DVD Review HTF DVD Review: Baseballs's Most Unbreakable Feats

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Richard Gallagher, Oct 8, 2007.

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  1. Richard Gallagher

    Reviewer

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    [​IMG]

    Baseball’s Most Unbreakable Feats




    Studio: Shout! Factory
    Year: 2007
    Rated: Not Rated
    Length: 90 minutes
    Aspect Ratio: 16:9 anamorphic widescreen
    Languages: English Dolby Digital
    Subtitles: None



    The Program

    With the Major League Baseball playoffs in full swing, what better time is there to argue about which baseball achievements are unbreakable? MLB Productions takes a shot at it with this DVD, which is hosted by future Hall of Fame pitcher Roger Clemens.

    In concert with current and former players, the producers have identified the following feats as unlikely to be matched or surpassed:

    Nolan Ryan’s 5714 career strikeouts
    Cal Ripken, Jr.’s 2632 consecutive games played
    Pete Rose’s 4256 career hits
    Cy Young’s 511 career wins
    Ted Williams’ .406 single-season batting average
    Bob Gibson’s 1.12 single-season earned run average
    Rickey Henderson’s 1406 career stolen bases and 130 single-season stolen bases
    Eric Gagne’s record of 84 consecutive saves
    The New York Yankees’ record of 5 consecutive World Series championships
    Joe DiMaggio’s 56-game hitting streak

    Players were then polled to determine which of the above is least likely to be surpassed.

    In addition, the DVD also includes the following accomplishments which did not make the final cut:

    Hack Wilson’s single-season record of 191 runs batted in
    Fernando Tatis hitting two grand slam home runs in one inning
    Johnny Vander Meer’s record of pitching two consecutive no-hitters
    Orel Hershiser’s record of pitching 59 consecutive shutout innings

    Fans of Hershiser will be pleased to discover that the DVD includes footage of the final two inning of the game in which he surpassed Don Drysdale’s record.

    During each segment, current and former baseball players are asked to identify current players who might have the ability to challenge the records which are examined.

    I have always felt that single-season records are more interesting than career records, because there is a greater excitement factor when single-season records are challenged. Even without considering the steroids allegations, there was an air of inevitability when Barry Bonds broke Henry Aaron’s career home run record this year. However, fans will be on the edges of their seats if anyone ever gets close to DiMaggio’s hitting streak or enters the final week of a season with the chance to bat .400.

    This DVD also leaves out some baseball accomplishments which likely will never be matched. One record which has stood for more than 100 years is New York Highlanders pitcher Jack Chesbro’s amazing 41 wins in the 1904 season. Chesbro started every third game for the Highlanders that year. Considering that only once if the past forty years has a pitcher won as many as 30 games in a season, Chesbro’s record likely will never be broken. Another achievement which is often overlooked is Roy Face’s 18 wins as a relief pitcher for the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1959. Face also holds the record for the highest winning percentage in a season (minimum of 15 wins), .947. Since there has been a fundamental shift in the way that relief pitchers are used, it is unlikely that Face’s record of 18 wins will ever be challenged again.

    I found this DVD to be very entertaining and thought-provoking. Roger Clemens is a congenial host who delivers his lines naturally.

    The Video

    A caveat: this DVD contains the ubiquitous Major League Baseball watermark, which means that it will be a non-starter for viewers who object to that.

    Otherwise, the image is variable, depending upon the source material. The new material looks fine, while some of the older footage is less than ideal (though always viewable). The older 4:3 film and television footage has been cropped on the top and bottom to make it viewable in 16:9. This has been a sticking point in other MLB DVD sets which include entire games, because it tends to cut off important information at the bottom of the picture. In this context, however, I did not find it to be annoying.

    The Audio

    There is nothing special here, though nothing to complain about, either. The dialogue is always clear and understandable.

    The Supplements

    The supplements are the following four feats, which are discussed at length but did not make the final cut:

    Hack Wilson’s single-season record of 191 runs batted in
    Fernando Tatis hitting two grand slam home runs in one inning
    Johnny Vander Meer’s record of pitching two consecutive no-hitters
    Orel Hershiser’s record of pitching 59 consecutive shutout innings

    Packaging

    The single platter comes in a standard keepcase. Inside is a sheet which lists the chapters and contains some information about other Shout! Factory releases.

    The Final Analysis

    It is difficult to imagine that any fan of Major League Baseball would not find Baseball’s Most Unbreakable Feats to be enjoyable, unless the MLB watermark is a deal killer.

    Equipment used for this review:

    Cambridge Audio DVD-89 DVD player
    Sharp LC-42D62U LCD display
    Yamaha HTR-5890 THX Surround Receiver
    BIC Acoustech speakers
    Interconnects: Monster Cable

    Release Date: July 3, 2007
     
  2. Jeff_CusBlues

    Jeff_CusBlues Supporting Actor

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    This sounds pretty good. I have always wondered (and argued with friends) about many of those records. One thing though:


    Many hitters have hit higher than .406 in a season. Is the discussion actually about whether anyone will ever hit .400 again?
     
  3. Richard Gallagher

    Reviewer

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    Jeff,

    Good point, and you are correct. This discussion is about whether anyone will hit .400 again. I suppose that's why they use the word "feats" instead of "records" in the title.

    It's a bit confusing because all of the other "feats" mentioned are actually MLB records. Bob Gibson's ERA record is a record for right-handed pitchers, but the overall record is held by Dutch Leonard (0.96 in 1914).
     
  4. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    I held this title in my hands at Best Buy the other day. I hadn't heard of it before.

    I passed because, for other reasons, I thought it seemed rather gimmicky. Based on Richard's recommendation, however, I may give it a try and pick it up during the ol' hot stove season! [​IMG]

    Richard: Do they use a fair amount of historic footage to illustrate the older players/feats?

    I wonder if George Sisler's record for hits in a season would have made the cut if this title had been produced a few years ago! [​IMG]
     

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