Simply put, in 1933, Mahatma Gandhi makes a secret goodwill trip to New York City, and visits Yankee Stadium during his stay. Charmed by the game of baseball, Gandhi asks if he can try the sport out. With no objections from the managers or home plate umpire, he steps in as a Yankee pinch hitter in the bottom of the ninth. Hilarity Ensues.
The film is presented as a recently-discovered "lost" newsreel that was supposedly suppressed by Franklin D. Roosevelt, who didn't want to start an international incident. In reality, the film is based off of a 1983 The New Yorker short story by Chet Williamson.
Gandhi At The Bat was so well-received at a National Baseball Hall of Fame film festival that the organizers invented a new award category just so they could give the filmmakers a trophy.
Gandhi At The Bat provides examples of:
- Blunt Metaphors Trauma:
- Gandhi, apparently. When Babe Ruth offers to hit a home run for Gandhi, the Indian leader asks him not to hit anyone; when a vendor offers Gandhi a hot dog, Gandhi says he doesn't eat dog meat; when the umpire says that the count is "two and two," Gandhi thinks it's a math problem; and when the umpire explains that the count is "two balls," Gandhi points out that there's only one ball in play.
- In the original short story, Gandhi also thinks that Babe Ruth is the leader of an unfamiliar sultanate called "Swat." note
- Direct Line to the Author: The original New Yorker short story by Chet Williamson purports to be a recently "found" news story by an anonymous Yankee Stadium press box correspondent. The film itself purports to be a newsreel of the same event.
- Funny Foreigner: Gandhi, though he's portrayed in a positive light. And he even hits an inside-the-park home run against a Lefty Grove fastball.
- Historical Domain Character: Mohandas Gandhi, Mayor John P. O'Brien, the 1933 New York Yankees, and the 1933 Philadelphia Athletics.
- Mathematician's Answer:Babe Ruth: Do you bat left or right-handed?
- Mockumentary: Or mock newsreel, really.
- Retraux: The "newsreel" footage is in black and white, there are scratches in the film stock, and there's even a stereotypical newsreel narrator who only speaks in cliches.