Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Ken Burns' "Baseball: The Tenth Inning" on PBS Tonight (9/28/10)


Director Ken Burns is the equivalent of America's resident historian/documentarian. Burns' resume of documentaries looks like a giant slice of American history with subjects ranging from "The Civil War," "Jazz" and "The National Parks" to "Mark Twain" and "Thomas Jefferson." 1990's "The Civil War" is considered his masterpiece, garnering many industry awards along the way. Then there is "Baseball" from 1994, an 18-and-a-half hour epic chronicling America's favorite pastime. That documentary was divided into 9 parts (appropriately referred to as an "inning") with each one focusing on a particular era (roughly a decade) in the history of the game, ending in 1993. Ironically, the film aired on PBS in 1994, the year of the baseball players' strike in which the World Series was cancelled, the first time this has happened since 1904.

Now Ken Burns is back with a follow-up to "Baseball" and it is titled,"Baseball: The Tenth Inning," a two-part four hour program that continues where he left off with the first film. Each part would be titled, "Top of the 10th" and "Bottom of the 10th" respectively and it would cover, the 1994 strike, the home-run race between Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa in 1998, the New York Yankees' run of World Series wins, dominant players like Pedro Martinez, Ichiro Suzuki, Cal Ripken Jr, the Red Sox's 2004 World Series and of course, the infamous steroid era, with a focus on Barry Bonds as a tragic figure.

In short, if you love the game of baseball, you have to tune in to your PBS station today (Sep. 28th) and tomorrow (Sep. 29th) to watch "The Tenth Inning."

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