65 user 4 critic
1:01 | Trailer
A documentary on the history of the sport with major topics including Afro-American players, player/team owner relations and the resilience of the game.




2010   1994  
Won 1 Primetime Emmy. Another 2 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »





Series cast summary:
John Chancellor ...  Narrator 9 episodes, 1994
Daniel Okrent ...  Self 8 episodes, 1994-2010
Ossie Davis ...  Various / ... 7 episodes, 1994
Paul Roebling Paul Roebling ...  Various / ... 7 episodes, 1994
Studs Terkel ...  Self / ... 7 episodes, 1994
Eli Wallach ...  Various / ... 7 episodes, 1994
John Thorn ...  Self 6 episodes, 1994-2010
George F. Will ...  Self 6 episodes, 1994-2010
Adam Arkin ...  Various / ... 6 episodes, 1994
Charles McDowell Charles McDowell ...  Self / ... 6 episodes, 1994
Buck O'Neil Buck O'Neil ...  Self 6 episodes, 1994
George Plimpton ...  Self / ... 6 episodes, 1994
Gerald Early ...  Self 5 episodes, 1994-2010
Doris Kearns Goodwin ...  Self 5 episodes, 1994-2010
Roger Angell Roger Angell ...  Self 5 episodes, 1994
Keith Carradine ...  Various / ... 5 episodes, 1994
Shelby Foote ...  Self 5 episodes, 1994
Garrison Keillor ...  Various / ... 5 episodes, 1994
Amy Madigan ...  Various / ... 5 episodes, 1994
Jason Robards ...  Various / ... 5 episodes, 1994
John Turturro ...  Self / ... 5 episodes, 1994
Bob Costas ...  Self 4 episodes, 1994-2010
Red Barber Red Barber ...  Self 4 episodes, 1994
Philip Bosco ...  Various 4 episodes, 1994
Robert W. Creamer Robert W. Creamer ...  Self 4 episodes, 1994
Mario Cuomo ...  Self 4 episodes, 1994
Donald Hall Donald Hall ...  Self 4 episodes, 1994
Arthur Miller ...  Various / ... 4 episodes, 1994
Gregory Peck ...  Various / ... 4 episodes, 1994
Vin Scully ...  Self 4 episodes, 1994


Ken Burns relates the history of baseball in a fashion similar to that of his Civil War mini series. Old-time photos and illustrations depict the games early years, while newsreels and video clips highlight more recent developments. Players and participants speak in their own words, and sports writers and broadcasters offer commentary on the sport and events they witnessed. Written by Eric Sorensen <Eric_Sorensen@fc.mcps.k12.md.us>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis



Did You Know?


When discussing Yogi Berra's many interesting quotes, a friend of Yogi's is alleged to have said, "Hey, Yogi, what do you know?" Yogi allegedly replied, "I don't even suspect anything." This exchange is actually taken from an exchange Charles Chaplin had in a Parisienne café in Monsieur Verdoux (1947). See more »


Narrator: It is played everywhere. In parks and playgrounds and prison yards. In back alleys and farmers' fields. By small children and old men. Raw amateurs and millionaire professionals. It is a leisurely game that demands blinding speed. The only game in which the defense has the ball. It follows the seasons, beginning each year with the fond expectancy of springtime, and ending with the hard facts of autumn. It is a haunted game, in which every player is measured against the ghosts of all who have ...
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Referenced in Janeane Garofalo: If I May (2016) See more »

User Reviews

A Brilliant, if Unbalanced History
30 April 2007 | by LydiaOLydiaSee all my reviews

Ken Burns' Baseball is a beautifully crafted telling of the history of baseball, perfectly weaving the story of the game into the story of America through archival footage, interviews, and the like. Its 9 episodes are, on aggregate, rather long, but after a while you just don't notice. It's a wonderful viewing experience and well worth watching by all - sports fans or not.

Unfortunately, there is one major flaw: the obsession with Boston and (especially) New York. While in some sense this is forgivable - highlighting these cities added some structure and continuity to the narrative, in others, it was blatant favoritism. For example, episode 7 is called "The Capital of Baseball", which can be seen as referring to many things metaphorically, but most directly, to New York City. To put things in perspective, the New York Yankees won the World Series in 1947, 1949, 1950, 1951, 1952, 1953, 1956, 1958, 1961, and 1962. When, in 1960, Bill Mazeroski hit a dramatic home run in the 9th inning of game 7 to win the World Series for the long-suffering Pittsburgh Pirates, the focus was not on the joy of Pittsburgh (or the rest of the country) in seeing the mighty Yankees / New York Teams finally tamed. No, the focus was on the shock and sadness felt by Yankees fans and players. We get to hear comedian Billy Crystal tell us how crushed he felt, despite the previous Yankee championships and even though we see from other segments with him that he seemed to change his allegiances from Yankees to (Brooklyn) Dodgers to Mets as the winds blew. Sorry if I have a hard time sympathizing.

It also stands to note that while doubtlessly others will nitpick here and there about things that have been left out of Burns' telling, none stands out more than the omission of the 1980 National League Championship Series between the Phillies and Astros, which unquestionably ranks as the best playoff series ever played between two teams in the history of baseball. But, no, that's left out and instead you get another 10 minute story about New York instead.

Still, don't let my comments distract from the overall greatness of this series. Highly, highly recommended.

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Release Date:

18 September 1994 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Baseball See more »

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