A couple weeks ago, the Cubs posted this documentary about the restoration and expansion of Wrigley Field. The film also includes a lot of history of the ballpark and is certainly worth the watch. Even if you’re not a Cubs fan, one can’t deny Wrigley is an important landmark in the sport, and it would be nice to keep it around for as long as possible.
This documentary, “Fastball,” is fun to watch, and currently, it’s available for free through YouTube. Kevin Costner narrates, and you also get to hear from Joe Posnanski, Derek Jeter, Goose Gossage, Hank Aaron, plus a number of other hard-throwing pitchers and the hitters who had to face them. The documentary is rich with stories about many of the great fastball pitchers in the game, both past and present, and I even found myself experiencing small surges of adrenaline as I watched. The science presented in the film is fascinating, as well.
It looks like you’ll have to make your way to YouTube to watch it, as I’m unable to drop the video here due to restrictions. Definitely check it out, if you get the chance!
Here’s a fun documentary short about Dusty Baker. I had never stopped to think about the origins of the high five before. It’s one of those things that I always took for granted, but I guess that, like all things, it had to start somewhere.
The move of the Dodgers from Brooklyn to Los Angeles was before my time, and I sheepishly have to confess that I was not aware of this bit of history before I came across this short documentary by Vox. While these sorts of events are certainly not unique to Los Angeles, I do think it is important to ensure that episodes like this stay at the forefront of the public consciousness (or get introduced to folks who, like me, are not aware of these kinds of details).
This documentary on the unstoppable Bo Jackson is a lot of fun to watch. Holy smokes, what an athlete.
This has to be the cheesiest documentary I have ever watched, but that characteristic actually made it pretty fun. As you’ll see, the cheese just oozes right from the intro, which I imagine is due in part to the era in which the film was made, while Ryan was still playing ball. (Seeing a young George W. Bush with dark hair was a little trippy, but not in an intentional way by the filmmakers.) Nevertheless, this video provides a great look at Ryan’s impressive career.
Here’s a delightful little documentary about the Polo Grounds. I’ve always loved the metaphor of a baseball stadium as a church or cathedral. I feel the same way about Kauffman Stadium every time I attend a Royals game.
It’s always a shame when stadiums like this get torn down. I understand that progress sometimes dictates the need for such things, but so much history gets lost in the process, too.
While this is far from a comprehensive collection of “lost” teams in baseball history, this short clip provides an interesting look at the St. Louis Browns, Boston Braves, and Philadelphia Athletics. Being the number two team in your own city is never an easy position to overcome.
Here’s a documentary on Joe DiMaggio by ESPN that aired in 1999 as part of the SportsCentury series. It’s obviously an abbreviated documentary, not going into a lot of depth, but it is still certainly worth a watch.
I can’t help but chuckle inwardly a little bit whenever a documentary or book declares itself “definitive” or something similar (really, can any biographical account ever truly be definitive?). Nevertheless, this documentary on Mickey Mantle is a good one, and a person can get a good solid overview of his life and career from it.
Even better, if you find yourself unable to get your hands on a copy, you can watch the film through YouTube.