Baseball (1994–2010)
3 user 1 critic

The Faith of Fifty Million People 

Before and after World War I, a steady stream of immigrants lands on the shores of America. They want instantly to become American. To pursue the American dream. To play the American game.


Ken Burns


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Episode credited cast:
Grover Cleveland Alexander Grover Cleveland Alexander ... Himself (archive footage)
Adam Arkin ... Himself (voice)
Red Barber Red Barber ... Himself
Keith Carradine ... Himself (voice)
John Chancellor ... Narrator (voice)
Charles A. Comiskey Charles A. Comiskey ... Himself (archive footage)
John Cusack ... Himself (voice)
Ossie Davis ... Himself (voice)
Shelby Foote ... Himself
Doris Kearns Goodwin ... Herself
Donald Hall Donald Hall ... Himself
Joe Jackson ... Himself (archive footage)
Garrison Keillor ... Himself (voice)
Kenesaw M. Landis Kenesaw M. Landis ... Himself (archive footage)
Amy Madigan ... Herself (voice)


The third episode of the series covers the period 1910-20. In this decade, the game went from it's zenith in popularity to the depths of betrayal and fan disillusionment. Ty Cobb dominated the game but was hated by virtually everyone in baseball, including his own teammates. He was racist and brutal, once beating up a handicapped fan who was heckling him. After another similar incident, American League President Bam Johnson suspended him indefinitely. He also became baseball's richest player thanks to a wise investment in a company called Coca Cola. The first Latin Americans, Cubans, were signed to play ball but African Americans were still barred. It was also a time when some of the great baseball fields were built, including Fenway Park in 1912 and Ebbets Field in Brooklyn in 1913. Players were concerned about their own situation vis-a-vis the owners - the reserve clause and the lack of pensions or other benefits led them to create a players fraternity. It was the new Federal League... Written by garykmcd

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Release Date:

20 September 1994 (USA) See more »

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Did You Know?


Aidan Quinn: [as grand jury investigator] Does Mrs. Jackson know that you got five thousand dollars for helping throw these games?
Keith Carradine: [as Joe Jackson] She did that night, yes.
Aidan Quinn: [as grand jury investigator] What did she say about it?
Keith Carradine: [as Joe Jackson] She said it was an awful thing to do.
See more »


King Porter Stomp
Written by Ferdinand 'Jelly Roll' Morton (as Jelly Roll Morton), courtesy of Edwin H. Morris & Co.
Performed by Butch Thompson, courtesy of Daring Records
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User Reviews

The Results of Penury
22 January 2015 | by HitchcocSee all my reviews

This is 1910 to 1919. It focused on the players efforts to get some sustenance from what they did. They had failed to get rid of the reserve clause which tied players to their teams for life. It tells of the Federal League which lasted two years but pulled players from the existing American and National Leagues. It further demonstrates what awful people the owners were, how little they respected the people who were their meal tickets. It tells of the role of baseball during World War I. Once again the owners tried to manipulate the situation to keep their players out of the military, but ultimately, over 200 were enlisted, although many continued playing baseball on military teams. The episode ends with a focus on the 1919 Black Sox scandal and how it all came about. One could almost see how this could happen, considering the basic enslavement of the players.

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