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TV & Film

The Winning Team

Eric Gilde March 9, 2022

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This week on Take Me In to the Ballgame:

Ellen Adair and Eric Gilde discuss the 1952 Grover Cleveland Alexander biopic, “The Winning Team.” They introduce the film (1:36), with an overview of the story, the cast, and filmmakers, and review the 20-80 baseball scouting grades for rating the film (7:00). Amount of Baseball (11:53) reveals a new take on this tool from Eric. Ellen has a player comp. Neither scout can refrain from getting into Baseball Accuracy in this category, but when it finally does come around, Baseball Accuracy (17:35) is a doozy. They discuss Alexander’s Hall of Fame plaque, his nicknames (Alex, Pete, Dode, and later “Down and Away Alexander”) Bill Killefer and David Ross comps, Galesburg team accuracy, old timey team names, and geography issues. How long was Alexander knocked out? When was he sold to the Phillies? Unsurprisingly, Ellen looks at how bad the Phillies usually were in the first half of the 20th century. They also discuss Eddie Plank, Eddie Collins, Rogers Hornsby, Alexander in WWI, his drinking, tragic Christy Mathewson inaccuracy, and the complete mess of the timeline of Alexander’s career, as depicted. Oh, and the relationship with Aimee is a complete fabrication. Some accuracy issues with the 1926 World Series, and the famed Lazzeri at bat. Storytelling (53:47) essentially considers the following question: is this the worst thing that these scouts have ever seen? Ellen has some theories about some of the reasons it’s bad, which only serve to make it worse. Score (1:16:51) is a relief, by comparison. Acting (1:17:14) considers various insufferable and unbelievable moments from Ronald Reagan, Doris Day, Gordon Jones, and others. How did Ronald Reagan become President? In Delightfulness of Catcher (1:26:32), Bill Killefer and James Millican do fine. Brief mention of catcher archetypes in “Game of Thrones.” Delightfulness of Announcer (1:31:31) discusses whether the World Series announcer was a secret producer of the film, how many times he blinks, and why these scouts are obsessed. In Lack of Misogyny (1:37:17), they discuss some early Aimee story points and the general pre-feminism of the film. No spoilers on the following segments: Yes or No (1:43:11), Six Degrees of Baseball (1:47:17), Favorite Moment (1:47:46) Least Favorite Moment (1:49:28), Scene We Would Have Liked to See (1:50:27), Dreamiest Player (1:51:48), Favorite Performance (1:52:13), and Next Time (1:54:30).


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