These are the greats of baseball history, legends in their lifetime legends today. It's baseball as you've never seen it before the way you always imagined the way it was. When It Was a Game is composed entirely of 8 and 1... more »6 mm home movie footage taken by fans and the players themselves between 1934 and 1957. For the first time, star players and their stadiums step out of the black and white newsreel footage, and appear in living, breathing color. Players like Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Ty Cobb and Joe DiMaggio. Ballparks like Ebbets Field, Briggs Stadium, Crosley Field and Griffith Stadium. As time passed, baseball changed, some of the clubs, the parks, the players are no longer with us. But their memory is and the magic of those memories is brought vividly to life, in When It Was a Game.« less
""When it was a Game" ranks up there as one of my favorite baseball films, and I have owned a copy on VHS since it came out in 1992. I have enjoyed watching the outstanding footage and listening to the insightful comentary dozens upon dozens of times. Naturally, I jumped at the chance to purchase the DVD when it was released earlier this year. HOWEVER, it should be noted that this edition differs significantly from the original VHS tape: Certain segments were either omitted, shortened, or entirely different. This is not to say that the changes are for the worse, but rather to warn anyone who thinks they are purchasing an exact duplicate of the VHS, which the title seems to imply."
Baseball time travel
Jason A. Miller | New York, New York USA | 04/22/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I sometimes dream in black and white, and when I do, I'm usually watching an old baseball game, one played before there was TV, even. Doubtless my dreams are influenced by all the old books I read as a kid, and from watching "When It Was a Game" when it originally aired on HBO a decade ago. I decided to buy the DVD for myself after seeing some of the memorabilia from the Baseball Hall of Fame currently on display in the "Baseball As America" exhibit at the Museum of Natural History in Manhattan.And while many of the players and ballparks captured on film here were gone long before I was born, I recognized most of them anyway. I especially thrilled in seeing the black & white footage from the 1934 World Series -- the hard slides, the beanballs, the old-school herky-jerky pitching deliveries -- and the color footage from the '38 Series at Wrigley Field. Here you also get to see the fabled Green Monster at Fenway Park, before it was either Green, or called "Monster" -- covered in billboards for razor blades or Lifebuoy soap.If I had to complain, I'd say that for a beginning or casual fan, the footage presented is confusing at first, since graphics and explanatory voiceovers are kept to a minimum in the first twenty minutes. Eventually, however, all the ballparks shown are identified by name, as are many of the players. The narration is misty-eyed and minimal, and not all of the poems or literary passages recited may be to your liking. However, it should be understood that HBO is quite adept at this form of documentary, and "When It Was A Game" was at the forefront of the HBO revolution. And it's also hard to argue with hearing Burgess Whitehead and Eldon Auker and Tommy Henrich speak for themselves.Go out and watch "When It Was A Game" for yourself -- with the sound on, painting a word-picture of a time you can no longer see for yourself, or even with the sound off, just to look at the footage (Pepper Martin's juggling trick has to have been done with mirrors!). Then when someone asks you what you watched on TV yesterday, you can say, "Oh, the 1934 World Series...""
Tammy A. | somewhere near San Francisco | 03/29/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I never saw this on HBO so I can't compare the DVD to that as some other reviewers have done. All I can say is that even my husband who is not a baseball fan was touched!
Technically amazing, I'm sure lots of this old footage had to be cleaned up for acceptable production quality. How did they dig up all this great footage? The prose/poetry voiceovers are pivotal to create that misty sweet nostalgia for the old game.
A little too heavy on the Yanks, even though, yes, they did dominate during this time period. Bonus is additional voiceover interviews from stars such as Enos Slaughter discussing opponents, teammates, the hometown crowd, and the rigors of travel. Wonderful footage of the Gashouse Gang and early immortals such as Ty Cobb and Cy Young!"
Tammy A. | 04/21/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"if you have even a passing interest in the history of baseball do not hesitate...BUY THIS DVD NOW! incredible footage of the classic ballparks and the past greats of the game.i was left wishing that when it was a game 2 was available on dvd.(it is available on vhs)one of the best shorts that HBO has ever done!"