Baseball (1994–2010)
3 user 1 critic

Our Game 

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 ... 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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Did You Know?


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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Take Me Out to the Ballgame
Written by Jack Norworth and Albert von Tilzer
Courtesy of Broadway Music Corp.
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User Reviews

Great Start to the Series
5 June 2012 | by Michael_ElliottSee all my reviews

Baseball: First Inning 'Our Game' (1994)

**** (out of 4)

The first episode in Ken Burns' nine part documentary taking a look at the history of baseball. This first episode takes a look at the sport during the 1800s as we learn where it basically came from, how it developed over time and the various new rules that were constantly being added. We also hear about how at first rules were in place that no players were to be paid and we hear how this began to change over the years and how eventually there were three leagues simply because no one could agree on the business side of things. BASEBALL: FIRST INNING is certainly a great way to start the series. What's so entertaining about this episode is that the majority of the viewers watching are going to know the current rules of baseball so it was great getting to hear about the original ones and how they developed over the decades. Some of the most interesting stuff deals with the early days of you recording an out by hitting the running with the ball. Also interesting are the changes that deal with base stealing, the "crooked" side of a curve ball and various changes dealing with the number of innings. It's funny but one of the most interesting thing comes from a historian talking about the 90-feet baselines and how no one knows why this number selected but then he talks about why it was so perfect for the sport. Throughout the film we get some terrific photos from the various stages of the sport, which was certainly interesting and the stories behind them even more so. Just hearing about baseball being played during the Civil War, how race became an issue and how a fight turned into a stadium being burned down.

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