Winner 1991

When It Was a Game

HBO Sports, Black Canyon Productions

The sport of baseball has filled hundreds of books, dozens of feature films, and untold millions of pages of newsprint. The museum at Cooperstown, New York is crammed with the artifacts of our national pastime, and its holdings increase as each day of the baseball season passes. Yet Home Box Office and Black Canyon Films found a new way to document the enduring appeal of the game to its players and fans. Relying exclusively on rare, previously unknown and unseen color film from the 1930’s, 40’s and 50’s, much of it shot by players as home movies, When It Was a Game presents a lyrical and loving look at our national game. In addition, it serves as a glowing reminder of our pastoral past and lost innocence, before domed stadiums, wrecking balls, artificial turf and millionaire salaries made cynical even the smallest little leaguer. For all this, a Peabody to HBO Sports and Black Canyon Productions for When It Was A Game.


Executive Producer: Ross Greenburg. Producers: Dave Harmon, George Roy, Steve Stern. Narrator: Peter Kessler. Readers: James Earl Jones, Jason Robards, Roy Scheider. Writer: Steve Stern.