Poster

How to Play Baseball

A Goofy Cartoon

Release Date : September 4, 1942

Running Time : 8:01

Synopsis

Everything you've always wanted to know about baseball, with Goofy as all 18 players.

Characters

Goofy

Credits

Director
Jack Kinney
Animation
Ward Kimball

Video

United States
Cartoon Classics : First Series : Volume 4 : Sport Goofy
Germany
Mickys Sommerspaß
France
Les Folles Vacances de Mickey
Goofy Fait le Fou
Italy
Il Mondo Di Pippo

CED

United States
Cartoon Classics - Sport Goofy

Laserdiscs

Cartoon Classics : Sport Goofy
Japan
Mickey's Summer Madness
It's a Goofy World

DVD

United States
Have a Laugh : Volume 3
Disney Treasures : Wave 2 : The Complete Goofy
Classic Cartoon Favorites : Volume 5 : Extreme Sports Fun
Germany
Micky's Ferienspass
Disney Treasures : Wave 2 : The Complete Goofy
Canada
Classic Cartoon Favorites : Volume 5 : Extreme Sports Fun
Have a Laugh : Volume 3
Sweden
Disney Treasures : Wave 2 : The Complete Goofy
United Kingdom
Disney Treasures : Wave 2 : The Complete Goofy

Television

The Ink and Paint Club: Episode 3: Sport Goofy
Mickey's Mouse Tracks: Episode 55
Donald's Quack Attack: Episode 41
Walt Disney Presents: Baseball Fever

Technical Specification

Color Type: Technicolor
Animation Type: Standard animation
Sound Mix: Mono
Aspect Ratio: 1.37 : 1
Negative Format: 35mm
Print Format: 35mm
Cinematographic Process: Spherical
Original Language: English

Released by RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.

Comments

  • This short's release was timed to coincide with the release of the movie "The Pride of the Yankees."

From Ryan Kilpatrick at The Disney Film Project : This short is a no brainer for me. I love Goofy. I love baseball. Why would I not love Goofy playing baseball? How To Play Baseball is a fantastic piece of comedic animation, and demonstrates the Disney studio using new techniques to make us laugh, and expanding the realm of what Goofy can do.

The first new technique I saw was not necessarily all that new, but was used to great effect in this short. The use of simple diagrams, with narration carrying the narrative, was something we saw in Four Methods of Flush Riveting. In that short, it was dry and humorless. Here, it’s used to great effect, such as the diagram of how the players move on the diamond.

The second technique that expands Goofy’s horizons is the use of multiple Goofs to create the short. We’ve seen this once before, in The Art of Self Defense, but there it was two Goofys fighting each other. Here, we have a whole baseball team full of Goofy players fighting it out. The pitcher Goofy throws it to batter Goofy, and the action continues from there.

What I love about this short is the slapstick quality. Everything is a joke. It’s as frenetic a pace as we saw in the early, early Mickey Mouse shorts, where the jokes piled on a mile a minute. Everything is used for comedy, from the delivery of the pitcher, to the slide of a runner, who ends up sliding down and into the ground, with a pile of dirt on top of him.

The second half of the short focuses on the final game of the World Series, and puts all kinds of baseball issues in the spotlight. The narrator is fantastic, because he uses all sorts of baseball lingo in his descriptions of the action. But rather than keep one piece of jargon going, he changes constantly, adding to the comedic pace. It’s a great little device used to heighten the hilarity.

I can’t recommend this short highly enough, but you probably knew that before you read my review. I love Goofy and especially the “How To” shorts, so this one was a great example of that. Watch it and enjoy!


From Tom Wilkins : What a difference 57 years make! Back in 1942, when the Yankees were winning World Series habitually, baseball really was a game. I recently thought about how different baseball is compared to this clear-cut Goofy classic and I never realized how different this sport has become.

This cartoon begins by giving a brief overview on what baseball requires, such as a ball park, a diamond, etc., then gives a simulated "Goofy" play in the process, where the batter gets a base hit to right field, stops at first while the right fielder bobbles the ball. At that point, the runner tries for second base but the good throw by the right fielder has him "out or safe or neither or either or both." This must be the "Goofy" rulebook.

After giving an overview on the pitcher, the batter, and the numerous types of pitches the pitcher can throw, it's on to the end of a simulated seventh game of the World Series. I don't remember the teams off hand, but I do know that the visitors were winning 3-0 and their pitcher had a no-hitter with two out in the ninth inning. Needless to say, this cartoon got a little help from Nostradamus, since Don Larsen's perfect game came 14 years later.

In this case, the visiting pitcher just needed one more out. Given the "Goofy" way, getting that last out was not going to be easy. The first batter hits a fair ball down the third base line for the team's first hit. I did not understand that, because normally a hit down the foul line would usually result in a double, but mind you this is a Goofy cartoon, so the runner trips over tons of baseball apparel to make it to first base.

On the next odd play, the pitcher catches the runner off first too far off the bag and a rundown ensues. However, on one of the exchanges, the second baseman drops the ball, thus committing an error and allowing the runner to slide safely into second base, taking half of the dirt on the right side of the infield with him. The pitcher, obviously nerve-wracked by all of this, throws the next pitch and hits the batter right in the head.

With the tying run at the plate, the crowd goes nuts because of the chance of a tie game. Well, the next batter comes up and hits a high pop-up in the infield. Keep in mind that with 2 out there is no infield fly rule, so the pitcher, the catcher, and another infielder converge on the ball. However, they collide, the ball lands at their feet, and by the time one of the players could get their hands on the baseball, the batter had beaten the throw to first by a step.

"What a game this has turned out to be," exclaims the announcer at this point. With the crowd going crazy, and the runners doing all kinds of stunts to get leads off their respective bases, everything then comes to a hush. Assuming there is a 3 ball 2 strike count on the batter (which the cartoon obviously skipped), it was up to the pitcher, with $500,000 and the World Series lying on the final pitch. The pitcher delivers a strike and the batter, who hit the covering and the string off the ball, outdoes Casey by ripping a deep fly to center, which, of course, the center fielder dropped as all the baseball string fell on him. Now, it's a footrace. The bases cleared and the score became level. As the center fielder so-called "hops" toward home plate, both the batter and the fielder gave everything they had to see who would get to home plate first. Both arrive at the same time.

It was now up to the umpire, and when he surprised everyone by calling the batter out at home plate, a huge argument ensues and both benches clear on the umpire. Obviously the umpire was wrong because a tie does go to the runner, but you have to respect the minds of the animators who really made that judgment call.

I wished they had a sequel to this cartoon, but since they did not, can anyone calculate what inning this game would have been in if they were still playing, or did Walt Disney call the game on a count of complete exhaustion?


From J. D. Weil : There appears to be a blooper toward the end of this cartoon. When the two players collide at home plate. When they get up they're on the opposite sides of the screen. Did they pass through each other when they hit?
From Baruch Weiss : While I'm not a fan of baseball I'm a fan of this cartoon. I enjoyed everything including the sound effects such as the screeching tires and the wobbly guitar chord!
From Mz. Tiffany in Stuttgart : Thank you so much for this information. I am teaching German and French kids how to play baseball here in Stuttgart Germany. I am looking for this cartoon, very realistic as far as our experience has been ! And because this is a family oriented website I feel good to direct the parents to this site rather than youtube where their children might get other ideas. Great information and super cartoon I felt just like Goofy yesterday but in German!
From Bryan Hensley : One time, when my mom and I were seeing this short, she thought the windup wasn't necessary at all. But I don't buy that. Why in the world would someone eat horsehide from a baseball? Free speech is a great American privilege all right. For menaces-to-society like Michael Savage, who hates folks with Autism such as me, it's a cinch for him to insult people without being sent to jail! But I digress, this short includes that gum plays a big role in baseball, and it still does with Big League Chew stringy gum! When it came down to a few of the Goofys making a grand slam together, the crowd really was going absoultely mad and crazy! The so-called "winning ball" tore to pieces and yarn. It must be pretty hard to made the yarn into a ball again. In the end, the umpire shouted "HE'S OUT!" and all heck broke loose on him and everyone else! I'm sure you'll find classic shorts like these on YouTube, but comments for them seem to involve questionable and bad language in them (Sheesh)! At least baseball is still America's pasttime after all this time. Poor Tom Bergeron thinks that watching America's Funniest Home Videos should be America's new pasttime. Not with his insulting jokes and putdowns, let me tell you. I hope you enjoy this short on (as its title says) How To Play Baseball!
From Mike : I'm a big baseball fan, but that's not why this is one of my favorite shorts of all time. It's just a humorous cartoon all around. The scene where the player gets hit with the ball and walks around in a daze is pretty funny as is the ending scene.

Referenced Comments