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.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.
"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.
Ken Burns Goes Into Extra Innings (NBC LA)