Baseball (1994–2010)
3 user 1 critic
In New York City, in the 1840s, people need a diversion from the "railroad pace" at which they work and live. They find it in a game of questionable origins.


Ken Burns


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Episode credited cast:
Roger Angell Roger Angell ... Himself
Adam Arkin ... Various (voice)
Philip Bosco ... Various (voice)
Thomas Boswell Thomas Boswell ... Himself
Keith Carradine ... Various (voice)
David Caruso ... Various (voice)
John Chancellor John Chancellor ... Narrator (voice)
Wendy Conquest Wendy Conquest ... Various (voice)
Bob Costas ... Himself
Robert W. Creamer Robert W. Creamer ... Himself (as Robert Creamer)
Billy Crystal ... Himself
Mario Cuomo ... Himself
John Cusack ... Various (voice)
Ossie Davis ... Various (voice)
Loren Dean ... Various (voice)


The first episode in this documentary series covers the origins of baseball in the mid-19th century to the beginnings of the 20th century. Contrary to popular myth, Abner Doubleday did not sit down one afternoon in 1839 and write down the rules of baseball. The game evolved over many years and had its origins in cricket, rounders and town ball. The first game of baseball as we know took place in 1846 at Elysian Fields in New Jersey, just across the river from Manhattan when the New York Knickerbockers played a game. The Civil War had a major impact making it a workingman's game whereas previously, it was reserved for gentlemen. Baseball soon became big business when powerful men such as A.G. Spalding became involved. The National League was formed, soon followed by the upstart American League that sold alcohol and attracted more working class supporters. Negroes were not allowed to play in either league after 1890 and formed their own teams. Written by garykmcd

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Release Date:

18 September 1994 (USA) See more »

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Narrator: It measures just 9 inches in circumference, weighs only about 5 ounces, and it made of cork wound with woolen yarn, covered with two layers of cowhide, and stitched by hand precisely 216 times. It travels 60 feet 6 inches from the pitcher's mound to home - and it can cover that distance at nearly 100 miles an hour. Along the way it can be made to twist, spin, curve, wobble, rise, or fall away. The bat is made of turned ash, less than 42 inches long, not more than 2 3/4 inches in diameter. The ...
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The Band Played On
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User Reviews

Squashing The Doubleday Myth
12 August 2007 | by ccthemovieman-1See all my reviews

This opening segment of Ken Burns' "Baseball" series reveals some interesting history of the game, giving us facts I'll be 99 percent of baseball fans haven't heard before, such as how the game was played during the Civil War era, what it was called and in what manner it changed.

Included in that history was the fact that Abner Doubleday did not invent the game of baseball as we were all told, that is slowly evolved from a combination of game called "rounders' along with cricket.

Most of the information was interesting and presented so that one needn't be a baseball historian to enjoy it.

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