Baseball's Golden Age (2008– )

TV Series  -  Documentary
8.4
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Home movies and color photos of baseball from the 1930s through the 1960s.

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Cast

Credited cast:
Marty Appel ...
 Schoendienst
...
 Narrator
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 Himself
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 Himself
Jerry Coleman ...
 Himself
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 Himself
Robert W. Creamer ...
 Himself
Alan M. Dershowitz ...
 Himself
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 Himself
Arnold Hano ...
 Himself
Ernie Harwell ...
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Donald Honig ...
 Himself
Willie Horton ...
 Himself
Roger Kahn ...
 Himself
Al Kaline ...
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Home movies and color photos of baseball from the 1930s through the 1960s.

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Documentary

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6 July 2008 (USA)  »

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User Reviews

 
Superb History in Color
2 May 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The series was released on DVD in late April 2009 and is sold by Time/Life. This is a near perfect series IMHO, and makes a great companion to Ken Burns' Baseball documentary series which aired on PBS in 1994.

Unlike Burns series virtually all (98% or more) of the clips are in full color---taken from old color home movies which became available around 1938 or so. The clips are pretty much the same as used in the HBO series 'When It was a Game' and if you watch the entire series as a set you will see the clips are used over several times, but not in such a way as to be distracting.

Despite the brilliance of the series---or perhaps because of it-- I have a few small gripes. The DVD series lacks a true index. The menu only lists Episode 1,Episode 2, etc. through Episode 13. Each episode consists of 3 separate segments such as Dimag/Ted, Wrigley, Fenway, Oldtimers, etc. and it would have been more useful to have the segments identified for quick access for the viewer.

Also, I'm an aging baby boomer and my hearing is not what it once was. The broadcast versions include close captioning, and the DVD version does not. So I'm continuing to record the broadcast versions, despite owning the commercial release.

There are wonderful commentaries by old players, writers, journalists, poets and other fans, not unlike how they were used in Burns' series, but Burns concentrated more on comments by his historian buddies to the exclusion of ballplayers. That mistake is not made here.

The commentaries are recorded in extreme closeup, and older players who have added considerable bulk like Gates Brown, Boog Powell and especially Lee May look like they were inflated with air before appearing on camera. Writer Nick Acocella has lipid deposits around his eyelids and looks like a scaly reptile in the extreme closeups used on him.

BTW, look for actor Chuck Conners who was the 'Rifleman' in the 1950's TV series in a Cubs uniform.

He was a first baseman before giving up baseball for acting. He's in the Wrigley Field segment but is not identified. He was signed by Branch Rickey.

All in all a great series for avid fans of baseball of years gone by.

Here's a link to the only 'professional' review of the series I could find via Google:

http://griddle.baseballtoaster.com/archives/1046501.html

A question was asked in the accompanying comment if Donald Honig was one of the commentators. He is indeed--I think he appears more than any other talking head. And Honig quite literally looks down his nose at us when addressing the camera!


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