Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Reason #4,927 in favor of the 1968 World Series DVD set

Bonus Material! No game footage this time. Not even kinescope. This is some solid color tape that was brought to my attention by twib77 (yet again!). George Kell and Larry Osterman of WJBK are giving viewers the inside-the-locker room celebration after the Tigers clinch the 1968 American League Pennant.

The Tigers clinched in dramatic fashion on
September 17, 1968 vs the New York Yankees. Joe Sparma, who had been relegated to non-use after a public confrontation with his manager was given a spot start. He twirled a gem, only allowing 3 hits through the first 2 innings.

With 1-0 lead, Sparma yielded 2 hits and a run.
Al Kaline would pinch hit for Norm Cash (that's like using a bazooka for a rocket launcher) , Bill Freehan would follow with a hit and Gates Brown with a free pass before Don ".178 hitter" Wert would slap a single to RF and drive in the pennant clinching run.

The video picks up with the fans storming the field and then quickly cuts to the players in the locker room. Standing on a podium (the Tigers were 11 games up on the Orioles and Boston had already eliminated Baltimore with a victory earlier in the night), the interviews flow in one after another:

Dick McAuliffe

Don Wert
Wertz tells us it was a 2-2 slider he hit to drive in the winning run.

Denny McLain

Mickey Stanley

Norm Cash

Takes a champagne bath!

Earl Wilson

Originally the starter for this game, says he felt 'congestion' in his shoulder that scratched him from taking the mound.

Gator Brown

Joe Sparma

Eddie Mathews

Says he won't be eligible for the World Series.

Mgr. Mayo Smith

Bill Freehan

Willie Horton

Owner John Fetzer

GM Jim Campbell

Mickey Lolich

Al Kaline

Dick Traceweski

Traceweski claims that Game 1 is the most important game. If they win game 1, they'll win the Series easy. Of course, Gibson struck out 17 in that game...

Jim Northtrup

Ed Katalinas

Katalinas was the man that discovered Al Kaline, as well as many of the other Tiger Town products that the Tigers developed over the years.

Jim Price

Pat Dobson

Jon Warden

Dennis Smith (The batboy? Really?)

Don McMahon

McMahon compares the 1968 Tigers to the 1960 Pirates in their ability to keep coming back and winning games

....And it goes on and on from there with various coaches and rookies. The main theme of the interviews is the Tiger ability to keep coming back. The total, at the time, was apparently 27 comeback victories. Coincidentally, the Tiger WOULD come back in Game 5 down 3-0 early to extend the series and win in Game 7, coming back from a 3-1 series deficit.

Not nearly as exciting as trying to figure out game footage or discovering a historic video but all the same, it was a great treat to put some voices and personalities to these famous names (and not so famous). It was worth it, if for nothing more to see McLain look like an idiot trying to spray the television camera only to have the bottle cork foil him for a solid 12 minutes.


  1. Love your blog! I wish I'd known about it earlier.

    I've got the entire 1968 World Series on DVD, though it's a bootleg. I'm going to purchase the 1965 Series shortly, own copies of 1969 and 1970, and will get a few other games, including the 1972 ALCS Game 2 (rumored to be missing only a single inning). Rumor has it that A&E is coming out with the entire 1971 World Series soon, which would be extremely exciting, as none of those games exist in full in any collections I know of.

    I remember hearing rumors about a full copy of the 1960 World Series Game 7 existing back in 2002 or so. I also read rumors about the Don Larsen perfect game existing, which were confirmed a few years later, as we all know so well. I just wish they would finally release the first reel (the story about that getting lost simply baffles me). Anyway, I've got a feeling that we might see that 1960 World Series Game 7 released in a decade or so.

    I'd love to talk with you more about collecting these old games. Please contact me, as I can't seem to find contact information for you.

  2. Years ago, I read an article that stated MLB had taken two full game kinescopes of the 1967 World Series from the New England Sports Museum. This was back when the 2004 set first hit and it was talking about the set.

    The DVD sets seem to be slowing way down. MLB believes that Red Sox and Yankees move the product. Which, technically they do. Nothing else could really explain why we aren't seeing great series like the 1991 WS or 1982 released, both of which are fully in color and full broadcasts exist.

    Even with the modern era, they released the Cal Ripken set but we don't seem to be getting a Ken Griffey Jr. set, or an Albert Pujols set..two players who have had every single game of their career recorded by MLB.

    As for the older series, I'd imagine the 1969 WS is going to be one of the next ones released. Not only does it have the Mets (New York) in it but MLB Network is about to put the whole 5 game series in rotation on their network. Honestly, the only reason it probably hasn't been released is Game 1 and 2 are in black and white, while 3-5 are in color. MLB hates black and white for some reason.

    I'm glad you like the blog and I'll be picking up the frequency of posting a bit more over the winter.

  3. Is any of the 1968 World Series color videotape?

  4. This is a great blog--I hope you really do pick up your blogging over the winter!

    I've been watching (and copying onto DVD) a lot of the recent World Series broadcasts on MLB Network, plus ESPN Classic has been showing "The Way it Was," the mid-1970s Curt Gowdy-hosted show that shows clips of various World Series, NFL Championship games, etc., with some of the athletes in the studio, then has a discussion among them. Great clips there, in some cases that I haven't seen before.

    Any idea why the first two games of the 1969 World Series were only saved in black & White but the three games in NY were in color? And are those kinescopes or early videotapes? The color ones, at least, don't have that kinescope fuzziness.

  5. The 1968 World Series isn't known to be available in color. It only exists because of CBC recorded kinescopes, coming in b&w. The recordings I have even overlap as they would with the two camera system recording to film reels. When MLB released Game 1 of the '68 series in the Busch Stadium Greatest Games, they cut off the pregame and postgame for some reason. Frustrating when both are known to exist and have even been shown on MLB Network.

    As for the 1969 Series, Games 1 and 2 were played in Baltimore. The color footage for Games 3, 4 and 5 were recorded on videotape in the truck and saved. Not really sure why this was but thank goodness for small miracles!

  6. HL wrote: "When MLB released Game 1 of the '68 series in the Busch Stadium Greatest Games, they cut off the pregame and postgame for some reason. Frustrating when both are known to exist and have even been shown on MLB Network."

    I recorded the MLB Network airing of this, then saved just the pre-game and post-game onto a DVD as a "special features" supplement to my MLB official release.

    Interesting that MLB isn't the only one to do this. The NFL Network showed the 1969 Super Bowl this past weekend and I noticed it didn't have an opening sequence. I looked at my existing recording of it from an earlier NFL Network telecast and that one did. Then I noticed that the earlier telecast took up only about 85 minutes of recording time after commercials, while this weekend's took up 3 hours with commercials, so clearly my existing version was edited down. I guess I'll have to combine the two. (Happily, the NFL Netwrok dropped the ever-present scroll across the bottom of the screen for this one--something I wish MLB Netwrork would do, at least for broadcasts of old games in the off-season!).

    Similarly, I have a 1965 or so Stanley Cup finals game in a commercial set (Detroit Red Wings greatest games), but it picks up right before the puck is dropped. ESPN Classic aired it and it includes the opening title and a minute or two of pregame. Why couldn't they put that on the commercial DVD? Anyway, I now have a "supplemental" DVD for that one as well.

    Is there any program out there that allows one to re-size the visible area in a DVD to take out the scroll? I'd love to do that with my PC.

  7. Any more updates on 1967 World Series kinescopes?

  8. I'm sorry I didn't see your reply about the 1967 kinescopes. That is the terrible thing about blogspot.com, no way of knowing when and where replies are.

    I replied to your other post about it though. We should continue the discussion there.

  9. Hello all, love this subject. I live in Michigan and back in 1998 I contacted WJBK and talked to a woman in charge of the video vault and she related to me that there was all kinds of original video from the 68 season- not film or Kines- VIDEO!

    I tried to convince her to release a best of video becatse it was the 30th anniversary, she said they would consider it, but mothing ever came of it. That seems to be the way it goes with these short sighted people. The 40th anniversary has come and gone as well, who knows if we will even make it to the 50th. It irks me no end that true classic stuff wastes away in limbo. Keep up the good sleuthing! Wish I could get MLB Network. (Argh!)

  10. Does anyone know why you can get 1969 world series stuff but nobody has the 1972 ALCS series on DVDs or booted ? I have one game the one missing the inning I would kill (figuratively) for any of the other games why hasn't NBC released them ? do they have them ? thanks

  11. Annon- that is very interesting information, thank you for sharing it.

    Tiger4Life, it wouldn't be up to NBC to release them, it would be up to MLB. They are the ones with the content and license to do so...if they still exist.

  12. The 1968 WS from the CBC kinescopes include pregame with Gowdy and either Harry Carey (in St Louis, Gms 1,2,6 & 7) or George Kell (in Detroit, Games 3, 4 & 5), plus postgame interviews (e.g. Lolich after his Game 5 victory). There is also rain-delay filler, including Lou Brock and Roger Maris coming up into the booth during the long Game 6 delays. So the ENTIRE series has been preserved, every play of it.

    There is also a Tiger season highlights film with some excellent local TV footage (similar to the great local footage in the 1967 Red Sox "Impossible Dream" film.

  13. Also, Tiger4life should know that the closing games of the 1972 season vs. Boston have been preserved on AUDIO. We have the substantial partial NBC broadcast of 1972 ALCS Game 2, and AUDIO of Games 3, 4 and 5. (Game 4 has the INCREDIBLE Tiger comeback in extra innings to knot the Series.) These audios are from AFN broadcasts (recorded in the Canal Zone, I believe).

  14. Wow--It's 2:30AM and I've been devouring this entire blog. Two questions I have relating to the Tigers:

    1. Last fall, I eagerly snagged the 5-disc set purporting to contain all five games of the 1984 World Series. However, I was stunned at the poor quality of the video--at one point, Scully and Garagiola's NBC play-by-play vanishes and is replaced by the CBS Radio broadcast. Games 3 and 4 were in especially poor quality. I'm guessing that A & E was somehow required to use poorly archived tapes. My question is--is it at all possible to restore these broadcasts, assembling a higher-quality version using surviving home VCR recordings?

    2. Also--I've watched the April 1984 "Game Of The Week" video of Jack Morris's no-hitter against the White Sox, but was (slightly) disappointed to discover that the top of the 9th inning is missing. Have this half-inning been lost forever? It may not seem like a big deal, but it is jarring when watching the game to go from the bottom of the 8th directly to the bottom of the 9th.

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