Thursday, August 28, 2008

A Snip here, a Snip there

So, in heartbreaking news, it appears that the WPIX clip of Mickey Mantle's 500th HR is just that, a clip:

He hit his 500th at Yankee Stadium on May 14th, 1967. Wednesday night, I showed some tape of the historic homer on the 11 p.m. news.

The back story: Several years back, an NBC technician came to my office. He said he used to work at Channel 11. He was working that day when the Mick hit his milestone homer. And the technician took a pair of scissors and physically cut off the chunk of tape (two-inch tape at the time) and shoved it into his locker. He wanted to know if I wanted the tape.

Wanted it? It was the mother lode -- the actual portion of the broadcast on WPIX that was long forgotten. It was 40 years ago, and that brief chunk of tape looks like the Middle Ages by comparison.

And just like that, hope evaporates.

Hat tip goes to twib77, whoever this mystery man is, for bringing this to my attention.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Mickey Mantle's 500th Homerun

As Yankee Stadium comes to a close, the YES ESPN Network has been highlighting the greatest moments in The Stadium's history. For me, and many baseball purists, Yankee Stadium was closed over 30 years ago when the iconic features and dimensions were destroyed and the entire playing surface was rotated slightly.

But, that doesn't take away how historic Yankee Stadium has been in baseball and how depressing it will be to see it go.

During the kinescope era, the 500 HR plateau was broken 9 times. While the last of the 9 times (and probably the two before it) more than likely came during the videotape era, it is worth noting. They are as follows:

Ted Williams - 06/17/1960
Willie Mays - 09/13/1965
Mickey Mantle - 05/14/1967
Eddie Mathews - 07/14/1967
Hank Aaron - 07/04/1968
Ernie Banks - 05/12/1970
Harmen Killebrew - 08/10/1971
Frank Robinson - 09/13/1971
Willie McCovey - 06/30/1978

Known partial broadcasts exist of a handful of these, one of which I will touch on today.

Mickey Mantle muscled his 500th career Homerun into the lower bowl of the right field corner off of Sam Miller in the 7th inning vs the Baltimore Orioles.

This game was originally broadcasted on WPIX CH 11. The clip of the homerun has been reshown on HBO's special 'Mantle', during ESPN's retrospective of Yankee Stadium and I believe part of it was involved in the Yankeeography on Mickey Mantle.