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Angels in the Outfield (1951)

Ellen Adair August 5, 2020

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This week on Take Me In to the Ballgame:

Ellen Adair and Eric Gilde discuss the original 1951 version of “Angels in the Outfield,” grading its tools on the 20-80 scouting scale. They introduce the film (1:50), providing background on the director, writer, and some of the cast, including a synopsis of the film (6:14). Some interesting facts about the distribution and the film’s foreign name (8:51) lead to a funny anecdote of confusion about the film “28 Days Later.” After a description of the 20-80 scouting grades for those who are unfamiliar (11:24), they launch into Amount of Baseball (12:26), with both a player comp (no spoilers) and discussion of recency bias. Baseball Accuracy (15:25) touches on baseball parks used in filming, implausible base-running errors, Only Pitcher Disease, the Pirates 1920s-1950s, the Giants in 1951, Black players and managers on the Pirates, Ralph Kiner and Pie Traynor. Some discussion of women’s preference for shortstops or third basemen, citing Anthony Rendon, Matt Chapman, Nolan Arenado, Mike Schmidt and Wade Boggs. Storytelling (36:10) examines mixed angelic messaging, eating steak with ketchup, swearing in the film, Shakespeare, the rhyme scheme of “Take Me Out to the Ballgame,” this version versus the 1994 version, Joe DiMaggio, Ty Cobb, Bing Crosby and Harry Ruby, whether or not baseball managers can go to heaven, what is a reasonable team batting average for angels, Dusty Baker, Ketel Marte, Mike Trout, and Randy Johnson killing a bird. The musical Score (1:10:58) gives props to the angelic soundscape. Acting (1:13:20) looks mostly at the performances of Janet Leigh, Paul Douglas, and Donna Corcoran. Delightfulness of Catcher (1:18:11) and Delightfulness of Announcer (1:18:29) follow. Lack of Misogyny (1:21:22) contains references to Ray Searage, Barbara Billingsley, “Muppet Babies” and Tor Johnson. No spoilers on the following segments: Yes or No (1:27:11), Six Degrees of Baseball (1:32:00) Favorite Moment (1:33:39), Least Favorite Moment (1:34:25), Scene We Would Have Liked to See (1:35:30), Dreamiest Player (1:39:48), Favorite Performance (1:41:15), Next Time (1:43:20) and Review Thank You (1:43:57).


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