Ken Burns' "Baseball" Going To The Tenth Inning

Thursday, January 08, 2009

I don't know anyone that has watched the entire 23 hours of the PBS documentary, Baseball by Ken Burns, but that's not stopping the writer from adding a 24th hour. MLB Network has been airing the Series throughout its first few weeks on the air, and Burns announced last night that he's added a 10th inning to the 9-part/inning collection. Via the NBC LA.....

But documentary filmmaker Ken Burns, ever the boyishly enthusiastic storyteller, is gamely heading back to the plate, adding to his nine-part 1994 PBS series, "Baseball." The new film, to be called "The 10th Inning," will cover the National Pastime from 1993 to 2008, and air on PBS next year.

"So much has transpired in baseball since we last examined the game and all of its many nuances," Burns said in a statement -- or rather, an understatement.

Cal Ripken earned away Lou Gehrig's Iron Man title in 1995. Mike Piazza's dramatic home run in the first game played after 9/11 gave the country something to cheer about, if only for a fleeting moment. The Red Sox finally reversed the Curse of the Bambino in 2004.

But real story of baseball over the last 15 years is steroids: records smashed by impossibly big sluggers who looked like little men testifying before Congress; and the ongoing saga of an all-time home run king who is a walking, under indictment, asterisk.

Burns will do well to stick to his simple, possibly overblown -- and very probably true -- thesis that the story of baseball is the story of America. The last 15 years have given us tales of perseverance, resilience -- and illusion-shattering cheating.
The series is just way too big for one human to take in, but any "inning" I've watched, I've been sucked into the storytelling for an hour or so. The series was released in 1994, and like the article says, a heck of a lot has happened since then. Good timing if you ask me.

Ken Burns Goes Into Extra Innings (NBC LA)

Posted by Awful Announcing at 11:49 AM



Anonymous said...
Jan 8, 2009, 12:01:00 PM  

It's nice to see that Clint Eastwood's character in Gran Torino finally made it to this site.

GMoney said...
Jan 8, 2009, 12:09:00 PM  

Can't stop beating my meat.

Anonymous said...
Jan 8, 2009, 12:15:00 PM  

I watched the whole Baseball series back in 1994 when it came out. And I believe its only 18-hours...2 for each inning, or at least that's how it was originally.

I caught the first inning again on the MLB Network...still pretty awesome stuff. Though Burns' style doesn't really translate to the modern era I think. Well I'm intrigued, I'll watch it.

Sean O said...
Jan 8, 2009, 1:22:00 PM  

I like the segments where Bob Costas is interviewed.

Brad James said...
Jan 8, 2009, 1:36:00 PM  

wow, that first post is ridiculous, glad they left their name as anonymous...and so will i so as not to get attacked by them too...but seriously, is that what this country has come to? saying stuff like that about baseball and its fans? absurd

Anonymous said...
Jan 8, 2009, 1:51:00 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
JamesCraven said...
Jan 8, 2009, 2:11:00 PM  

Stay Classy, anon 12:01 PM and anon 12:15 PM...

Now that those jerkazoids are out of the way (where's Swearing Man now that you really don't need him?) after PBS finishes off the tenth inning, I guess MLB Netwok will carry the repeats. And who will they get to narrarate the bonus canto now that John Chancellor is no longer with us?

JamesCraven said...
Jan 8, 2009, 2:15:00 PM  

The blurb mentions nothing about the '94 strike? I'd think that would be a little important to cover...

Anonymous said...
Jan 8, 2009, 3:52:00 PM  

The documentary ended after 1993 with the Producers hinting that Bo Jackson is the next uber-star of baseball and nothing can ever kill the game. A year later they struck the end of the 1994 season and Bo quits the game before they comeback. They can start the series by pointing how WRONG they got those.

Otherwise, the next chapter should cover:

- The strike, the cancellation of the World Series and the deal that brought the game back in 95.

- Cal Ripken breaking the consecutive games record in September 95.

- The Yankee Domination (deal with it haters)

- The McGwire-Sosa Home Run chase of 98, including the Andro story to foreshadow for later

- The New Ballpark Explosion and the end of Tigers Stadium, Yankee Stadium, and the Cookie Cutter Parks in the NL (Phi, Pit, Cin and StL)

- Moneyball, Sabermetrics and the Information Age of Baseball

- Globalization of Baseball to South America and the Far East, along with the erosion of the African-American Baseball player

- 9/11, Baseball and the 2001 World Series

- Postscript on Pete Rose

- The passing of Mickey Mantle, Joe DiMaggio, Ted Williams and Buck O'Niel

- Labor rift part 2 and how the players caved on Luxury Tax but not steroids (more foreshadowing)

- ARod and the salaries explosion

- The Death of the Montreal Expos

- Canseco's Book, Balco, Steroid testing, the Mitchell Report and the fall of McGwire, Bonds, Palmiero and Clemens

- The Cubs collapse including the Bartman Game

- The RedSox-Yanks rivalry featuring the 7 games in 03, the epic 0-3 comeback in 04 as well as the end of the Curse

- A little epilogue of the Whitesox breaking the Blacksox curse

Any other ideas or did I put too much thought into this?

Jan 8, 2009, 4:31:00 PM  

I guess you can add the '08 Phils to that list and the lowly Rays' rise that year...

JamesCraven said...
Jan 8, 2009, 5:06:00 PM  

I put the '08 Phils along the same line as the '06 Cards, '02 Angels or the '03 Fish?

The 'who gives a fuck' champions. I'd like to put the '05 Whitesox on that list, but they hadn't won in 80 plus years. The '00, '01, '04, and '05 are the only historically significant World series. You can pair 07 with 04 and save 2 minutes air time.

Gotta make sure you had show Latinos like Raul Mondesi are making a difference in the game or they will boycott PBS again.

Jan 8, 2009, 5:29:00 PM  

AA: You don't know anyone that has watched the entire series?

Hell, I taped it when it originally aired in '94 and I watch it front to back EVERY single March since then. It gets me fired up for the season.

alan said...
Jan 8, 2009, 5:45:00 PM  

I watched all 9 innings. God bless Netflix and an easy graduate school program.

City Mouse said...
Jan 8, 2009, 8:22:00 PM  

I watched all nine innings when it came out.

So that makes two or three of us. Helped me get through the non-post season of 1994.

JamesCraven said...
Jan 9, 2009, 12:26:00 AM  

I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


sarah said...
Jan 17, 2009, 8:01:00 AM  

Why would the site administrator approve that first comment? I don't think I will ever check out Awful Announcing again if these are the morals you blog with.

Ryan said...
Feb 12, 2009, 9:21:00 AM  

I love this Documentary. I watched it in a week span! Loved the Ken Burns effect! I think in 10th inning he should also cover the expansion team explosion and the Florida Marlins and especially the Colorado Rockies amazing 2007 season with 21 straight wins to sweep the D-backs and Phillies! Screw football! This is the real pastime!

Misfit77 said...
Mar 4, 2009, 12:30:00 PM  

Anonymous Jan 8, 2009 3:52:00 PM --

Good list of what to cover, but I'd also include Edgar saving baseball in Seattle with his hit to score Junior in the '95 playoffs, and Ichiro ought get a spot too.

Miles Monroe said...
Sep 12, 2009, 10:52:00 PM  

Great list above. I think Albert Pujols needs to be featured prominently in the tenth inning. Also, possibly incidental to the death of Buck O'Neil - the inclusion of Negro League players into the Baseball Hall of Fame - albeit without O'Neil.

But, certainly, and unfortunately, steroids will be a major focus via the 1998 home run chase and Barry Bonds' eye-popping numbers.

Nick said...
Oct 5, 2009, 7:28:00 AM  

Biggest thing they got wrong in the original miniseries was that free agency was helping to create a competitive balance where anyone could win. Of course, we all know now that without a salary cap, there's a HUGE disparity between the haves and have-nots. Hope the hopeless situations in cities like Pittsburgh and Kansas City (not to mention Montreal) are addressed.

Ed said...
Nov 29, 2009, 2:03:00 AM  

I might throw in the Atlanta Braves division dynasty of the '90s as well. Let's see they won about a dozen division titles in a row, but only managed to win one World Series ring.

As far as Bonds is concerned (he is a cousin of a friend of mine who describes him as an a$$hole) he should not only get an asterisk, he should be tossing salads at the penitentary. As a matter of fact, an asterisk * looks sorta like an a$$hole.

Pete Rose. Charlie Lying SOB With No Respect For The Game, should be in the Hall Of Fame. Maybe they can put his picture in all the urinals in the bathrooms.

For my money, Bob Costas, Buck O'Neil and Billy Crystal were all standouts in this series.


Gandalf said...
Dec 7, 2009, 7:17:00 PM  

I don't know anyone that has watched the entire 23 hours of the PBS documentary...

Uhhh, right here. I was 11 when that came out, and I got the VHS set for christmas. Watched the crap out of that thing several times.

Rhayader said...
Jan 28, 2010, 7:10:00 PM  

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