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Take Me Out to the Ballgame

Ellen Adair March 3, 2021


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This week on Take Me In to the Ballgame:

Ellen Adair and Eric Gilde discuss the 1949 Busby Berkley musical “Take Me Out to the Ballgame,” grading it on the 20-80 scouting scale. They introduce the film (1:34), with an overview of the story, cast, and director. They review the 20-80 baseball scouting grades for rating the film (11:10), with another apropos metaphor. Amount of Baseball (15:50) revisits what counts towards baseball quantity. They discuss the wait for a proper baseball scene, baseball montages without baseball, and the illustrations in the opening credits. Ellen points out the moment that Goldberg considers stretching a single. With Baseball Accuracy (18:53), our scouts dive in on the history of ballplayers in vaudeville, discussing Ty Cobb, Christy Matthewson, John McGraw, Mike Donlin, Cap Anson and Rube Marquard. They determine the year depicted in the film using T206 baseball cards, and tell stories about Rube Waddell and Ossee Shreck. Ah, Rube Waddell. Teddy Roosevelt and clowning accuracies are considered. They debate the 1908 vs. 1927 version of “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” and problems with arguing balls and strikes, season scheduling, deadball-era observations, and the final game, with shout-out to Brett Phillips and Randy Arozarena. An unofficial Ellen Adair breakdown on baseball weight, citing Jose Altuve, Ronald Torreyes, Candy Cummings, Dummy Leitner, and Johnny Evers. Storytelling (46:31) examines this film as a high-variance player. They discuss baseball-relevant songs like “O’Brien to Ryan to Goldberg,” with reference to “Tinker to Evers to Chance” and Hank Greenberg, baseball-irrelevant songs like “The Hat My Father Wore on St. Patrick’s Day,” and horrifying songs, like “Yes, Indeedy.” Are the people writing the songs and the dialogue talking to each other? That’s a lot of milk. Consideration of Denny’s (Frank Sinatra) moonlight serenade of KC Higgins (Esther Williams), and Shirley’s (Betty Garrett) pursuit of Denny. They also discuss Leo Durocher’s connection to the film, Phil Rizzuto, and various manufactured problems. Score (1:14:32) generally appreciates Roger Eden’s catchy, peppy style despite questions about the content. Acting (1:14:51) discusses the undeniable charisma of Gene Kelly, Frank Sinatra, Esther Williams and Betty Garrett, plus praise for Tom Dugan, Jules Munchin, and the whole cast. Delightfulness of Catcher (1:20:41) weighs Goldberg as a clown catcher and catcher stand-in versus various traits of the Senators catcher. Delightfulness of Announcer (1:23:08) does not offer much. Lack of Misogyny (1:23:58) speculates on how the movie itself thinks it would score in this tool, with O’Brien and Ryan as romantic foils. The film’s ultimate attitude towards KC Higgins and O’Brien’s lack of character development are problems. No to the caveman approach. Just, no. And no spoilers on the following segments: Yes or No (1:34:00), Six Degrees of Baseball (1:40:07), Favorite Moment (1:41:02) Least Favorite Moment (1:43:34), Scene We Would Have Liked to See (1:44:55), Dreamiest Player (1:47:20), Favorite Performance (1:48:40) Next Time (1:50:05) and Review Thank You (1:51:46).

 

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