The BEST Episodes of Baseball

Every episode ever - ranked by fan votes!

Last Updated: May 10, 2020

Network: PBS

Baseball: A Film by Ken Burns is an Emmy Award-winning 1994 documentary series by about the game of baseball, originally aired on PBS.

Bottom of the Tenth

#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.

star 9.51
67 votes
Directors: Ken Burns
Writers:
Sixth Inning: The National Pastime

#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.

star 9.43
75 votes
Directors: Ken Burns
Writers: Ken Burns
Ninth Inning: Home

#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.

star 9.36
72 votes
Directors: Ken Burns
Writers: Ken Burns
Fifth Inning: Shadow Ball

#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.

star 9.27
77 votes
Directors: Ken Burns
Writers: Ken Burns
Top of the Tenth

#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.

star 9.00
68 votes
Directors: Ken Burns
Writers:
Seventh Inning: The Capital of Baseball

#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.

star 8.93
75 votes
Directors: Ken Burns
Writers: Ken Burns
Eighth Inning: A Whole New Ballgame

#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.

star 8.88
75 votes
Directors: Ken Burns
Writers: Ken Burns
Fourth Inning: A National Heirloom

#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.

star 8.85
82 votes
Directors: Ken Burns
Writers: Ken Burns
Third Inning: The Faith of Fifty Million People

#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.

star 8.80
82 votes
Directors: Ken Burns
Writers: Ken Burns
Second Inning: Something Like a War

#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.

star 8.77
86 votes
Directors: Ken Burns
Writers: Ken Burns
First Inning: Our Game

#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..

star 8.21
132 votes
Directors: Ken Burns
Writers: Ken Burns