Since take me out to the ball game is a song rather than something you can actually do right now, PBS has a compromise: it will air the Ken Burns Baseball series on PBS.org and all PBS streaming platforms starting today.
The Burns series bowed originally in 1994 with nine episodes. “The story of Baseball is the story of America,” said PBS. “It is an epic overflowing with heroes and hopefuls, scoundrels and screwballs. It is a saga spanning the quest for racial justice, the clash of labor and management, the transformation of popular culture, and the unfolding of the national pastime.”
The Baseball documentary starts in the 1840s by examining whether Abner Doubleday really invented the game in Cooperstown, N.Y., as legend holds.
“The US in the United States actually means us,” said Burns in an online message. “We’ve been through hugely difficult times before and we’ve come through because we helped one another. And we’ve learned that the best way to triumph over hardship is to come together as a country.
“As many of us hunker down in the days ahead, it’s important that we find things that bring us together and show us our common humanity,” he continued. “That’s why in the absence of many of our favorite sports I’ve asked PBS–that’s the Public Broadcasting Service–to stream my film about America’s pastime, for free, at pbs.org and all PBS digital platforms.
Burns ended his statement with a simple declaration: “Play ball.”