Baseball (1994–2010)
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The Faith of Fifty Million People 

Before and after World War I, a steady stream of immigrants lands on the shores of America. They want instantly to become American. To pursue the American dream. To play the American game.


Ken Burns

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Episode credited cast:
Grover Cleveland Alexander Grover Cleveland Alexander ... Himself (archive footage)
Adam Arkin ... Himself (voice)
Red Barber Red Barber ... Himself
Keith Carradine ... Himself (voice)
John Chancellor ... Narrator (voice)
Charles A. Comiskey Charles A. Comiskey ... Himself (archive footage)
John Cusack ... Himself (voice)
Ossie Davis ... Himself (voice)
Shelby Foote ... Himself
Doris Kearns Goodwin ... Herself
Donald Hall Donald Hall ... Himself
Joe Jackson ... Himself (archive footage)
Garrison Keillor ... Himself (voice)
Kenesaw M. Landis Kenesaw M. Landis ... Himself (archive footage)
Amy Madigan ... Herself (voice)


The third episode of the series covers the period 1910-20. In this decade, the game went from it's zenith in popularity to the depths of betrayal and fan disillusionment. Ty Cobb dominated the game but was hated by virtually everyone in baseball, including his own teammates. He was racist and brutal, once beating up a handicapped fan who was heckling him. After another similar incident, American League President Bam Johnson suspended him indefinitely. He also became baseball's richest player thanks to a wise investment in a company called Coca Cola. The first Latin Americans, Cubans, were signed to play ball but African Americans were still barred. It was also a time when some of the great baseball fields were built, including Fenway Park in 1912 and Ebbets Field in Brooklyn in 1913. Players were concerned about their own situation vis-a-vis the owners - the reserve clause and the lack of pensions or other benefits led them to create a players fraternity. It was the new Federal League... Written by garykmcd

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Release Date:

20 September 1994 (USA) See more »

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Did You Know?


Aidan Quinn: [as grand jury investigator] Does Mrs. Jackson know that you got five thousand dollars for helping throw these games?
Keith Carradine: [as Joe Jackson] She did that night, yes.
Aidan Quinn: [as grand jury investigator] What did she say about it?
Keith Carradine: [as Joe Jackson] She said it was an awful thing to do.
See more »


Sunday Rag
Written by Eurreal Montgomery & Butch Thompson
Courtesy of Arc Music
Performed by Butch Thompson, courtesy of Daring Records
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User Reviews

Another Strong Entry in the Series
7 June 2012 | by Michael_ElliottSee all my reviews

Baseball: Third Inning 'The Faith of Fifty Million People' (1994)

**** (out of 4)

The third of nine episodes in Ken Burns' documentary takes a look at the years between 1910 and 1920. As the documentary correctly states, the decade started off with the sport reaching heights that no one could see but it would come crashing down in 1919 with the Chicago White Sox scandal. Other subjects in this episode include the Snodgrass error in the World Series, the building of Fenway Park, WWI's impact on the sport, the Brooklyn Dodgers, the Star Spangle Banner being played, the 1914 Federal League and we get looks at players like Grover Cleveland Alexander and manager Connie Mack. This episode also looks at Ty Cobb's racism and the damage he was doing to his sport including an August 15, 1912 incident where he went into the stands and beat a handicapped man. Needless to say, this here is yet another winning episode and the best thing that can be said is that it's both entertaining and it also makes you smarter. There's really nothing negative that can be said about this episode and especially the final segments where we take a look at the White Sox scandal and the aftermath of the team throwing the World Series. Another benefit of this is that there's some video footage of the World Series as well as the court cases that would follow and we get some great images of Shoeless Joe Jackson. Fans of baseball are really going to love all of the stories here and those unfamiliar with the sport but want to learn it's history will have a great lesson.

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