How to Play Baseball
Studio: Disney Release Date : September 4, 1942 Series: Goofy Cartoon
  1. General Info

Cumulative rating: No Ratings Posted

Synopsis

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

Characters

Goofy

Credits

Director

Jack Kinney

Animator

Ward Kimball
Vladimir "Bill" Tytla
Edwin "Ed" Aardal
Leslie James "Les" Clark
Marc Davis
Andy Engman
Hugh Fraser
Oliver M. "Ollie" Johnston, Jr.
Milt Neil
John Sibley

Layout

Al Zinnen

Narration

Fred Shields

Producer

Walter Elias "Walt" Disney

Included in:

Hockey Homicide

Included in:

Holiday for Henpecked Husbands
The Goofy Sports Story

Trivia

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

Television

Mickey Mouse Tracks (Season 1, Episode 55)
Donald's Quack Attack (Season 1, Episode 41)

Video Information

VHS

United States

Cartoon Classics : First Series : Volume 4 : Sport Goofy

Germany

Mickys Sommerspaß

France

Goofy Fait le Fou
Les Folles Vacances de Mickey

Italy

Il Mondo Di Pippo

CED Disc

United States

Cartoon Classics - Sport Goofy

Laserdisc (CLV)

United States

Cartoon Classics : Sport Goofy

Japan

It's a Goofy World
Sport Goofy's Vacation
Mickey's Summer Madness

DVD

United States

The Complete Goofy
Have a Laugh, Volume 3
Extreme Sports Fun

Germany

Disney Treasures : Wave 2 : The Complete Goofy
Micky's Ferienspass

United Kingdom

Disney Treasures : Wave 2 : The Complete Goofy

Sweden

Disney Treasures : Wave 2 : The Complete Goofy

Canada

Have a Laugh : Volume 3
Classic Cartoon Favorites : Volume 5 : Extreme Sports Fun

Technical Specifications

Running time: 8:01
Animation Type: Standard (Hand-drawn-Cel) Animation
Aspect Ratio: 1.37 : 1
Color Type: Technicolor
Sound Type: Mono: RCA Sound Recording
Print Type: 35mm
Negative Type: 35mm
Cinematographic Format: Spherical
Original Language: English
Original Country: United States

Reviews and Comments

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.

From Politzania :

This short starts with a discussion of the equipment and the field, moving on to the mechanics of the game. The exaggerations of what the narrator is discussing is what really makes this cartoon. For example, the “spit ball” actually stops & spits on the batter - while the fast, or “fire ball” burns up the bat as it goes by! As with most of the How To’s - all the characters are portrayed by Goofy and the physical humour flies fast & thick. The World Series section, where they play part of a game with a realistic play-by-play (albeit dated) contrasting with the screwball humour on screen makes this a classic!

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 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!


Click on thumbnail for full size image


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Screenshots

Submitted by eutychus

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History

5/10/2012

  • Home video info added by eutychus

8/27/2012

  • Home video info added by eutychus

9/25/2012

  • Screenshots added by eutychus

11/29/2012

  • Home video info added by eutychus

8/1/2013

  • Television info added by eutychus

8/2/2013

  • Television info added by eutychus

1/17/2014

  • Comments added
  • Guest

8/29/2014

  • Animation type added by eutychus
  • Color type added by eutychus
  • Sound type added by eutychus

12/20/2014

  • Credits added by ToonStar95

10/31/2015

  • Credits added by Toadette

11/27/2015

  • Credits added by Toadette

9/11/2016

  • Home video info added by eutychus

6/14/2017

  • Credits added by kintutoons32

9/10/2017

  • Credits added by ToonStar95

6/23/2019

    Sources

    Jack Kinney: Director
    • Unverified

    Ward Kimball: Animator
    • Unverified

    Fred Shields: Narration
    • Verified by onscreen credits (not always reliable)

    Vladimir "Bill" Tytla: Animator
    • Verified by Michael Barrier's 1973 interview with Jack Kinney

    Edwin "Ed" Aardal: Animator
    • Verified by the Animation Research Library's Facebook page

    Leslie James "Les" Clark: Animator
    • Verified by the Animation Research Library's Facebook page

    Marc Davis: Animator
    • Verified by the Animation Research Library's Facebook page

    Andy Engman: Animator
    • Verified by the Animation Research Library's Facebook page

    Hugh Fraser: Animator
    • Verified by the Animation Research Library's Facebook page

    Oliver M. "Ollie" Johnston, Jr.: Animator
    • Verified by the Animation Research Library's Facebook page

    Milt Neil: Animator
    • Verified by the Animation Research Library's Facebook page

    John Sibley: Animator
    • Verified by the Animation Research Library's Facebook page

    Walter Elias "Walt" Disney: Producer
    • Verified by onscreen credits (not always reliable)

    Al Zinnen: Layout
    • Verified by Cartoon Research