Baseball (1994–2010)
4 user 1 critic

Something Like a War 

In 1894, a sportwriter named Byron Bancroft "Ban" Johnson takes over a struggling minor league - the Western League - and turns it into a financial success.


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)
John Chancellor ... Narrator (voice)
Ty Cobb Ty Cobb ... Himself (archive footage)
Ossie Davis ... Various (voice)
Loren Dean ... Various (voice)
Shelby Foote ... Himself
Doris Kearns Goodwin ... Herself
Stephen Jay Gould Stephen Jay Gould ... Himself
Donald Hall Donald Hall ... Himself
John Hartford ... Various (voice)
Anthony Hopkins ... Various (voice)


This second episode in the series covers the years 1900-10. The new century was a time of great change in the United States and around the world. Baseball was in decline generally but the creation of the American League by Bam Johnson in 1896 presents the first real competition to the older and well-established National League. The new league was an immediate success and established themselves in cities that had been abandoned by the National League. The National League owners did their best to obstruct the upstarts but in the end had to admit that their play was on a par with the older established circuit. This led to the first World Series in 1903 between the Boston Pilgrims and the Pittsburgh Pirates, which Boston won (there was no World Series in 1904 because of NY Giants manager John McGraw's antipathy towards Johnson and the American League, a decision that cost the players dearly). The stars of the day shone: Honus Wagner, Ty Cobb, Christie Mathewson and many others. African ... Written by garykmcd

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Release Date:

19 September 1994 (USA) See more »

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Did You Know?


Sidewalks of New York
Music by Charles Lawlor and James W. Blake
Performed by Mike Montgomery
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User Reviews

The Most Interesting Decade In Baseball History
12 August 2007 | by ccthemovieman-1See all my reviews

This was an extremely interesting segment and decade, maybe the best of this nine-tape (or DVD) series. It was so interesting that I, myself, have gone and read a lot of books about this decade (1900-1909). I still think it is the most fascinating in baseball history. It featured famous characters such as Ty Cobb, Christy Mathewson, Walter Johnson, John McCraw, Rube Wadell,Rube Foster and many other colorful players. Not only were the people fascinating, their stories were incredible, especially the ones dealing with Cobb and Wadell.

The passion of America's baseball fans became unbelievable, and nowhere more than in the Polo Grounds of New York where the Giants were the dominant team with pitcher Mathewson and manager McGraw. I remember the first time I watched this being stunned how they allowed fans on the field back in those days. It's really tough when all those fans are threatening your players in the outfield. In Baltimore, a fight on the field turned into a riot one day. That, in turn, led to a fire and the stadium plus 13 adjacent buildings, all burned down

There is one amazing story after another in this decade, which I why I enjoy this segment above all the rest. If you really want to get a feel for the times and the players, check out Lawrence Ritter's famous book, "The Glory Of Their Times."

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