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340 of 348 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Can't wait!!!
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...
Published on July 19, 2010 by Terry Wagner

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124 of 134 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars New York Baseball: A Film By Ken Burns
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...
Published on May 3, 2011 by mkd


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340 of 348 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Can't wait!!!, July 19, 2010
By 
Terry Wagner (Bowling Green, KY USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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
5.0 out of 5 stars The consummate set of videos about Baseball., May 16, 2007
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. Roberto Clemente's life cut short. Washington loses another team called the Senators.

The film also has some great commentary interspersed through out all of the DVD's. At the end of each DVD is a trivia game based on the decade that the DVD covered.

While the movie is based for the most part on New York teams this is truly a must for all baseball fans. There is no other collection of materials that covers baseball like this one does in terms of breadth and depth.

I have watched this m any times now and it's still just as interesting as the first time I watched it.
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65 of 67 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An annual rite of spring: watching "Baseball", April 1, 2001
By 
Amazon Customer (The Zenith City, Duluth, Minnesota) - See all my reviews
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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. Stan Musial is the obvious example cited by other reviewers, but he is eclipsed in the episodes covering the 40's and 50's by Jackie Robinson and the New York teams, just as he was during his career. In terms of the talking heads it is hard to appreciate Billy Crystal and George Will, devotees of the game though they are, after listening to Buck O'Neill (who is the breakthrough "Shelby Foote" of "Baseball"). However, I prefer to ascribe these shortcomings to editorial decisions and the fact this is only a nine-tape set instead of maliciousness. So, yes, it could be better, and maybe it is too reverent, but there is a fundamental love of the game here comparable to such treasured feature films as "The Natural," "Bull Durham" and "Field of Dreams." All of these are necessary spring training workouts for preparation of enjoying the boys of summer.
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124 of 134 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars New York Baseball: A Film By Ken Burns, May 3, 2011
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. The 1996 Series is discussed game-by- game (a level of in depth treatment it hardly deserves on its own merits especially given that the `91 series, one of the greatest ever, is not even mentioned- but since it was the Yankees first series in 15 years, it must be super-important), and in the end depicted as a great triumph because the Yankees won. The 2001 series is given the same game-by-game treatment (though this time more deserving given the drama/heroics involved) and in the end depicted as a great tragedy because the Yankees lost. This bias is a persistent and very noticeable pattern.

-Speaking of which, after about 1920, the only World Series' given game-by-game treatments at all are those featuring NY teams. If memory serves only the 1967 Red Sox/Cardinals series and the 1975 Red Sox/Reds series got any sort of in-depth coverage without featuring a NY team.

I'll stop there. The history of baseball overflows with great players, great pennant races and great teams. I get that you can't feature everything and stuff has to be left out, but I really feel like Burns could have cut the panegyrics to the NY teams in half, they still would have dominated the show, but there would have been plenty of time to feature, you know, everyone else.

All that said, the treatment of Negro Leagues is excellent and the early innings are very very good. If you're a fan of baseball, this documentary is inescapable for better or worse. If you're a fan of NY baseball this documentary will make you explode with joy. Like I say, it's a history of baseball from an exclusively New York perspective.
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential Viewing for Baseball Fans & American History Buffs, August 18, 2007
This set isn't cheap, but it's one of the best documentaries I've ever seen. Burns' storytelling is always fascinating, focusing on the evolution of not only the game of baseball, but in an indirect way, American history as well. It is particularly meaningful that he interviewed some baseball greats (Williams, Mantle, Buck O'Neil) before they passed on. My only complaint is that the series stops at 1994. (I would love to see a coda/epilogue made covering the achievements and scandals of the last 13 years.) If you are a baseball fan, this is defintely worth having. Some nice special features too.
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Beware of frequent interuptions on DVD version, October 28, 2000
This documentary - in its original form - is nothing short of magic. Poetry. While I am happy that I purchased this dvd set, I am very frustrated by the frequent interuptions to the narrative. Sometimes mid-sentence, breaks have been intentionally added in order to provide the viewer with the opportunity to "press the select button" to see the players stats as "extras" of the dvd. Keep in mind, there is no way to go back and get the ends of the sentences - they're simply not there. These interuptions completely disrupt the flow of the narration and leave the viewer feeling like their missing out. If you prefer the "extras" that the dvd has to offer including player stats, scene selection, etc., you will enjoy this set. However, if you want to experience this beautiful documentary in the form that Ken Burns had originally intended - buy the VHS version. You will NOT be disappointed.
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32 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 10th Inning included in this set, October 9, 2010
By 
Don Reese (Duluth, MN USA) - See all my reviews
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First off, I'll go ahead and say it's my fault for buying this and the "10th Inning" DVD separately.

I heard about the new Ken Burn's documentary so I came to Amazon looking for it. I put it in my cart and saw the usual list of items frequently purchased together with it. That's when I saw the original documentary was being released on DVD.

I didn't see anywhere in the description of the Ken Burns' Baseball set that "10th Inning" was included. Imagine my surprise when I opened the shipment and saw in the lower right corner of the box that the set did indeed included "10th Inning" as well as additional footage.

I came back to Amazon to see if I'd missed it, but after reading the description I still don't see "10th Inning" mentioned. (At the time of this posting.)

However, if I look at the image, and click on it to enlarge, there it is. The notice that "10th Inning" is included in the set.

So my mistake for not noticing and checking out that little red blurb in the corner before buying both items. (After all, they ARE frequently purchased together. The Amazon algorithm can't be wrong. Apparently I'm not the only one making this mistake, but I'm here to try to help others from making it.)

This is posted primarily as a head's up to those who haven't purchased either documentary yet.
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63 of 75 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars View it as entertainment, not as history, July 8, 2004
By 
chefdevergue (Spokane, WA United States) - See all my reviews
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Ken Burns is becoming well-known as much for what he leaves out of his documentaries as for what he tells you and how he tells it. One sees it somewhat in the Civil War documentary (unless of course you are a Lost Cause devotee, in which case you view that series as horribly biased and riddled with errors), and it is definitely (and troublingly) evident in his Jazz documentary, where 40 years of jazz is virtually glossed over in favor of an almost obsessive fixation on Louis Armstrong. In the case of "Baseball," Burns again leaves out huge chunks of the story, although the end result is nonetheless entertaining.

In the case of "Baseball," the unrelenting focus is on New York City, Babe Ruth & Jackie Robinson, and to be fair, there is no way you could discuss the subject of baseball without devoting a great deal of time to these subjects. However, the title of the documentary is "Baseball," not "The New York City, Babe Ruth, and Jackie Robinson Story," and it is possible to watch this documentary at times and come to believe that nothing else was happening out side of New York most of the time.

I recall reading a Sports Illustrated article a few years ago that discussed the Philadelphia Athletics from 1929-1931, and made the case that that team was better than the famed "Murderer's Row" Yankees of 1926-1928, and possibly the best team in baseball history. The article's author crunched the numbers, compared the stats, and made a pretty compelling case. He then asked why so little attention has been paid to the A's over the years, and posited that because most of the nation's important papers and sportswriters were based in New York City; by default the majority of the great sportswriting was devoted to the Yankees, while relatively backwater Philadelphia languished in obscurity. It seems to be the same situation with Burns. While other incredibly dominant teams such as (in the early years) the Chicago Cubs, the A's, the Pittsburgh Pirates & the Detroit Tigers are given passing mention, they are quickly shoved on the back burner in favor of the Boston Red Sox & New York Giants. Then the Yankees & the Dodgers begin to coalesce, and it is all New York, all the time. One gets no feeling for how dominant the 1929-1931 A's (or the St. Louis Cardinals of the mid-1930's) were, because Burns continually focuses on Babe Ruth & the Negro Leagues.

When Burns gets to the 1950's he can be excused, because really it was a New York-dominated decade like no other. However, the other decades did in fact see a more competitive balance, and one would not get this impression from the documentary.

It would have been nice if Burns hadn't crammed the last quarter century of his story into one "inning." Are you telling me that the stories since 1970 aren't as compelling as the early years of baseball. I don't believe that Burns would have had to devote that much more time to the post-1970 era to make it feel less cursory and rushed. This is a somewhat annoying tendency of his that was more griveously evident when he made "Jazz."

Also, I get a little tired of the "poetry of baseball" school of thought. It isn't as though I am some knuckle-dragging troglodyte who gets all his news from sports radio; I am just as likely to go to the opera as to the ballpark. This baseball as metaphor for how the cosmos works gets on my nerves after a while (although I consider Roger Angell's comment "there's more Met than Yankee in all of us" to be priceless beyond description). It's not that baseball doesn't imbue our life with a little extra something special, it's just that some of these talking heads tend to get a little overwrought.

I enjoyed watching the documentary the first time, and I have watched it probably half a dozen times since over the years. By comparison, I have watched "The Civil War" about 15 times, I would guess. I was so disappointed with "Jazz" that I managed only a second viewing. In any case, "Baseball" is very entertaining, and that is what largely accounts for my 4-star rating I would only caution those who don't know their baseball history that this documentary omits a great deal of what is a very good story.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very Good But Not Excellent, July 25, 2000
By 
Weston J. Kathman (Lakeside Park, KY USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Few filmmakers are better than Ken Burns when it comes to shooting documentaries. Burns' Baseball series is further proof that he is one of the best documentary filmmakers around today, although Baseball pales in comparison to Burns' Civil War series. This anthology has some great things going for it; for instance, it's for the most part very well written and is accompanied by great photos. The music is also quite good. Many of the people who were interviewed for these films offer superb commentary, especially the former Negro Leaguer Buck O'Neil, one of the most delightful personalities the game has ever produced. Most of baseball's best moments are highlighted with proper detail. Unlike most baseball histories (books or films), Burns' documentary gives extensive coverage of the Negro Leagues, which only makes the series better. For the most part, this is a very strong, very well-done series. Unfortunately, it does suffer from a few shortcomings. Many people have complained that Burns chose to focus too much on certain teams, like the New York Yankees, Brooklyn Dodgers, and Boston Red Sox. These critics may have a legitimate complaint, but they have to realize that those three teams are steeped in baseball history and do deserve a lot of coverage, although probably not as much as they received. Because those three clubs were focused on so heavily, many teams and players were given the shaft. Stan Musial doesn't even get mentioned in the video that focuses on the 1940s, a decade in which he became one of the five or ten best ballplayers of all time. But at least he gets mentioned (on some of the other videos). Mike Schmidt, generally considered the greatest third basemen who ever lived, isn't mentioned even once during the entire 20-hour series. This type of oversight is tremendous and cannot be ignored. The fact of the matter is that Schmidt played in the 70s and 80s, two decades (along with almost half of the 90s) that were crammed into the same video. As a result, much of modern baseball history is neglected. Where is the famous George Brett Pine Tar Incident? What about all the player strikes, especially the one in 1981 that split the season in half? Why isn't the amazing 1991 World Series covered in greater detail? The answer is that Burns tried to cover too much time in the last video. The 70s was certainly a good enough baseball decade to warrant an entire video, and Burns could have covered the 80s up to the present with another video. But that would have meant having ten videos instead of nine, thus eliminating the opportunity to call each series installment an inning (oh boy, that would've ruined it). Another problem is that some of the people who are interviewed are way too sentimental. John Thorn, for instance, goes completely off the deep end with his comments several times, especially when he compares baseball to "the promise of eternal life." One can do justice to baseball without resorting to careless sap. Unfortunately, this series gets sappy more often than it should. Yes, baseball is a great game, but it is not the meaning of life. Despite all of these problems, the series is extremely informative and very entertaining. Worth buying if you love the game.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A problem of scope, February 26, 2005
There are two wonderful documentaries contained here. One is the story of New York baseball, from the Giants to Babe Ruth to the Brooklyn "Bums" to the '86 Mets. The other is the story of Negro League baseball and breaking the color barrier. These two separate documentaries come together wonderfully in the chapter on Jackie Robinson.

The problem is that the film wants to be something more. It wants to be the complete story of baseball, and that ambition comes up short. Many good players and valuable stories were given short shrift because they apparently didn't fit the narrative outline chosen by the film-maker.
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