Growing up in the 80's and keeping myself in candy money by selling baseball cards (amusing fact: I actually had a table at a large baseball card show once as a kid - looking back, a 10-year-old trying to compete with 50-year-old card dealers was probably more than a little funny), I'll certainly remember a very different time in sports, where players were still larger-than-life, and stars like Nolan Ryan, George Brett, Kirby Puckett and many others truly seemed like legends. Of course, going to the game actually was - back then - something people could do on a whim. The best seats in the house that cost $50 from a scalper way back when now cost about 5-6 times that, and those who were thought to be legends are now finding themselves facing questioning from Congress (see the situation with Roger Clements.)
The KC Royals of the '80's were certainly one of the memorable teams of the era. (Maybe that's it: there aren't as many famed teams now as there were back then, and one can say that about other sports as well - compare the "Super Bowl Shuffle"-era Chicago Bears vs. the Bears of today. Is there any team that's, personality-wise, like the "Monsters of the Midway"?) The '85 World Series involved the KC Royals and the St Louis Cardinals, with the Royals managing to come from behind to win the division and once again rallied from behind to smash a 3-to-1 deficit in their playoff series versus the Toronto Blue Jays. The series with the Cards against the Royals was the 17th time the series had been contained to a state.
The Cardinals had won 3 of the first 4 games against the Royals, and only four teams had ever come back from the kind of defeat. It wasn't looking good for the Kansas City team, but they came back hard in game 5, giving it their all despite the odds being against them.
The powerful finale of the series had the Royals grabbing hold of the series for good, with an 11-0 win. Throughout the set, you'll be reliving history whether you watch to appreciate Bret Saberhagen's (the seventh youngest pitcher to start a World Series game) remarkable performance, or to re-watch game 7 that during 1985 earned a 32.6 television rating. As for the sport not being quite what it used to be, attendance is down 2.2% in 2010 versus the year before. While much of that can likely be attributed to baseball tickets not being the "impulse buy" they used to be, World Series ratings are also down. While the 7th game of this series scored a 32.6 rating, the finales of World Series for the last 5 years have scored between a 9.6 and a 13.4. The last WS game to get over a 30 rating was 1991.
The DVD box set takes you back and allows you to relive the Royals triumph. New fans can appreciate the impact baseball had on generations, while old fans can watch again and again as the home team brings home the win - the moment of glory, the final out, the realization that the Kansas City Royals were champions. In fact, that's what makes these DVD sets so great; they're about the memory of a moment and the preservation of a legacy of baseball players and enthusiasts who left a terrific impression on the sport.
There are seven discs all together, and each DVD features one game from the world series. You can watch the whole game, or choose a specific inning. The video collections are topnotch on the DVD, and the packaging is as well. The case for the DVD's are a collection of facts from the scores for each inning, facts about the players, game temperatures, how many people attended the game, player spotlights, pictures of official game items, inning highlights including scoring plays and player changes, World Series facts, a look at the KC WS ring (and pennant), and so much more.Fans of the Cardinals, the Royals, or even baseball in general can surely appreciate the amount of work that went into archiving this moment of baseball history.
Sure, baseball isn't what it used to be, but with DVD sets from Major League Baseball Productions, you feel like you can relive all the moments that made baseball great. The bonus features are also a fantastic addition for fans. So, for fans of the classics, I highly recommend looking into the DVD set: "The Kansas City Royals 1985 World Series Collector's Edition."
What does disappoint me again here - and I've mentioned it in every review of a Major League Baseball product on DVD - is that the MLB logo is once again seen throughout the entire program. While the logo is pretty small, it's sizable enough to be a bit distracting. I was hoping that, for a World Series set, it would be gone, as people who are buying this set have spent a lot to have to view the entire series with the logo in the top corner.
VIDEO: A & E presents the series in its original 1.33:1 full-frame aspect ratio. Image quality does have a few issues but, given the age of the series, it actually looks quite good - it probably doesn't look much different than it did watching it on TV in the mid-'80's. Sharpness and detail are satisfactory, given the age of the material.
Some minor wear is noticed on the source elements, but only infrequently and when it is noticed, it's not much of a distraction at all. Additionally, some slight shimmering is also spotted on occasion. Colors seemed natural and accurate, with nice saturation and no smearing or other concerns. It's still incredibly amusing to see how un-slick sports broadcasts were 20+ years ago, and in a way, the simpler approach in comparison to what's broadcast today is actually refreshing.
SOUND: The stereo soundtrack of the games sound perfectly fine although, as with the video, there are some minor imperfections in the source material. However, the audio is mostly crisp and clear.
"1985 Kansas City Royals Highlight Film": A nearly fifteen minute reel highlighting the Kansas City Royals throughout the seven game run.
"ALCS Highlights" features some great moments in a six minute highlight reel.
"Royals Clinch the ALCS": The moments leading up to the win that took them to the World Series. Includes Postgame interviews.
"Royals Clubhouse Celebration": A fun five minute look at the players as they return to the clubhouse to celebrate their win. Some interviews from the clubhouse are also included here.
"Royals Looking Back": A fantastic, nearly 11 minute reflection on the 1985 World Series with Bret Saberhagen, George Brett, Willie Wilson, Bud Black, Frank White, and Danny Jackson.
"Bret Saberhagen: Cy Young Winner": A brief highlight reel of some of Bret Saberhagen's moments set to music.
"George Brett Hometown Hero": With interviews from fans and baseball peers, as well as archival footage, this is a nice look at how George Brett became Kansas City's Hometown Hero.
"How the Royals met the Cardinals": A brief look at part of the Cardinals journey towards the World Series.
Final Thoughts: For fans of the classics, I highly recommend looking into the DVD set: "The Kansas City Royals 1985 World Series Collector's Edition." Audio/video quality are fine (considering the age of the series) and once again, a number of enjoyable extras are provided.