Review: Tenth Inning

Ken Burns’ The Tenth Inning
Part 1: Tuesday, Sept. 28, at 7 p.m. (encore at 9 p.m.)
Part 2: Wednesday, Sept. 29, at 7 p.m. (encore at 9 p.m.)

From the opening notes of the pounding soundtrack of Ken Burns’ Baseball: The 10th Inning, we realize that the game of baseball has moved on. We aren’t watching a quaint documentary about the history of America’s game, rather we’re embarking on a new, sometimes dark, chapter in the story of the game.

It has often been written that the game of baseball is a metaphor for life. The 10th Inning proves this metaphor to be true. Burns’ interwoven storytelling mixes together the highs and lows, the dark and light, the championships and the bitter defeats in such a way that we realize we cannot have one without the other.

Much of the documentary tracks the effects of two key events in recent baseball history, the fallout of the 1994 baseball work stoppage, and the rise in the use of steroids to enhance player performance. Burns not only documents the obvious negative aspects of both events, but also carefully shows how baseball owners, players, and fans grew the game, and created some of baseball’s most memorable moments by reacting strongly to the strike and ignoring the use of performance enhancing drugs.

Ken Burns’ Baseball: The 10th Inning is not just a documentary for hardcore baseball fans. Rather, this masterful film does for all of us what baseball has always done. Through its simplicity, it forces us to question what is truly important to us, regardless of how complicated our lives have become.

About the reviewer: Shane Guiter is the Director of Development for KLRU. He’s worked at the station since 2005. When he’s not raising money for KLRU, Shane blogs about technology and new media, while listing to Radiohead.