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Base Ball Discovered continues to charm audiences. The MLB Advanced Media documentary on baseball’s origins, written and produced by Sam, received the Award for Baseball Excellence at the 3rd annual Baseball Film Festival at the Hall of Fame in September. The award recognizes the film that best captures “research, factual accuracy, historical context, and appreciation of the game.” This follows the warm reception Sam was given at this year’s SABR Convention in Cleveland, where she addressed the SABR Origins Committee and screened the film for a packed house of conventioneers. Others agree: Vin Scully calls the film a “grand slam,” and the unexcitable George Will calls it “fascinating.”
MLB Advanced Media is preparing a full-length documentary on the origins of baseball. Directed by Sam, Origins of the Game traces baseball back to its early roots, and shows why predecessor games from outside the US are just now being considered integral parts of the sport's evolution. The crew consulted with SABR’s John Thorn, David Block, and Martin Hoerchner, among others, in piecing the story together. And its work in England in June led to an original find of a 1755 diary entry referring to young adults playing "base ball." (David describes this lucky disclosure in the Fall 2007 issue of Base Ball.) The MLB.com crew spent a damp week filming games of stoolball, rounders, cricket, and trapball. There were times when a combination of equipment malfunction, rain, noisy low-flying aircraft, and early-morning auto mishaps might have discouraged a weaker soul, but Sam kept on smiling.
MLB Advanced Media runs the website MLB.com. Sam, who has covered ports for nearly 20 years, has worked there since 2003, receiving two Emmy nominations, including one for the 2006 documentary Vintage Base Ball.
The documentary is scheduled to be released online at about the All-Star break of 2008. Online viewing will be free, with downloads available at a fee.
"The Next Destin’d Post will provide additional details on the release of The Origins of the Game" when they become available.