Happy Opening Night!
MLB.com gives us a 17-second clip on their YouTube channel of some vintage color videotape footage. The wonderful part of this color videotape is that it preserves the remarkable brilliance of Charlie Finley's golden A's vests.
The green stirrups with yellow socks. The yellow vests with green sleeves. The white spikes. Dressed to the Nines actually lists that this combo didn't exist. The socks, with the yellow vests should have been white. These uniforms continued to feature the big green A on them for the second season. The 1970 season would be the first season they were no longer known as the Athletics but as solely the A's. Modern baseball vests are often a terrible look due to their fit but this look is perfect and timeless.
As for the game itself, it took place July 19, 1970 at Fenway Park. More on that, after the jump.
The action picks up in the 4th inning, with Bob Locker on in relief of an extremely ineffective Rollie Fingers. Standing on first is Reggie Smith (who reached via a single to RF). At the plate is Carl Yastrzemski. Yaz had already homered and walked in this game, helping build the 9-1 lead the BoSox held at this point.
Yaz would hit a chopper in this at-bat over the head of the pitcher in what appeared to be a single to centerfield. Instead, Bert Campaneris comes flying into screen and snags the grounder right behind the bag. Stepping on second, Campaneris completes the 6-3 double play for the first TWO outs of the inning.
I highlight that it was the only two outs in the inning because "Campy" seemingly had forgotten the number of outs. As Ken Coleman remarks, Campy thought the inning was over but "no sir...only two outs". The mental mistake aside, it is a strong defensive effort by the Cuban shortstop.
On a historical sidenote: Coleman makes mention of Mike Fiore missing the game due to a 'cold in his back'. Fiore joined the Red Sox midway through the season in 1970. In fact, his debut with the Red Sox was in a wild 22-13 game against the White Sox.
For anyone who has ever listened to a Miley Collection recording, you'd instantly recognize the voice of Ken Coleman on this video clip. Coleman was the TV play-by-play announcer for the Red Sox from 1966 thru 1974, and a radio broadcast for the club from 1966-1971 and 1979-1989. This fact alone makes this recording a WHDH-TV broadcast.
I have no true verification of where this video comes from but if I had to wager, this comes from a cache of Red Sox video footage that resided at one point in the New England Sports Museum. MLB made an acquisition that was discussed almost 5 years ago now from the New England Sports Museum. This haul included whatever survived from the WHDH archives.
Enjoy the new season!