Thursday, 20 May 2021

Kill the Umpire? Nah, Kill the Other Guy

There’s more than just a baseball game being played by the stick figures in Tex Avery’s Batty Baseball (released April 22, 1944).

If you look in the upper left in front of the dugout, someone is chasing someone else with a baseball bat. He lunges for him at the base-path from third to home, but misses.

The guy being chased trips on the field between the mound and the base path between third and home. He gets up and the crazy guy starts to chase him around the pitcher’s mound, across the base path from home to first, lunges and misses again.


This is all in a separate cycle than the game on the field. 44 drawings.

Ray Abrams, Ed Love and Preston Blair are the credited animators. John Wald (later the announcer on Fibber McGee and Molly) does the play-by-play. Oh, as for the score, The Independent Film Journal of April 29, 1944 reported:
As an outstanding example of musical scoring for animated cartoons, M-G-M’s Technicolor cartoon, "Batty Baseball” was shown recently to the National Association of American Composers and Conductors. Sigmund Spaeth, president of the Association, giving the last of a series of music in the films, illustrated his talk with showings of various outstanding scoring jobs. Scott Bradley, of M-G-M’s music department on the coast, did the score for “Batty Baseball.”
Considering Bradley did not agree with Avery on the contents of an appropriate cartoon score, we wonder what his reaction was.


  1. I thought Harlow Wilcox was FIBBER McGEE's announcer...?

    1. He was until the show went from a half-hour weekly to 15 minutes daily. Wald took over until the series went off the air.