Baseball: Season 1, Episode 6

The National Pastime (25 Sep. 1994)

TV Episode  |  TV-PG  |   |  Documentary, History, Sport
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Ratings: 8.6/10 from 64 users  
Reviews: 3 user

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 ... See full summary »


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Episode credited cast:
Roger Angell ...
Joe Medwick (voice)
Red Barber ...
Jack Brickhouse ...
Himself (voice) (archive sound)
Various (voice)
John Chancellor ...
Narrator (voice)
Albert 'Happy' Chandler ...
Himself (as Happy Chandler)
Hilda Chester ...
Herself (archive footage)
Ty Cobb ...
Himself (archive footage)
Robert W. Creamer ...
Himself (as Robert Creamer)
Various (voice)
Himself (archive footage)
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)  »

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Features Battleground (1949) See more »


Sing, Sing, Sing (With a Swing)
Written by Louis Prima and Jimmy Mundy
Published by EMI Robbins Catalog Inc.
Performed by Benny Goodman
Courtesy of The RCA Records Label of BMG Music
See more »

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User Reviews

A Busy Decade
14 June 2012 | by (Louisville, KY) – See all my reviews

Baseball: Sixth Inning 'The National Pastime' (1994)

**** (out of 4)

Clocking in at 148-minutes, this sixth entry was the longest of the series up to this point and it's easy to see why as 1940-1949 featured a war, legendary accomplishments that haven't been touched to this day and a major movement in Civil Rights. Such subjects include Ted Williams' attempt at hitting ,400, Joe DiMaggio's hit streak, the Red Sox getting back to the World Series, Josh Gibson's death, Yankee Stadium's 25th Anniversary and the death of Babe Ruth. Also covered is the impact of WWII, which led to replacement players including the one armed Pete Gray as well as the first women's league of professional players. The biggest subject comes from the race relations, which were still prevented blacks from playing in the Major Leagues but that was all about to change with the signing of Jackie Robinson. If you've made it through the first five episodes of this series then you already know what a terrific bit of entertainment and history it is and that continues with this. It's really amazing to think that the decade kicked off with the tremendous work of DiMaggio and Williams only to then quickly change to the World War and then end with the rise of Robinson and the death of Ruth. There's so much packed in this episode that it really gives you not only a great idea of what was going on in baseball but also in America. Some of the best moments talk about the various changes that happened to the sport during WWII and we also get to learn about some of the players who went to fight in the war as well as some who were killed in battle. The stuff with Robinson is also something amazing to listen to and not just because of what he accomplished on the field but the great abuse he took in reaching his goals. This here will certainly appeal to baseball fans but even history buffs will be entertained.

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