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David Filipi, Director, Film/Video
Mar 26, 2020
Today would have been Major League Baseball's Opening Day, the earliest date ever for the start of the baseball season.
Fans can only hope that the season, and so many other parts of our daily lives, are back before too long. If you're like me, we'll find it hard to pass the time without the daily ritual of our baseball games.
For many years, we marked the beginning of the season at the Wex with a program called Rare Baseball Films, a collection of vintage newsreels, television commercials, home movies, documentaries, and other ephemeral films culled from the collections of the National Baseball Hall of Fame, the UCLA Film & Television Archive, and the Moving Image Research Collections of the University of South Carolina.
We haven't presented the program for a couple of years, yet people regularly inquire when the event will return. We're still working on that, but to give you a little taste of both our baseball film program and what would be Opening Day, we encourage those of you who are subscribed to the Criterion Channel (or who own or would like to purchase a physical copy) to check out the classic Harold Lloyd comedy Speedy (1928), about a baseball crazed young man who eventually crosses paths with the real Babe Ruth near end of the film.
For Criterion's release, I put together a selection of films featuring Babe Ruth that had been included in some of the past programs screened at the Wex. The films spotlight Ruth as a player, a personality, and as one of the great icons of American sports. It was fun to work with Criterion on this extra, and I can't think of a better home for it than to accompany Speedy.
Watch Speedy on the Criterion Channel. (subscription required; 14-day free trial available)
Watch the short on Babe Ruth films.
Pictured above: Harold Lloyd with Babe Ruth