Michael Sauter
July 26, 1991 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Baseball Classics: Featuring the 1951 World Series

Current Status
In Season

We gave it a C+

Back when the Dodgers and Giants still shared New York with the Yankees, the subway series was a fairly common occurrence. The ’51 series (Yankees vs. Giants) and the ’55 series (Yankees vs. Dodgers) were arguably the two most memorable. But their place in baseball history is only fleetingly established by these two new videos. Essentially vintage newsreels transferred from vault to video, these productions fall far short of today’s technical and stylistic standards. They unfold as game-by-game recaps, giving the highlights (Monte Irvin’s 11 hits in Baseball Classics: Featuring the 1951 World Series, Jackie Robinson’s steal of home in ’55) but missing the perspective that a present-day viewpoint could have provided. Hence, little attention is paid to such future Hall of Famers as Mantle and Mays, and not enough to the rabid intensity of these crosstown rivalries. Maybe you had to be there to appreciate the full heat of the moment. For anyone who was, these newsreels may pass muster on nostalgia alone. C+

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