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Only the Ball Was White (2008)

Roy Campanella , Paul Winfield , Ken Solarz  |  NR |  DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

Price: $9.98 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Only the Ball Was White + The Jackie Robinson Story - In COLOR! Also Includes the Original Black-and-White Version which has been Beautifully Restored and Enhanced! + 42 (DVD+UltraViolet)
Price for all three: $21.97

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Product Details

  • Actors: Roy Campanella, Paul Winfield, Satchel Paige, Effa Manley, Buck Leonard
  • Directors: Ken Solarz
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Mpi Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: January 29, 2008
  • Run Time: 30 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000WPE8Q0
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #124,071 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

It seems elementary in the age of mega-league professional sports, many of which have been revolutionized by African American athletes, to point out that before Jackie Robinson major league baseball was lily white. The Negro Leagues were the crucible where African American players honed their skills. But it took over two decades, until Robert Peterson published Only the Ball Was White in 1972, to get a good glimpse at the stars and journeyman players of the Negro Leagues. It took even longer, until 1992, for Peterson's book, reprinted in a new edition, to garner its deserved critical acclaim. Well, Peterson's book cues up this documentary, which is narrated thoughtfully by Paul Winfield. Throughout Only the Ball, the footage of stars and Hall of Famers such as Buck Leonard, Roy Campanella, Jimmy Crutchfield, and the ever-fascinating Satchel Paige is excellent. Winfield and the players demonstrate abundantly that while the Negro Leagues were an implicit illustration of the absolute unfairness of segregation laws, they were also a vast demonstration that great, invaluable talent was being fostered in those circumstances. And it wasn't just a matter of "settling" for a second-class league. Players thrived, and fans loved the games. This is a delight for sports lovers, historians of the game, and anyone interested in U.S. cultural history. --Andrew Bartlett

Product Description

Throughout the 1900's, before Jackie Robinson broke baseball's color barrier in 1946, black baseball talent blossomed in the Negro Leagues. Baseball buffs still sing the praises of Josh Gibson who could be counted on to hit 70 homeruns in a season, and Satchel Paige who pitched over 100 no-hitters in his career. Only the Ball Was White pays tribute to the many topflight players from the Negro Leagues. Narrated by actor Paul Winfield, the program documents a bygone bittersweet era in baseball and the men who were denied stardom by the color line. Ballplayers throughout the country were interviewed for this program, all of them quick to tell tales of the life, the competition, and the camaraderie. These include: Satchel Paige, Roy Campanella, Buck Leonard, Jimmy Crutchfield, David Malarcher, Effa Manley, and Quincy Trouppe.

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Only the ball was white May 18, 2009
By Srenam
Verified Purchase
Terrible tragedy that our world could not get along back then. Especially, in this capacity. These men were outstanding players and just wanted to play ball.This comes from a person who was the only white TEAMMATE for a time in Kankakee, Illinois.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Next best thing to being there. September 14, 2009
Verified Purchase
I have been to the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City twice in as many years. It is a captivating place. This film brings that same feeling into your home. Highly informative and superbly done. A must see.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A little disappointed, September 2, 2013
By T J.
Verified Purchase
I was hoping to see more old film of the ballplayers but it was mostly interviews of some veteran ballplayers reminising. I was wanting to see what made Josh Gibson so great.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well done! August 4, 2013
Verified Purchase
There was lots of great history in this. I only wish it were longer, but that is to be expected.
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