Baseball (1994–2010)
3 user 2 critic

The National Pastime 

In Europe, in the Pacific, on the homefront, both African-Americans and whites fight to make the world safe for democracy. When the world ends, Major League Baseball becomes, in fact, what it has always claimed to be: the national pastime.


Ken Burns

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Episode credited cast:
Roger Angell Roger Angell ... Himself
Adam Arkin ... Joe Medwick (voice)
Arthur Ashe ... Himself
Red Barber Red Barber ... Himself
Jack Brickhouse Jack Brickhouse ... Himself (voice) (archive sound)
Keith Carradine ... Various (voice)
John Chancellor ... Narrator (voice)
Albert 'Happy' Chandler Albert 'Happy' Chandler ... Himself (as Happy Chandler)
Hilda Chester Hilda Chester ... Herself (archive footage)
Ty Cobb Ty Cobb ... Himself (archive footage)
Robert W. Creamer Robert W. Creamer ... Himself (as Robert Creamer)
Mario Cuomo ... Himself
Ossie Davis ... Various (voice)
Joe DiMaggio ... Himself (archive footage)
Leo Durocher Leo Durocher ... Himself (archive footage)


The 1940s was a decade of huge change in America and in baseball. In the 1941 season, Ted Williams of the Boston Red Sox hit .406 and Joe DiMaggio had his record-setting 56 game hitting streak. The Brooklyn Dodgers went from being perennial losers to actually winning the NL pennant. With the belated entry of the US into World War II many veterans enlisted, including Bob Feller, Ted Williams Hank Greenberg and Joe DiMaggio. In all, 340 major leaguers and over 3000 minor leaguers enlisted. With women entering the workforce in record numbers, it seemed only natural that they too would play professional baseball and the AAGPBL, the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, was formed in 1943. The biggest change however, came with the breaking of the color barrier. Over the years, several owners had wanted to sign African-Americans but Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis flatly refused. On his death however, the new Commissioner Happy Chandler, showed himself far more open to the ... Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis




Release Date:

25 September 1994 (USA) See more »

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Did You Know?


Features Battleground (1949) See more »


You're Gonna Win That Ballgame, Uncle Sam
Written by Bonner and Moriarty
Performed by Dick Miller & the National Pastime Orchestra
Courtesy of CC Entertainment, St. Paul, Minnesota
See more »

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User Reviews

All About Jackie
12 August 2007 | by ccthemovieman-1See all my reviews

Well, being a Liberal and having this on very politically-correct network - PBS - almost this entire two-and-a-half hour segment (the longest one of the nine) is devoted to Jackie Robinson breaking the color barrier. It is a tribute not only to Robinson, and what he went through, but to Branch Rickey who signed him to play for the Brooklyn Dodgers. Despite the overdone bias, I still found most of it interesting and shook my head in amazement as the abuse Robinson had to put up with many times. He was a strong man.

Also in this segment are amazing achievements by two other players: Joe DiMaggio and Ted Williams, and both achievements came in 1941. DiMaggio had his 56-game hitting streak, which still stands, and Williams batted .406 and that's the last time anyone hit over .400 in a season.

This video ends on a very sad note: the death of Babe Ruth.

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