Goofy takes the time to demonstrate America's national pastime, then plays a game - one in which he plays all the bases. The short describes the basics of baseball in humorous terms; the equipment, uniforms, positions, and pitches, as well as the mannerisms of the players. It then switches to a game in progress, a deciding game in the World Series between the fictional Blue Sox and Gray Sox (possibly a parody of the real-life Chicago White Sox and Boston Red Sox). The Blue Sox are up three runs and working a no-hitter when the Grays rally in the bottom of the ninth. In a series of events the Grays load the bases, leading to a base clearing hit.
The game is tied, but the play at the plate is too close to call for the umpire, and it then ends in an argument. The narrator then concludes the short praising the values of what makes baseball America's sport.
- It was produced at the request of Samuel Goldwyn, and was first shown to accompany the 1942 feature film The Pride of the Yankees.
- This is the first of Disney’s titled “How To” shorts starring Goofy. There were several earlier shorts with a similar format but this was the first to have "How To" in its title. It was followed by nine “How To” shorts in Walt Disney’s lifetime: How to Swim and How to Fish; (both also in 1942); How to Be a Sailor and How to Play Golf (both 1944); How to Ride a Horse (1941); How to Be a Detective (1952); and How to Sleep and How to Dance (both 1953).
- After Disney’s death, the studio produced How to Haunt a House (1999) and How to Hook Up Your Home Theater (2007). Similarly-styled Goofy shorts that do not include the “How to” titling convention are Hockey Homicide (1945) and Motor Mania (1950). Prior to How to Play Baseball, Disney had released two other "instructional" shorts starring Goofy: The Art of Skiing and The Art of Self Defense in November and December 1941, respectively.
- Disneyland, episode #2.24: "The Goofy Sports Story"
- Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color, episode #8.9: "Holiday for Henpecked Husbands"
- The Mouse Factory, episode #17: "Sports"
- The New Mickey Mouse Club, episode C-020 (February 11, 1977)
- Disney's Wonderful World, episode #26.4: "Baseball Fever"
- Good Morning, Mickey, episode #22
- Mickey's Mouse Tracks, episode #55
- Donald's Quack Attack, episode #41
- The Ink and Paint Club, episode #1.3: "Sports Goofy"
- Have a Laugh!, episode #12
- Walt Disney Cartoon Classics: Sport Goofy
- Walt Disney Treasures: The Complete Goofy
- Walt Disney's Classic Cartoon Favorites: Extreme Sports Fun
- Have a Laugh!: Volume 3
Have a Laugh! changes
The following scenes were omitted from the short release due to time constraints:
- The descriptions of the baseball, the bat, the glove, and the ballpark.
- The description of the play.
- The narrator saying, "The Sox are what the team is named after."
- The description of the shoes being outfitted with spikes to prevent slipping.
- The shoes being stuck in gum, which is described as "play[ing] an important part in baseball."
- Many of the pitcher's plays to the batter: the inside curve, the outside curve, the drop, the spinner, and the slow ball (all that is scene here are the initial curve, the spit ball and the speed ball).
- The entire first half of the World Series, up to the point where the bases are loaded.
- The pitcher and the batter getting visibly tense as the pitcher is about to throw the half-million-dollar pitch.
Bosley Crowther of The New York Times called it "deliciously confused ... goofy burlesque".