Monday, December 10, 2007

Movie Review: "The Life and Times of Hank Greenburg" (1998)

Hank Greenburg is a fan generation or two before my time so I didn't know much about him before I watched baseball documentary "The Life and Times of Hank Greenburg." The 90 minute movie is shot in color with lots of black and white archival footage.

Greenburg was a big, tall, handsome baseball player that was a big hitter for Detroit for most of his career (although he played his last season at Pittsburgh where he closed his career with twenty-five home runs when that was a pretty good total). He hit fifty-eight home runs in 1938.

One of the most interesting aspects of Greenburg's career is the amount of anti-Semitism he experienced. All baseball fans remember the impact of Jackie Robinson and the racial integration of Major League Baseball, but for most of us the problems of anti-Semitism are unknown. Included in the movie are the reactions of various Jewish entertainers such as Walter Mathau who viewed Greenburg as a hero because he was a great baseball player and a Jew.

This is a good documentary about a player is not as well remembered by Baby Boomers and subsequent generations as he should be.

It's almost Christmas, here are some DVDs to put in your favorite baseball fan's stocking.

Everyone have a nice, good day! Let's play two!

Friday, December 07, 2007

"Viva Baseball"

I'm starting to find myself getting ready for the 2008 baseball season. I've watched a couple of baseball documentaries.

One of these is "Viva Baseball" a documentary about Latino baseball players and the affects they have had on baseball. It's a pretty good documentary with lots of historic footage and interviews. It's worth watching just for its description of the infamous Juan Marichal incident.

You can find this review an others at my movie review website. Click on the alphabetic list of movies that contain the letter "V" in the left column. Sorry I can't give you a more definite link, but the page name keeps changing as I add more reviews and I have to break the page down into smaller sections so it will load at a reasonable speed.

There hasn't been much going on in the Winter meetings this year. I am at least interested, with the possibility of being excited that the Mariners have picked up R.A. Dickey, a knuckleballer, under the rule 5 draft from the Twins. I've always had a fondness for the knuckleball. It seems kind of odd that the Twins would have signed Dickey to a minor league contract. With half of their games indoors I have to wonder why they would want a knuckleball pitcher that needs the uncertainties of outdoor weather.

Everyone have a nice, good day! Let's play two!

TF Edge

Friday, August 17, 2007

"How to Get a Baseball at a Major League Game"

As a longtime baseball fan I am frustrated that I have never caught a ball that leaves the playing field. In fact, I've never even come close to doing so. Naturally I was intrigued when I found out about a guy who has more than 2,000 baseballs caught at major league games and more than four hundred consecutive games where he's gotten a baseball. Here's a link to the video on Youtube.

The video features Zack Hample. Besides being a great collector of baseball balls, Hample is a big fan and has written a couple of books about baseball. I've read How to Watch Baseball Smarter, but haven't been able to find a copy of his other book How to Snag Major League Baseballs, a book written in 1999 for kids and apparently out of print. How to Watch Baseball Smarter is a good book that is both entertaining and educational. I didn't always agree with what Hample wrote, but I did find some answers to questions that had been nagging at me.

Go Cubbies!

Everyone have a nice, good day! Let's play two!