Thursday, July 4, 2013

Duke Snider's 2000th Hit (in COLOR)

Happy 4th of July!

With the Cardinals playing the Angels this week, it will be the first time this Cardinals fan gets to see Albert Pujols take swings against his former team in a real game.  For 11 years, he was the face of the franchise, the team's perennial MVP.  As late as 2011, fans couldn't think of him as wearing any other uniform than the Birds on the Bat.

It is always a strange sight when we see players who dominate the landscape wearing one uniform don another cities colors.  Whether it be the likes of Hank Aaron as a Brewer, Willie Mays as a Met or Babe Ruth as a Boston Brave, it just doesn't feel right.  So, when we talk about today's clip, it seems strange to see Duke Snider wearing a New York Mets uniform.

The clip shown needs no investigating to narrow down the date.  It is April 16, 1963.  The New York Mets played the Cincinnati Reds at Crosley Field.  Jim Maloney started for the Reds, thus adding yet another classic clip (and another in color for that matter) of Jim Maloney to the rolls.  This is (off the top of my head) the oldest color videotape clip that survives of baseball footage.

The video for this clip can be found here courtesy of  I'm sure a Mets fan would be better able to tell us if this a WOR clip with either Kiner, Nelson or Murphy or if this must be a WLWT broadcast out of Cincinnati. 

 The Duke of Flatbush singled in the 2nd inning to take his career hits total to 2,000.  

CORRECTION: Later in this game, Duke would make another bit of history.  In the 6th inning, he would take Maloney deep for a 2-run homerun.  That homerun would be the 400th 392nd of Snider's career.   

In this clip we get a brief look at a young Pete Rose playing second base.  Pete would pick up only his 3rd career hit in this game.  This game also featured Frank Robinson, a relief appearance by Joe Nuxhall and a rare pinch hit appearance by future Mets manager Gil Hodges.  

What makes this clip so great is that it is a night game.  If this game had been in black and white, it would be much harder to see the players as often times night games do not translate well on kinescope.  However, being in color and on video, you can still pick up the tone of the grass and the flannel grey the Mets are wearing.  

I attempted to contact the MLB Archives to find out if this is the lone footage from this game, the source of this videotape and how much more of this at-bat survived.  Update: This is part of a partial game.


  1. The announcer in Lindsey Nelson on WOR-TV in New York. This clip can also be found at the tale end of the 1986 Mets 25th Anniversary Video. There is also a brief videotape clip of Gil Hodges hitting a homerun at the Polo Grounds on that same video tape.

  2. I see. Thank you for the information.

    Was the clip the same length? I wondered if this footage may have also been included in the recent Mets 50th Anniversary box set.

  3. The Duke clip on the Mets 25th Anniversary VHS is much shorter (10 seconds maybe?)and the Gil clip is equally short (they both run during the credits). There is also a B&W video clip of a Carl Willey grand slam in a "flying box" at the beginning. Most notably, there is another Duke clip where he hits a game winning HR at the PG (also B&W). The tape has video footage of the Rose-Harrelson brawl and Seaver's last game as a Met in '77, as well as a lot of early 80s video clips.

    I really wish MLB would release whatever they have - the clips on You Tube are a great start but if all those clips are part of partials they have to know fans would kill to see the extent of what they have. Can you share a contact e-mail for them?

  4. Steven, thanks for all the great information and thanks for reading the blog.

    The best way I've found to contact MLB is through their main email addresses listed on their website. They've always been relatively prompt with their responses and reasonably helpful. It never hurts to ask, the worst that can happen is ending up right back where you started.