Baseball: Season 1, Episode 6

The National Pastime (25 Sep. 1994)

TV Episode  -   -  Documentary | History | Sport
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Ratings: 8.6/10 from 56 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)
Mario Cuomo ...
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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User Reviews

What a Time for the Sport
24 January 2015 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

There's so much here it's too much to cover in a brief review. Roughly the years 1940 to 1950 are the focus. The first thing we are treated to is the year 1941. It brings into focus two great players, Joe DiMaggio and Ted Williams. In addition to one of the greatest World Series ever, we had the incredible 56 game hitting streak of DiMaggio. This is one record that I would stake my life on that will never be broken. Then you have the brash Williams, hitting .406 and refusing to sit out the last two games of the season which would have given him a .400 average. The final days of Babe Ruth are closely followed, including his death at only 53 years of age. We get to see how the Dodgers came to power in the National League. Their owner went out and broke the bank to pull in a varied group of players. There is significant time devoted to what happened during the war where a majority of players were off representing their country. There is a feature on women's baseball, which was really quite good. Of course, the true event of change was the story of Jackie Robinson, whose integration into the game was orchestrated by Branch Rickey. It does a great job of showing the tribulations of this incredible man who was under a microscope every day, dealing with death threats and epithets. It was a battle in every stadium he played. Excellent production, great film, and exciting narration.

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