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RATED NOT RATED
STUDIO A & E Entertainment
RUNNING TIME 360 minutes
• Historic and official game programs and scorecards
• Ceremonial first pitches
• MVP award winners
• Best of the clubhouse celebrations
Over 100 years of baseball history crammed into 360 minutes.
Narrated by Bob Costas and crafted by the filmmakers of Major League Baseball Productions this is the definitive documentary on the World Series, the madness, triumphs, and exhilarating moments that will be remembered for the ages. The expertly blended archival footage, thrilling game action and more than 100 interviews with players, managers, writers, broadcasters, and historians create an exciting and comprehensive chronicle of the Fall Classic.
In the last 20 years or so, along with the boom of home video, it became quite common place for complete videos of every World Series to become available shortly after the season was completed. Because of this, true fans of a particular team have had highlights of the more recent World Series readily available to them. My concern going into reviewing this title was that it would not be able to bring anything new to the table.
The World Series: History of the Fall Classic is a complete collection of results and highlight clips of every fall classic from it’s very beginnings in the late 1800s through 2011. The chapters of the set group five years of games together in 5 to 10 minute bunches. If that doesn’t sound like a long enough time to cover five years worth of World Series highlights to you, you would be correct. Each year’s series is breezed over pretty quickly, giving mentions to the winning team and a memorable moment or two. Some vital information is left out at times including the winning pitchers and MVP of the series.
The set does become more interesting in the earlier years of footage that are not so commonly found elsewhere. There were many clips and highlights from the pre 1950s eras that I had not seen or heard before. There is something very charming about the grainy and flickering films of baseball’s glory years which are delivered pretty regularly here.
Bob Costas serves as host and this was a wise choice for this documentary. Just hearing his voice makes you feel like a historic sporting event is taking place. His narrative is important because it quickly fills in some of the blanks as the documentary speeds through entire seasons in a few short minutes. Besides possibly Joe Buck (and that may be a stretch), I can’t come up with a better alternative to handle this task than Costas.
If you’re a hardcore baseball fan that has followed the game your whole life, you’re probably not going to learn much from this set. It’s pretty much a basic overview with standard information and many commonly played highlights. It does serve as a nice nostalgia piece and potentially a great way to introduce young fans to some classic baseball history. Any deficiencies the main feature may have are definitely made up for in the bonus discs.
Where this set really shines is in it’s bonus features. The set includes two bonus discs containing very rare footage of ceremonial first pitches, World Series clinching plays, clubhouse celebrations and interviews with winners. These clips were highly enjoyable and even as an avid baseball fan of 30 years plus, I had never seen many of them. The discs also include galleries of official game programs, scorecards and a list of all the MVP award winners. Any details that seemed to be missed in the feature presentation are made up for in these bonus features.
Out of a Possible 5 Stars