Category Archives: Baseball


Ken Burns takes a break from recounting Hornsby’s statistical brilliance — the three seasons he batted over .400, the two MVP awards, the second-highest lifetime batting average, etc. — to tell us a story about an umpire’s wit. This is the charm of Burns’s 1994 documentary series Baseball. The viewer is regaled for more than 18 hours with not only box scores and controversy but also the quips of those who populated the game. But a funny thing happens midway through the last two-hour episode, which covers the game from the ‘70s to the ‘90s: The wit disappears. It happened right as we stopped referring to teams as ball clubs and started calling them “organizations” and brands.