VA
  • TGT on YouTube
  • About TGT
  • The TGT Team
  • How TGT rates
  • Responsible Gambling Advice
  • Contact Our Team
  • Writers Wanted
  • Content Disclaimer
  • Affiliate Disclosure
Contains commercial content
Billboard Left
Billboard Left
The Grueling Truth - Where Legends Speak / The Fallacy of Ken Burns “Baseball” Documentary

The Fallacy of Ken Burns “Baseball” Documentary

The Fallacy of Ken Burns!
Publish Date: 04/07/2023
Fact checked by: Mark Lewis

Mistakes in Ken Burns Baseball Documentary

Ken Burns taxpayer-supported PBS documentaries are shown in public schools across the U.S., presented to students as unvarnished facts. But are they? Every Ken Burn’s documentary I have ever seen has some historical mistakes, and my favorite documentary he did was about baseball. While I still love watching it, there are many things that I know are just not true. Today, we will look at the historical inaccuracies of Burns critically acclaimed Baseball mini-series.

Jackie Robinson

I wonder if Burns just thought no one would notice what they were showing or saying, like showing Jackie Robinson playing 2nd base during his rookie year (he only played 1st that year) or saying that Brooklyn lost their last home game before going to LA (they won 2-0). Now I know footage from this era can be scarce, I get that, so, to make it more pleasing to the eye, Burns fabricates and lies. The problem is that it creates inaccuracies in people’s minds. Many people think he played 2nd base in his rookie year, which is partially why. Everything that Burns does is taken as Gospel, but unfortunately, he sometimes leaves out the facts.

Video: Jackie Robinson: The First African American to Play in the MLB | Mini Bio | BIO

Jackie Robinson: The First African American to Play in the MLB | Mini Bio | BIO

Yaz and the 1967 World Series

The truth is Burns is a great filmmaker and a great storyteller, but he is not a historian. In all his work (not just baseball), he takes multiple liberties with music, images, and narration to make good stories while sacrificing historical accuracy. Similar to what Hollywood does with Movies such as Rudy and Remember the Titans, the problem here is that you are supposed to be telling the unvarnished truth in a documentary. Burns is a filmmaker instead of a documentarian.

I know that footage of Yaz batting in the 1967 World Series exists! I mean, you can only laugh when they show Yaz batting in the 1967 World Series, and then it switches to the pitcher, and it’s the Orioles’ Dave McNally (who didn’t pitch in the ’67 Series; he pitched in the ’69 Series (a series Yaz didn’t play in)). People should watch his work knowing that it blurs fact and fiction (but they won’t).

Video: 1967 WS Gm6: Yastrzemski's homer ties game in fourth

1967 WS Gm6: Yastrzemski’s homer ties game in fourth

The Characterization of Bob Gibson

Bob Gibson resented being called “terrifying” and “scary” and “never pleasant”. After Burns’ Baseball aired, people started to come up to him and ask him how mean he had been as a player. One time, a guy introduced Gibson to his wife. “This is the meanest player ever to play the game,” the guy said. Gibson was stunned and very hurt.

Gibson began doing interviews after Burns’ documentary refuting these claims. He said he was no more aggressive against hitters than anyone else in his era. Gibson said that most pitchers didn’t say hello to the opposing team. He didn’t pitch inside more than Drysdale or Koufax. But Koufax was called an artist, while Gibson was called terrifying. Why is that? Roger Angell referred to Gibson as “Dark and forbidding”, and Gibson felt that was racist because it was.

By the way, Gibson did not hit Bill White the first time they faced each other. The HBP appeared the 30th time White-faced Gibson. Do you mean to tell me Gibson waited three seasons to finally “give a message” to Bill that “we’re not roommates anymore”? Burns’ documentary also claims that Gibson never gave out autographs, a complete and utter lie. Also, Gibson never said, “The middle 13 inches of the plate belonged to the hitters, and the inside two inches and outside two inches were mine.” Burns made Gibson look like a psychotic pitcher willing to hurt people to win, and that is just not the case. Why would Burns do that? Your guess is as good as mine, but none of those guesses ends up with a satisfying answer, let’s hope Burns was trying to make the documentary a little more exciting.

Video: MLB Network Presents: Icons Lost - Bob Gibson

MLB Network Presents: Icons Lost – Bob Gibson

Was Ty Cobb an Embarrassment? No, but Ken Burns is!

This is where it’s evident that Burns does not do any research whatsoever; he just repeated the lies perpetrated by a drunken sportswriter named Al Stump. In recent years author’s like Charles Leehrsen has set the story straight about Ty Cobb, but unfortunately, men like Stump and Burns are hard to overcome when they have a head start on telling their false narrative.

According to legend, the player with the all-time highest batting average (.366) stabbed and killed a black waiter in Cleveland for being what he called “uppity.” In Ken Burns “Baseball” documentary, Cobb is vilified as “an embarrassment to the game.” so Burns told a false narrative about Cobb supposedly killing someone! It just wasn’t true; Burns was regurgitating the story.

Burns painted Cobb as a racist, which once again if Burns had done some research, he would have found that it simply was not valid. When Cobb was asked about Jackie Robinson and the integration of baseball in 1952, Cobb told the Sporting News that “the negro has the right to compete in sports and who’s to say they have not?” Why didn’t Burns tell that story?

Cobb also told a newspaper in the 1950s that Willie Mays was “the only player I’d pay money to see”. Cobb also would befriend Negro League players, often sitting in the dugout with them during games after throwing out the first pitch when he played exhibition games against them in the 1920s.

A New York Post article (‘How Ty Cobb was framed as a racist’ by Kyle Smith, May 31, 2015) states that Negro League ballplayer Bobby Robinson of the Detroit Stars said: “there wasn’t a hint of prejudice in Cobb’s attitude.”

So what we have is a man in Ken Burns who takes taxpayer monies and does absolutely no research on his own. He takes the stories we were all told as kids and reuses them. So, Burns’ “Baseball” documentary does more harm than good in the end.

Video: Ty Cobb Rare Footage

Ty Cobb Rare Footage

 

Billboard Left
Billboard Left
Read Also
Tommy Morrison and AIDS: The Truth about what happened
Tommy Morrison burst onto the professional boxing scene in 1988. Following a ...
Come Fly with me: How the 1988-89 Chicago Bulls pushed forward to an NBA dynasty.
Find the best sportsbook to bet on the NBA Playoffs! Prologue: By ...
BetMGM Promo
Esteban de Jesus, Roberto Duran y AIDS (1972-89)
Many of us dream of celebrity sports fame, but only cruel individuals ...
Michael Nunn and Iran Barkley Discuss Their Bout, Bob Arum, and the Four Kings
Mountains to Climb, Pebbles in Your Shoe “I always say that was ...
Carmen Basilio vs. Ray Robinson II and Harry Wiley, the Man who Made Sugar Sweeter
Carmen Basilio won the world middleweight title from Ray Robinson by split ...
Elmer Ray: The Humble Man of Hastings
"Men judge generally more by the eye than by the hand, for ...
Lady Tyger’s Tale: How Marian Trimiar Mauled the Boxing Establishment of the 1970s and 80s
To Feed the Ambition in Your Heart is Like Carrying a Tiger ...
The Army Boxer Who Knocked-Down Muhammad Ali (1960)
I had wanted to write a boxing story about Junebug Hudson for ...
The Importance of Sports in Education
Sport is vital in school, and it encompasses more than physicality. Games ...
Social Casino of the month
Stake.us - Sign up now! Sign up now!
Top Brands
Top Bonuses
Stake.us
Stake.us
Stake.us Review
4.6/5
Wow Vegas
Wow Vegas
Wow Vegas Review
4.6/5
Golden Hearts Games
Golden Hearts Games
Golden Hearts Games Review
4.6/5
LuckyLand Slots
LuckyLand Slots
LuckyLand Slots Review
4.5/5
Pulsz.com
Pulsz.com
Pulsz.com Review
4.5/5
Stake.us
Stake.us Bonus
5% Rakeback
T&Cs apply
4.6/5
Wow Vegas
Wow Vegas Bonus
30 SCs on 1st Purchase + 4.5 SCs FREE
T&Cs apply
4.6/5
Golden Hearts Games
Golden Hearts Games Bonus
Get $5 extra in FREE play
T&Cs apply
4.6/5
LuckyLand Slots
LuckyLand Slots Bonus
7,000 Gold Coins + 10 Sweeps Coins
T&Cs apply
4.5/5
Pulsz.com
Pulsz.com Bonus
5,000 Gold Coins + 2.3 Sweepstakes Coins
T&Cs apply
4.5/5
Latest News
Top 16 Green Bay Packers of All Time
Once again just like the Steelers list, more ...
Top 11 Living Boxers: Who sits at the top Duran or leonard?
   This list only includes retired boxers Who ...
Top 10 Teams to not win an NBA Championship
They had Dirk Nowitzki in his absolute prime, ...
Betting Tips
06/01/2023 - 8:30 pm
Ball Arena
Tip:
Nuggets to Cover
Nuggets -8
FanDuel
05/29/2023 - 8:30 pm
TD Garden
Tip:
Heat to Cover
Heat +8
FanDuel
05/27/2023 - 8:30 pm
Kaseya Arena
Tip:
Celtics to Cover
Celtics -3
FanDuel
Our Latest YouTube Videos
Video: Boxing History 101: Randall
Boxing History 101: Randall "Tex" Cobb the Man who shut up Howard Cosell
Video: 1919 Cincinnati Reds: True Champions
1919 Cincinnati Reds: True Champions
Video: Boxing History 101: Abe Attell A Complex Champion
Boxing History 101: Abe Attell A Complex Champion
Sportsbook of the month
PointsBet - Get your Bonus Bet now! Get your Bonus Bet now!
Find out what the legends have to say about sports this week....
Top Online Casinos
Top Casinos Bonuses
Stake.us
Stake.us
Stake.us Review
4.6/5
Wow Vegas
Wow Vegas
Wow Vegas Review
4.6/5
Golden Hearts Games
Golden Hearts Games
Golden Hearts Games Review
4.6/5
LuckyLand Slots
LuckyLand Slots
LuckyLand Slots Review
4.5/5
Pulsz.com
Pulsz.com
Pulsz.com Review
4.5/5
Stake.us
Stake.us Bonus
5% Rakeback
T&Cs apply
4.6/5
Wow Vegas
Wow Vegas Bonus
30 SCs on 1st Purchase + 4.5 SCs FREE
T&Cs apply
4.6/5
Golden Hearts Games
Golden Hearts Games Bonus
Get $5 extra in FREE play
T&Cs apply
4.6/5
LuckyLand Slots
LuckyLand Slots Bonus
7,000 Gold Coins + 10 Sweeps Coins
T&Cs apply
4.5/5
Pulsz.com
Pulsz.com Bonus
5,000 Gold Coins + 2.3 Sweepstakes Coins
T&Cs apply
4.5/5
Top Betting Sites
Top Betting Bonuses
FanDuel
FanDuel
FanDuel Review
4.8/5
PointsBet
PointsBet
PointsBet Review
4.6/5
Bet365
Bet365
Bet365 Review
4.5/5
BetRivers.com
BetRivers.com
BetRivers.com Review
4.5/5
Unibet
Unibet
Unibet Review
4.5/5
FanDuel
FanDuel Bonus
Get up to $1,000 back in bonus bets
T&Cs apply
4.8/5
PointsBet
PointsBet Bonus
5 x $50Bet Credits
T&Cs apply
4.6/5
Bet365
Bet365 Bonus
Bet $1 & Get $200 in Bonus Bets
T&Cs apply
4.5/5
Bet $1 and Get $200 in Bonus Bets at bet365. Deposit required. Bonus Bets winnings are added to Bonus Bets balance. Bonus Bet wager excluded from returns. T&Cs, time limits and exclusions apply. Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-Gambler 21+
BetRivers.com
BetRivers.com Bonus
100% up to $500
T&Cs apply
4.5/5
Unibet
Unibet Bonus
100% up to $100
T&Cs apply
4.5/5
Our Team
Mike GoodpasterAuthor IconJosh SchwartzSamuel TeetsSimon Briffa
+8
Mike Goodpaster
Mike Goodpaster
Chief Editor
Author Icon
Christopher Carlson
Content Writer
Josh Schwartz
Josh Schwartz
Editor
Samuel Teets
Samuel Teets
US Sports Veteran
Simon Briffa
Simon Briffa
Sports Editor
Mark Lewis
Mark Lewis
Editor
Chris Benedict
Chris Benedict
Editor
Author Icon
Malik Zorrok
Author
Author Icon
Daniel Kornhauser
Author
John Raspanti
John Raspanti
Author
Author Icon
Buddy Gibbs
Author
Brian Coburn
Brian Coburn
Author
Peter Bonahoom
Peter Bonahoom
Author
Find out what the legends have to say about sports this week....

If you enjoy hearing from the legends of pro sports, then be sure to tune into “The Grueling Truth” sports shows, “Where the legends speak”

Contact us: contact@thegruelingtruth.com

Players must be 21 years of age or older or reach the minimum age for gambling in their respective state and located in jurisdictions where online gambling is legal. Please play responsibly. Bet with your head, not over it. If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, and wants help, call or visit: (a) the Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey at 1-800-Gambler or www.800gambler.org; or (b) Gamblers Anonymous at 855-2-CALL-GA or www.gamblersanonymous.org.

This site is using Cloudflare and adheres to the Google Safe Browsing Program. We adapted Google's Privacy Guidelines to keep your data safe at all times.

21+NCPG
Move to Top
Close
Stake.us Exclusive Bonus
5% Rakeback
Promo Code
Copy
Visit Site
T&Cs apply, 18+
Payment Methods
Bitcoin
Litecoin
Ethereum
Dogecoin
Highlights
  • Exclusive promo code: TGTSOCIAL
  • Play Plinko, Hilo, Crash and more!
  • Get Stake Cash bonuses every day!
Stake Originals
Dice
Crash
Plinko
Mines
×
Your Promo Code:
The bonus offer of was already opened in an additional window. If not, you can open it also by clicking the following link:
Visit Site