.
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65 of 67 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on April 1, 2001
Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
Every spring I watch Ken Burns' celebrated documentary "Baseball" on the weekend of Opening Day. Even if I am not sitting glued to the tube while it is on, listening to John Chancellor tell the story of the game is an enjoyable experience. Each "inning" takes on a specific focus, providing a defining element in the way Ty Cobb played the game, the Black Sox Scandal, the way Babe Ruth played the game, the struggle of the Negro Leagues, the dominance of New York temas in the Fifties, the creation of Free Agency, etc. Concise profiles of many of the game's greatest players and managers are spread throughout the nine volumes. More importantly, virtually every great moment in the history of the sport is to be found, not to mention some wonderful old-fashioned baseball songs.
Clearly, the climax of the documentary comes in Inning 6, "The National Pastime," when Jackie Robinson starts playing for the Dodgers. The series begins with a prologue on Ebbets Field and Robinson is laid to rest in the final episode. While the focus is on the Major Leagues throughout, Burns always checks back in with what is happening with the black players and the Negro Leagues, building towards Robinson breaking the color barrier. I think it is fair to say the documentary loses some steam after that point, but then that is the point where the series gets to players and moments that overlap our own lifetime. Once we get to colored images from television there is a different feel to "Baseball" from the black & white images to which we have become accustomed.
Also, the more you know about the history of baseball the more you will see the glaring omissions.
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124 of 134 people found the following review helpful By mkd on May 3, 2011
Format: DVD
I think this was a good documentary that would be more accurately titled: "A New York Baseball Fan Attempts to Make a Comprehensive Documentary About Baseball." I fully appreciate the greatness and importance of New York baseball, but after awhile the bias became noticeable to the point of absurdity. Some stray observations:

-Practically every one of the regular talking heads was an avowed fan of one of the NY teams (Doris Kearns-Goodwin, Billy Crystal, Bob Costas, Steven Jay Gould, Roger Angell, Mario Cuomo, Robert Creamer). In other words, any time a personal emotional attachment was highlighted it was directed at either the Yankees, Dodgers or Giants. So far as I can tell not once in the whole series was someone allowed to gush about the Cubs or the Cardinals or the Indians or the White Sox or the Pirates or the Athletics. Very narrow minded.

-The Sixth Inning was particularly egregious. It didn't just focus mostly on the three New York teams- it focused exclusively on the three New York teams. I get that they were great, but did the 1950s really have no other good teams or great players? No mention of those Braves teams? No Go-Go Sox? No hint that baseball was played outside NY for an entire decade? Really?

-As others have mentioned, in discussing the 1960 World Series, the narrative is framed exclusively from the Yankee perspective. Burns apparently could not dig up a single Pirates fan to talk about how it was the greatest moment of his/her whole life. Instead, the replay of Mazeroski's home run is followed by the endless lamentations of the NY talking heads. Super annoying and not a little bit offensive.

-The same thing happens in the 10th inning.
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