Monday, March 1, 2010

The Good News: Cubs Fail - Bad News: So Does Lefty

How glorious YouTube truly is. Because of it, we get rare footage that pops up every once in awhile. This footage may not be something MLB Network actually has, however, or else they failed miserably for not using it at all during their Baseball Seasons: 1969 special.

What we have here is actual game footage from the pennant clinching game on September 24, 1969. The Mets played the Cardinals and dispatched of future HOF'er and better-than-Rick-Wise pitcher Steve Carlton in the first inning.

First up is footage from the first inning. With Bud Harrelson at 2B and Tom Agee at 1B, Don Clendenon took a Carlton pitch deep to RF for a 3-run HR.

Following this, we are treated to the last batter Carlton faced that evening, still in the first inning. Eddie Charles blasted Carlton's just to the left of the Shea Stadium scoreboard and just beyond the outstretched reach of Curt Flood (whose bickering about the management's comitment to winning in '69 would lead to his infamous trade).
With Carlton out of the game, the fun didn't stop for Don Clendenon. In the bottom of the 5th, he touched off another one to RF, this time off reliever Dave Giusti (whom this Cardinals fan didn't even remember pitched for the Cardinals).

Mets starter Gary Gentry went the distance, finishing off the pennant by getting Joe Torre to ground into a 6-4-3 double play to end the game.

What followed was footage of the postgame celebration, with the fimiliar camera angle of the Mets players coming down the ramp into the clubhouse just as they would after clinching the World Series in a few short weeks. But this postgame footage, which is one continous broadcast from the last pitch until Ralph Kiner sends it back to the studio, is for another post.

All of this footage comes from a program that was compiled for Channel 9 which aired shortly before the League Championship Series titled "To Mets With Love". This is actual broadcast footage. In the 5th inning, Ralph Kiner calls the Clendenon homerun with his customary "It is gone, goodbye!" In the first inning, it is Bob Murphy. It was customary for Murphy to do the first 3 innings, Kiner the middle 3 and then leave it to be finished by Lindsey Nelson.

What is infinantly cool about this clip is it has Nelson's famous line:
At 9:07 on September 24th, the New York Mets clinched the Eastern Division of the National League.
The video tape that exists of this is in pretty bad shape and pretty washed out. Rumor is that when Channel 9 was dumping all their old Mets footage, Lindsey Nelson actually was sent a copy (the only copy?) of "To Mets With Love". Hopefully, though, MLB has gotten a copy of this documentary from either his estate or the Channel 9 vault. It is a recap of the 1969 season and you can clearly see that there is more footage both before and after the clip loaded onto YouTube.


  1. It’s a long shot, but if anybody out there happens to be sitting on a kinescope of any of the NBC-TV broadcasts of the 1967 World Series between the Red Sox and Cardinals, get in touch with me through this site. I am offering a lucrative cash prize AND financial support towards getting it out on DVD.

  2. Unfortunately, you are signed in as Anonymous, which will make it hard for people to contact you.

    I've been doing some digging on this subject.

  3. Ha ha...yes, I realize at THIS POINT I'm anonymous, but obviously some more information would have to be exchanged.
    I'm not actually expecting anybody to respond, either, but one can always hope. Your site appears to me to be the cutting edge location on this topic.
    And I'm very much looking forward to any 1967 World Series broadcast news you might come up with.

  4. I don't think I can be much help, but in 1997, I contacted MLB and the HOF to see if they had 1967 WS kinescopes. I pretended to be a researcher writing a 30th Anniversary piece. They pretty much laughed at me, but now with all the complete game broadcasts coming out on MLB Network, I wonder...