The BEST Episodes of Baseball
Every episode ever - ranked by fan votes!
Last Updated: Feb 7, 2021
Baseball: A Film by Ken Burns is an Emmy Award-winning 1994 documentary series by about the game of baseball, originally aired on PBS.
#1 - Bottom of the Tenth
Season 2 - Episode 2 - Aired Sep 29, 2010
Ken Burns' follow-up to "Baseball" concludes with a look at dominating pitchers like Pedro Martinez, Japan's first MLB star, Ichiro Suzuki; the comfort provided by the game after the 9/11 attacks; revelations about performance-enhancing drugs; the Red Sox-Yankees rivalry; and Boston's World Series victory.
#2 - Sixth Inning: The National Pastime
Season 1 - Episode 6 - Aired Sep 25, 1994
Sixth Inning, The National Pastime, covers the 1940s and includes Joe DiMaggio's celebrated hitting streak, the awe-inspiring performance of Ted Williams and what Burns calls "baseball's finest moment" — the debut of Jackie Robinson, who broke the color barrier as a member of the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947.
#3 - Ninth Inning: Home
Season 1 - Episode 9 - Aired Sep 28, 1994
Ninth Inning, Home, looks at baseball from the 1970s to the present, including the establishment of the free agent system, the rise in player salaries, the continued expansion, the dilution of talent, the ongoing battles between labor and management and the scandals. The documentary ends with an ironic claim that baseball, and indirectly the World Series, could never be stopped. The 1994 World Series, the series to be played the year the film was aired, was canceled due to a players' strike.
#4 - Fifth Inning: Shadow Ball
Season 1 - Episode 5 - Aired Sep 22, 1994
Fifth Inning, Shadow Ball, tells the story of the Negro Leagues in the 1930s. The title refers to a common pre-game feature in which the players staged a mock game with an imaginary ball. Though unintended, the pantomime was an apt metaphor for the exclusion of blacks from major league play at that time.
#5 - Top of the Tenth
Season 2 - Episode 1 - Aired Sep 28, 2010
Part 1 of 2. Ken Burns' follow-up to "Baseball" picks up where the 1994 series left off. Included: the crippling 1994 strike; the influx of international players; Cal Ripken's consecutive-games streak; the thrilling 1998 home-run race between Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa.
#6 - Seventh Inning: The Capital of Baseball
Season 1 - Episode 7 - Aired Sep 26, 1994
Seventh Inning, The Capitol of Baseball, takes viewers through the 1950s when New York City had three successful baseball teams and dominated the World Series. By the end of the decade, the Giants and Dodgers had left New York, a signal that the old game was changed forever.
#7 - Eighth Inning: A Whole New Ballgame
Season 1 - Episode 8 - Aired Sep 27, 1994
Eighth Inning, A Whole New Ball Game, moves the field to the 1960s. This episode traces the emergence of television, the expansion to new cities and the building of anonymous multipurpose stadiums that robbed the game of its intimacy and some of its urban following.
#8 - Fourth Inning: A National Heirloom
Season 1 - Episode 4 - Aired Sep 21, 1994
Fourth Inning, A National Heirloom, concentrates on Babe Ruth, whose phenomenal performance thrilled the nation throughout the 1920s and rescued the game from the scandal of the previous decade.
#9 - Third Inning: The Faith of Fifty Million People
Season 1 - Episode 3 - Aired Sep 20, 1994
Third Inning, The Faith of Fifty Million People, examines the century's second decade, which was dominated by the Black Sox scandal. George Herman "Babe" Ruth makes his first major league appearance (as a member of the Boston Red Sox) and a wave of immigration helps fill the stands with new fans, eager to "become American" by learning America's game.
#10 - Second Inning: Something Like a War
Season 1 - Episode 2 - Aired Sep 19, 1994
Second Inning, Something Like a War, takes viewers through 1910 and introduces some of the game's most celebrated and colorful characters, including Ty Cobb, Honus Wagner, Christy Mathewson and Walter Johnson., and includes the formation of the American League and its integration with the National League, culminating in the establishment of the World Series.
#11 - First Inning: Our Game
Season 1 - Episode 1 - Aired Sep 18, 1994
First Inning, Our Game, looks at the origins of baseball in the 1840s and takes the story up to 1900. Burns refutes the myth that Abner Doubleday invented baseball in Cooperstown and traces its roots instead to the earliest days of the nation — there are records of a game called "Base" played at Valley Forge..