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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Farewell My Home
Written and performed by Tony Ellis
Published by Merry Wang, Inc.
Courtesy of Flying Fish Records
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User Reviews

The Down and Dirty Part of Early Professional Sport
22 January 2015 | by HitchcocSee all my reviews

This is a warts and all presentation of how a sport gains popularity, despite being viewed by many as the devil's work. It tells the inside story of the creators of the sport and how many were credited with things they never actually did. Abner Doubleday, for instance, is given way more credit than deserved. Then there are the ins and outs of the money grubbing characters who treated players like dirt. Like so much of the early Twentieth Century usurers, baseball fell under the thumb of evil owners. It was also checkered disloyalty and violence. What surprised me the most was how popular the sport became so fast, even before the turn of the century. Players were already heroes to children and the sport, though having growing pains, captured the soul of a country on the rise. This first episode explains the evolution of the rules and clarifies some of the mythology that has become part and parcel of our traditions. It is a necessary and exciting part of what proved to be a wonderful documentary.

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