Tuesday, July 12, 2016

The 1962 All Star Game (Game 1 - Partial) Review

July 10, 1962. On the same day that the NBA agreed to let George Steinbrenner’s ABL Cleveland Pipers join as an expansion team, Major League Baseball played the first of two Midsummer Classics.

It would be the final year that the two leagues would play more than one All-Star exhibition game. For the past 3 years, the Players Association had used the two All-Star games to help support the players’ pension fund. The American League had argued that they would no longer participate in two exhibitions during the previous winter; however the two leagues came to an agreement to go ahead with both contests in 1962.

These long lost kinescope reels (which constitute the most complete All-Star Game broadcast prior to 1965) give us a glimpse into Midsummer Classic that features a sitting President, an All-Star Game legend, an exciting game and a rare glimpse into a classic stadium.

Friday, October 23, 2015

The 399th Homerun for 'The Duke of ... Coogan's Bluff'?

It is jarring.  You don't expect it.  You're watching the ball jump off the bat and your brain is conditioned to think it is a routine flyball.  As the camera pans to the right, it just appears.  The right field stands at the Polo Grounds.  That is where Duke Snider's 399th career homerun landed in an unearthed video clip from MLB.com.  

This isn't the only homerun we've ever seen in the Polo Grounds, however (to my knowledge) it is the only broadcast footage of a homerun in the iconic stadium.  The Polo Grounds was the home of the New York Yankees until 1922, the Giants until 1957 and the Mets for the 1962 and 1963 seasons.  The ballpark hosted two All-Star games, neither televised and the 1951 and 1954 World Series, both of which were televised but no broadcast material survives.  Probably the most famous game ever played at The Grounds was Game 3 of the 1951 NL Playoff.  Despite the WPIX broadcast being transmitted coast-to-coast by NBC, no broadcast footage from this game survives either.   

 After the jump, we will talk about the game, the call and the true star of the clip: the ballpark.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

1972: The Last No-Hitter of Its Kind (until 2015)

 *This post is part of an on-going series cataloging surviving broadcast footage from 1972.

Milt Pappas' no-hitter/near perfect game stood as a rare feat in two ways for nearly 43 years.  In 1972, Pappas became the first pitcher since 1908 to lose a perfect game bid on the 27th batter without giving up a hit.  Not since Hooks Wiltse's HBP in 1908 had a free base been issued to the 27th batter.  The walk by Pappas would be the last of its kind until June 2015, when Max Scherzer's perfect game bid was spoiled with 26 outs by Jose Tabata's elbow pad.

Even with that inglorious drought ended, Pappas still held the distinction of throwing the most recent no-hitter in the 'friendly confines' of Wrigley Field.  That feat now belongs to left hander, Cole Hamels, who no-hit the Cubs on July 25, 2015.  

For Pappas, his day in the sun was near the end of a long, weird career.  This eventful no-hitter was one of the final chapters in a career of prominent lowlights (being on the wrong lopsided end of the Frank Robinson to Baltimore trade/admitting to giving up Roger Maris' 59th homerun out of spite towards Ford Frick) and highlights (striking out the side on only 9 pitches).

The memorable 9th inning and more, after the jump.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

A 'Dizzy-ing' mystery solved

The longer I stay with this hobby, the more and more I learn.  When I originally wrote about Stan Musial's final at-bat, I was left perplexed at the combination of two video pieces into one elongated clip.  

In 2013, I wrote:
"How this game was broadcast is a bit of a mystery.  Having the Dizzy Dean clips at the beginning are what is most perplexing.  In 1963, he was working games for CBS in their Game of the Week broadcasts.  On Saturday, the GOTW on CBS was Minnesota vs Yankees at Yankee Stadium with Dizzy Dean and Pee Wee Reese as per various television listings of the day.  CBS did not have a GOTW on Sunday (although NBC did with Senators vs White Sox) instead showing NFL Football.  So Dean would have had the opportunity to get to St. Louis for the game."

After the jump, I will talk about some archival footage I stumbled upon over the weekend that helped explain where that clip of Dizzy Dean came from and when it aired.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Frank Robinson: Player/Manager with Homerun/Win

On April 8, 1975, Frank Robinson broke the managing color barrier in Major League Baseball.  For the first time in league history, the Cleveland Indians were managed by an African American.  

Thanks to MLBNetwork and their new morning chatfest 'MLB Central', we are treated to a videotaped view of that historic afternoon.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

The Story of the 1957 World Series Game 1 release

The 1957 World Series is one of the few kinescope-era World Series that we have multiple complete or near complete broadcasts.  In 2007, we discussed that Doak Ewing of RareSportsFilms had shown or sold the broadcasts of Games 3, 4 and 7.  Later, in 2013, Doak began to sell a near-complete copy of Game 5.  Game 6 has been part of a partial that he sells with a copy of the World Series Film. That update left only Game 1 and 2 from seeing the light of day.

Game 1, however, has since made it's way out into the world in the last two weeks through an eye-raising series of events.  How that game came out and how you can find it, after the jump.

Monday, April 6, 2015

RIP Lon Simmons (1923-2015)

One of the original San Fransisco Giants game announcers, Lon Simmons passed away Sunday.  The Giants issued the following in their press release:

But it was with the Giants that Simmons made his biggest impact. Their arrival from New York in 1958 was a historic event, since it marked the Major Leagues' first westward movement. Teaming with Russ Hodges, Simmons provided verbal illustrations of the excitement generated by the talent-laden clubs that recorded winning records each year from 1958-71, yet captured only one National League pennant. The exploits of San Francisco's core of eventual Hall of Famers -- Willie Mays, Willie McCovey, Juan Marichal, Orlando Cepeda and Gaylord Perry -- were rendered unforgettable when delivered in Simmons' rich baritone.
Simmons would also call games for the Bay Area's other team, the Oakland A's, from 1981-1995.  It was during this stint that Simmons was able to call the final outs of a World Series, something that had alluded him on the other side of the Bay.

More after the jump:

Sunday, April 5, 2015

When Campy Forgot the Number of Outs

Happy Opening Night!

MLB.com gives us a 17-second clip on their YouTube channel of some vintage color videotape footage.  The wonderful part of this color videotape is that it preserves the remarkable brilliance of Charlie Finley's golden A's vests. 

The green stirrups with yellow socks.  The yellow vests with green sleeves.  The white spikes.  Dressed to the Nines actually lists that this combo didn't exist.  The socks, with the yellow vests should have been white.  These uniforms continued to feature the big green A on them for the second season. The 1970 season would be the first season they were no longer known as the Athletics but as solely the A's.  Modern baseball vests are often a terrible look due to their fit but this look is perfect and timeless.  

As for the game itself, it took place July 19, 1970 at Fenway Park.  More on that, after the jump.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

1972: Hooton Heaves (No-)Hits

*This post is part of an on-going series cataloging surviving broadcast footage from 1972 .

When rookie Burt Hooton took the mound on April 16, 1972 at Wrigley Field, he was likely just trying to solidify his spot in the Cubs pitching rotation.  What he ended up doing was etched his name into the record books. 

On that blustery Chicago afternoon, Hooton was not particularly sharp. While he struck out seven hitters and did not allow a hit, he issued seven walks.  He also dodge a few bullets thanks to some defensive help.  In fact, he may have only lived on in this game for as long as he did because manager Leo Durocher was sick and at home. After the jump, we will take a look at how much of the game survived and how a few key defensive stops made this day historic.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

From Maz to Sandy to Gibby: Game 7s (Kinescoped)

To restate the old sportscaster’s adage: There are no two more exciting words in sports than ‘Game Seven’.  Tonight, we will be treated to only the second World Series Game 7 in 11 years.  The last one (2011) was personally a thrill for this Cardinals fan but certainly not the most dramatic of contests.    This prolonged drought of penultimate Fall Classic games is a far cry from how baseball seasons regularly concluded during the kinescope era.  From the inaugural broadcast in 1947 thru the dramatic 1975 tilt, there were 16 World Series that took all seven games. 

Some of these were defining moments for franchises or the sport as a whole, creating iconic images that are instantly recognizable.  Of these 16 games during this period, only 7 have survived.  Below is a look at the Game 7s, how they turned out and which ones we are lucky to still have.