|Index||3 reviews in total|
This tape (DVD) is definitely for New York City area baseball fans, but
the rest of us can enjoy a lot of this, too. The 130 minutes centers on
the decade's dominance of the game by the New York Yankees, Brooklyn
Dodgers and New York Giants. This was interesting and I don't dispute
the New York City teams' dominance but they could have given more
coverage to some of the great stars from the other teams: men like Stan
Musial, Ernie Banks, Al Kaline, etc. Instead, it's almost all New York.
The highlights, of course, begin with Bobby Thompson's famous 1951 home run, "The Shot Heard 'Round The World." We also see the famous catch by Willie Mays in the '54 classic; Sandy Amoros' catch for Brooklyn the year "the Bums" finally beat the Yankees as Johnny Podres pitched two big wins, then Don Larsen's perfect game for the Yankees.
Speaking of the Yankees, we get a nice profile on Mickey Mantle. Who knows how good he might have been - maybe the best ever - if he had been healthy. Mays also is a candidate for one of the top three players of all time and Boston's Ted Williams, some still think, was baseball's greatest hitter and he starred in this decade, too.
With so many contributers to this series being New York City-based people, I expected and didn't mind all the New York teams coverage, but the bias went into the political realm here with enormous plus for New York governor Mario Cuomo. It looked like the Liberal Democrat's campaign team put out this tape! I couldn't believe the amount of time they gave him here, but it's not a shock considering it's Burns and PBS, too. Also, I didn't care for George Plimpton's blasphemous statements in this segment. His elitist views fit right in, I suppose.
Despite the incredible decade for the NYC teams, the decade ends on a real downer as the Dodgers and Giants move West to Los Angeles and San Francisco, respectively, in the late '50s.
I first became a baseball fan in the 1950's. I went to a country school and was taught the game by a bunch of kids on a grassy field with a big chicken wire backstop. They made fun of the way I threw. My best friend was a Yankee's fan, even though we lived in the Midwest. My team was the Braves, so in 1958 it was great for me. That aside, this was really about the Juggernauts of baseball at that time: the Yankees, the Dodgers, and the Giants. They ate up most of the wins in that time period. We are introduced to Mickey Mantle, Whitey Ford, more DiMaggio, for the Bronx Bombers; the great players for the Dodgers, Duke Snider, Carl Furillo, Pee Wee Reese, Roy Campanella; and the one pennant for the Giants when Bobby Thomson hit that home run as the Dodgers blew a 13 game lead. We are also shown more of Ted Williams in Boston, though that team didn't do terribly well. Willie Mays is featured and the great catch he made in 1954 against the Vic Wertz of the Cleveland Indians. There is a segment on Don Larsen's perfect game and the 1955 Series where the Dodgers finally won one. We are told about the economics of baseball as the Dodgers and Giants went off to California, much to the chagrin of their loyal fans. I remember these things like it was yesterday. Of course, it also shows a bit of this series' prejudice of the New York scene. It would have been nice to see a little about the other teams who were doing some great things at the time.
Baseball: Seventh Inning 'The Capital of Baseball' (1994)
**** (out of 4)
The seventh of the nine part series takes a look at baseball during 1950-59. The title itself refers to New York, which had three great teams playing at the start of the decade but by the time it was over they'd have just one. Others topics/players covered in this episode include Jackie Robinson being released from his original contract, Yogi Bera, The Miracle at Coogan's Bluff, Joe DiMaggio's retirement, Hank Aaron, Ted Williams returning to active duty, midget Eddie Gaedel drawing a walk, Don Larson's perfect game in the World Series and the legendary Willie Mays catch. Needless to say, fans of the game are really going to love this episode, which is just as great as the previous six. Considering the years covered, the majority of the footage shown is actual video of the games, which is great because we get to see so many of these terrific players. One of the best moments deals with Ted Williams finally retiring from the game and hitting a home run on his final at bat. Williams is also interviewed and talks about his 80/20 on tipping his hat to the fans of Boston. A large majority of the running time is devoted to the three New York teams who were pretty much in every World Series for a period of time. We take a look at the three teams as they hit several highs throughout the decade but of course there's the downfall of the Dodgers and Giants moving out West. Also covered is Mickey Mantle taking his place as a Yankees legend and we also get an interview with him. Bob Costas and Billy Crystal are also interviewed and share some great stories about their fathers taking them to Yankee Stadium.
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