[14 December 2009]
Baseball is that most encyclopedic of sports. Few other games feature the kind of statistical wealth that might describe a batter’s chances against left-handers in July, or a pitcher’s lifetime earned run average against short stops. The Official World Series Film Collection encapsulates a great many of the sport’s expansive details, cataloguing summaries of the championship series from 1943 to 2008.
The hardcore fans will appreciate the thoroughness of the compendium, whose 65 game-by-game narrative summaries would take two and a half days to watch if played back-to-back. More casual fans will appreciate the fact that this collection skips over the mid-season lulls and between-pitch pauses, distilling the game down into its most dramatic moments. From Willy Mays’ “The Catch” to Reggie Jackson’s transformation into “Mr. October”, from Jack Morris’ ten-inning shutout to the Red Sox reversing “the curse”, the collection is both a record and a celebration of the sport at its pinnacle.
A glossy companion book offers pictures and descriptions going back to 1903, and a few blank pages are left to invite fans to include their own memories of future World Series. Baseball’s universe continues to expand, but this collection is a deluxe reminder of where it all began.