Author Topic: Baseball  (Read 9861 times)

colonel_mexico

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Re: Baseball
« Reply #10 on: June 02, 2015, 11:11:06 PM »
Yeah I'm excited for this to get going too.  I've got PRIDE in the DVR, think I shall also give it a spin as soon as I have some time.  Fun all around! :)
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pixote

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Re: Baseball
« Reply #11 on: June 02, 2015, 11:26:10 PM »
PRIDE in the DVR

Did anyone else sing this in their head, à la Stop! in the Name of Love!?

No?

Just me?

Okay.

pixote
I think I'd love how awkward it'd be, or how awkward it should be.

Junior

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Re: Baseball
« Reply #12 on: June 02, 2015, 11:28:19 PM »
Not just you!
Check out my blog of many topics

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Corndog

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Re: Baseball
« Reply #13 on: June 07, 2015, 07:54:45 AM »
Game 1
The Pride of the Yankees (Sam Wood, 1942)

Kicking off this marathon is a film I've seen before, which means I'll feel right at home, especially with the subject matter of Lou Gehrig, who just so happens to be my all-time favorite player. It may seem strange that a player whose prime was the 1920s and 1930s would be the favorite player of someone born in the 1980s, but I was always attracted to his history and stat line. Baseball and History have always been two of my favorite subjects, so to study the history of the game and discover the gem that is Lou Gehrig was quite a thrilling experience. I think what drew me most to Gehrig was his teammate, Babe Ruth, whose fame goes beyond Baseball to become an American icon. Often considered the greatest player to ever play the game, I wouldn't go so far as to say Ruth overshadows Gehrig's greatness, but he kind of does. Gehrig's fame, of course, also goes beyond Baseball, but for a far more unfortunate reason, ALS. There is something endlessly admirable to me about a guy who would go out and do his job everyday (Gehrig played in 2,130 consecutive games), excel at an extremely high level (career .340/493/1995 line), and show great courage in the face of a life threatening disease.

With such a giant of the sport, and the film about his life coming out only a few years after his sudden passing, it should be of no surprise that the resulting film is very sentimental and paints Gehrig as a clean cut everyman hero. Not being his biographer, I cannot say how accurate the film is, but as a work of fiction, The Pride of the Yankees does a great job of crafting the character of Henry Louis Gehrig. Central to that craft is the performance of Gary Cooper, whose work previously I haven't loved (or hated), but Cooper seems like the perfect fit to play Gehrig. Seemingly stoic and a little lacking of emotion, Cooper manages to portray Gehrig as a hard working class man, who just loves the game of baseball and is dedicated to both work and family. His restrained emotion only serves to make the emotional scenes even more so. Complimenting Cooper is all American girl next door Teresa Wright as his wife, Eleanor. Wright and Cooper have a great rapport, which is extremely convincing and loving. Of Babe Ruth, I would say it was probably best that his scenes were limited. He did fine in his limited screen time, but I can imagine things starting to go off the rails if he appeared more than he did. Of course, Walter Brennan as the friendly sports writer (if there is such a thing to players) is marvelous. The cast knocks it out of the park (pun somewhat intended).

As for the baseball scenes, for a 1942 film there are some cool effects pulled off by the filmmaking team. For instance, the framing of the ball field in the background while the radio announcer makes his call of the game. Generally, the baseball scenes are standard, with the only significant baseball action coming in the World Series game after a hospital visit. The scenes are fine, and Cooper's swing looks passable. It doesn't strike me as a Lou Gehrig swing, but that was a once in a lifetime swing. The best baseball scene was easily the sandlot scene from when Lou was a kid, just looking to play the game he loved with some of the other neighborhood kids. That scene alone completely covers the love of the game from a child's perspective, and the fuel which made playing the game every day for his whole career convincing.

If you had a time machine, when and where would you go first? I have often contemplated this question, and knowing that I could go anywhere in history, my answer has always been to go back and see all of the old baseball greats play in person. I would love to go back in time and get to see the 1927 Yankees, Murderer's Row, including Ruth and Gehrig. I would love to see players from the Negro Leagues play (stay tuned for Soul of the Game later in this marathon  ;)). DiMaggio, Mays, Cy Young, Walter Johnson, Ty Cobb, the list goes on and on and on. I would love to see the style of the game played, and how it has evolved over time. The Pride of the Yankees was a great start to the marathon, and not quite a time machine, but to spend time with the Iron Horse Lou Gehrig only adds to my appreciation of him as a ball player and as a man.

****

Team(s) Featured: New York Yankees
« Last Edit: September 29, 2015, 08:33:50 AM by Corndog »
"Time is the speed at which the past decays."

colonel_mexico

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Re: Baseball
« Reply #14 on: June 07, 2015, 08:41:32 AM »
THE PRIDE OF THE YANKEES 1942- The history of the Iron Horse is legendary and having been the first Yank with a number retired, his greatness is overshadowed only by his humility in the face of certain death.  I love his records, two major ones that I watched bittersweetly, get taken down; the record consecutive games started (2,130) by Cal Ripken Jr., and grand slams (23) by Alex Rodriguez.  The film itself has everything the sandlot, baseball cards, the poor young man who decides to pursue the game and money over a 'real' profession.  I loved the scene when Lou gets the call-up to the big club and he finds himself in fanboy mode, enamored with just being so close to the Babe that he forgets he's part of the squad.  It's impossible not to be romantic about baseball, the records, living the dreams these men have had since they were boys, and as with all the things the end of careers, eras.  I can't agree more with what CD shared about the cast Walter Brennan and Gary Cooper are just fantastic.  I'm not familiar with Teresa Wright, but she has wonderful chemistry and the 'tanglefoot' exchange is cute.  This is easy one of the greatest baseball films ever made, a beautiful tragedy, and a romance for those who live and die during the dog days of summer.

Wow, CD a great stat line, the runs scored is something Lou did well, as well as driving in runs and a lifetime .340 average!  He really was an Iron Horse and I feel like like one of the luckier men alive to at least have gotten to know a bit about him.  Great review and can't wait to catch the future review box scores, I might watch a couple of more baseball films and take a hack or two at a review.
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Corndog

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Re: Baseball
« Reply #15 on: June 09, 2015, 08:05:28 AM »
Game 2
Take Me Out to the Ball Game (Busby Berkeley, 1949)

I’m not sure how I spent my life before knowing that a Gene Kelly/Frank Sinatra baseball musical existed. It almost feels like my life was not my own until now. And not only is this a baseball musical, but it’s an old timey vaudevillian baseball musical, which makes it an even better concept. Set in the early days of baseball (1900s), the Wolves are the champions of the world, and central to their success is the great double play combination up the middle, O’Brien (Kelly) to Ryan (Sinatra). But when new ownership, in the form of K.C. Higgins (Esther Williams), takes a more involved approach with the team, the two find themselves wooing over their new owner, and the pennant begins to slip away.

Both Kelly and Sinatra have wowed me on screen before, but this is the first time I have seen them together in the same film (they made 3 together), and the amount of talent between them is evident. Kelly is just such a great performer, truly living up to his character’s vaudevillian roots. Always a smile on his face, and a full 5 tool player: dancer, singer, fielder, hitter, romancer. Sinatra on the other hand, probably has the better acting chops and certainly a much better voice. They each bring something different to the table and the film takes advantage of both their strengths at different times throughout the film.

The supporting cast is good as well, headed by Esther Williams, whose K.C. Higgins is a fun, independent woman who knows her baseball. Betty Garrett and Jules Munshin deliver laughs as well in their own quirky manner. It seems interesting, as the filmmakers seem to want to make Munshin the third musketeer with Kelly and Sinatra, but his charisma never seems to match that of the two stars, leaving him as the third wheel oftentimes, getting some laughs, but also feeling a little tacked on. He garners enough laughs to be of note though, despite falling short of the charisma of his co-stars.

I will say the film lacks a truly signature moment. There are some great scenes, like “Yes, Indeedy” and the balcony/swimming pool scene. Each allows for some good laughs. There is nothing that elevates it into any kind of classic realm, instead delivering a solid, entertaining romp with two great performers, set in a great time period for baseball.

***

Team(s) Featured: ?? Wolves (fictional)
« Last Edit: September 29, 2015, 08:34:07 AM by Corndog »
"Time is the speed at which the past decays."

Knocked Out Loaded

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Re: Baseball
« Reply #16 on: June 09, 2015, 08:35:46 AM »
3-4, 2 HR (for Billy), 5 RBI, 2 R

2-4, 2 1B, SB, K

I need guidance how to decipher these. :-[
I might remember it all differently tomorrow.

Corndog

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Re: Baseball
« Reply #17 on: June 09, 2015, 08:59:10 AM »
Uhh.... The Pride of the Yankees would be a high 3.5/4 and Take Me Out to the Ball Game would be a mid-to-low 3/4 rating. Does that help?
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MartinTeller

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Re: Baseball
« Reply #18 on: June 09, 2015, 10:16:32 AM »
Not really.  I know "HR" is home runs and "RBI" is runs batted in, but what are "R", "1B", "SB" and "K"? 

What does "3-4" or "2-4" mean in this context, what are the "teams" competing and which score is whose?

Corndog

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Re: Baseball
« Reply #19 on: June 09, 2015, 10:52:46 AM »
Bummer, I thought using this "rating system" would be cool and unique to the marathon, but I see now it won't be as fun having to explain it all....

Hmm, what to do now? Would a key in the first post help at all, or should I abandon the stat line rating all together?
"Time is the speed at which the past decays."