“Baseball Madness” is a silent comedy that weaves baseball, crime, and romance into an adventurous narrative. Directed by Billy Mason and starring Gloria Swanson, the film follows Bill, who dresses as a woman to work as a waitress before attending a baseball game. When the home team performs poorly, he’s rushed into a uniform and pitches a perfect game, only to be later committed to a lunatic asylum by his friend Pen.

The film was released on May 8, 1917, and produced by Victor Film Company in black and white on a standard 35mm format. Noteworthy for being Gloria Swanson’s sole project with Universal, “Baseball Madness” creatively melds sports excitement with elements of mistaken identity and sabotage, offering a unique twist on popular themes of its era.

Baseball Madness | May 8, 1917 (United States)
Director: Billy MasonWriter: Billy Mason, Albert RussellStars: Billy Mason, Orin Jackson, Gloria SwansonSummary: Bill and Pen Points arrive in a new town being thrown from a boxcar. Bill leaves Pen to go to the ball game. A lunatic comes up and hands him money, which Bill decides to use for clothes. Pen Points finds a detective badge and decides to become a detective. Bill goes to the ball game, meets an heiress is accused of theft and taken to jail. It was a mistake, for the girl finds her purse. She withdraws her charge and asks Bill to see her home. Bill meets her father and mother. Pen Points decides to get revenge. Bill leaves the home of the girl, watched by Pen Points, who decides to tell the girl he is crazy. The girl faints at the news. Bill gets a contract from the manager of the ball team. Pen Points arrests Bill, takes him to the lunatic asylum and they put Bill in a padded cell.
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