Baseball "The National Pastime" on WXXI-TV

Baseball "The National Pastime" on WXXI-TV

Wed, 07/07/2010 - 9:00pm
Jackie Robinson slides home

Florentine Films and WETA Washington, DC

Jackie Robinson’s debut with the Brooklyn Dodgers and other classic moments in baseball.

Baseball "The National Pastime" encores Wednesday, July 7 at 9 p.m. on WXXI-TV (DT21.1/cable 11/cable 1011).

The sixth “inning” of Ken Burns’s landmark 1994 film BASEBALL leads off with the baseball season of 1941, one of the most exciting of all time. Joe DiMaggio hits in 56 straight games, the longest hitting streak in history. Ted Williams becomes the last man to hit .400. The Brooklyn Dodgers win their first pennant in 20 years. Then the war intervenes and baseball’s best players become soldiers.

On their return, the game — and the entire country — are changed forever: Branch Rickey integrates baseball on April 15, 1947, when Jackie Robinson takes the field for the Brooklyn Dodgers. Baseball finally becomes what it had always claimed to be: America’s national pastime. This episode airs as part of the lead-up to the September 2010 premiere of Burns and co-director Lynn Novick’s THE TENTH INNING, a new two-part, four-hour documentary series that takes BASEBALL from the 1990s up to the present and explores the sport’s new Golden Age — an era of unprecedented home-run totals, popularity and prosperity — as well as some of baseball’s darkest hours — the steroid era.