Monday, August 18, 2014

The 1972 Season: What has survived?

The charm of baseball exists in the peaks and valleys of a full season.  If you catch a World Series or a playoff game, you are getting a truly small sample size.  The six month scale of a season is what allows sabermetrics to have almost enough data to be relevant and allows fans to develop an opinion of their team’s players.  The World Series or All-Star game does not tell us the narrative of the season.  Instead, we get to hear the opinions of writers and broadcasters formulated through the lens of history, rather than as it is seen unfolding.   If baseball broadcasts today were archived in the scattered manner of years past, fans 30 years from now wouldn’t get to appreciate the two month long phenomenon of Puig-mania from 2013 or other like stories that come and go during the marathon of a season. 

When trying to find the most complete sampling of the oldest baseball season, it becomes a tough task with surviving baseball broadcasts.  While there are a few seasons with the All-Star Game and the entire World Series (1965, 1968) very few regular season games exist to flesh out a season.   Rolling back through the years, the 1972 season stands out, if for no other reason, because of the high volume of retained broadcast footage.