Saturday, November 10, 2012

"McCarver Pops Up" (in color)

Following defeat in the 2012 NLCS, Mike Matheny joined an elite group of Hall of Fame Cardinals mangers in one aspect.  Up 3 games to 1 in a best-of-seven series, Tony LaRussa (1996), Whitey Herzog (1985) and Red Schoendist (1968) all ended up losing their series.  It is the last of those we talk about today.  

As I've made clear before on here, as a Cardinals fan 1968 is one of my greatest disappointments.  Two of my favorite Cardinals teams throughout history were the 1985 and 1968 Cardinals and both eventually blew near certain World Series championships.  More frustrating is that we have a full kinescoped set of the 1968 World Series, with pre and postgame footage and yet nothing for the 1967 series the Cardinals actually won.

Most all of you know, Gibson pitched on short rest in Game 7.  In the 7th inning, Gibby got 2 quick outs before giving up 2 soft single.  Curt Flood fell down on a hard hit liner to CF and Jim Northrup ended up with an RBI triple.  Bill Freehan would double in Northrup to make it 3-0.  In the 9th, the Tigers tacked on a 4th run and Shannon would homer in the bottom of the 9th with 2 outs to get the score to 4-1.  McCarver stood in as the potential last out and that is what we are going to talk about.

I'm sure I've heard countless times McCarver talk about taking a pitch late in a game with your team down multiple runs in the year of him broadcasting, yet here we see Tim jump of the first pitch.  What follows is a pop-up to the catcher in foul territory for the last out and an outright celebration.

The color footage clip comes from an MLB special.  It does not include any audio other than the bat crack which could be a case of MLBNetwork dropping the audio for the special or it just not existing.  For the high definition broadcast, they clearly cropped the footage to make it fit a 16x9 ratio.  

Frame for frame, this footage matches the black and white kinescope.  I've thrown in the exact frame matches to show, as well as included the MLB World Series Films footage to rule it out as the source.  

Judging by the lower grade of this color footage, I'm leaning towards it being from a highlight package. Also on the MLBNetwork special were color clips of Tigers comebacks during that season that were of similiar quality.  I'll discuss those at a later date however it makes me believe MLB got a hold of a highlight package the Tigers or a local network produced.  The other option is that this footage was part of a network news broadcast and the highlights were shown during that time.

The ideal situation would be that this is part of some greater color videotape of the entire Game 7 broadcast, however I believe that to be unlikely.  If it was, it would move the color videotape footage endpoint back one year on World Series games from 1969 to 1968.

This isn't the first time we've seen color footage of the 1968 Tigers.  As I showed in Most Hated Villains, a few of their regular season contest featured color footage of night games at Tiger Stadium.  None of these games seemed to exist in full at the time and with MLB releasing the Essential Games of the Detroit Tigers, it was not included.  At the time, it was said that those color clips could have been from a documentary called A City on Fire which was produced by HBO.  I know that HBO does an extensive job of searching for archival footage to use in their documentaries, as they did during the Curt Flood piece.



If anyone has seen this clip before or has a better knowledge of it's true source, please speak up.  


  1. After looking at Baseball's Season: 1968, this footage with extended celebration is on there. It is indeed color videotape of the final at-bat of the 1968 World Series.

  2. Vanderbilt's video dept has B&W clip from Huntley & Brinkley of Games 1 & 7 from that Series - which was was originally in color( All major network shows were in color by then ),but it's a tape not a kine. So while it's not color, it still has the shapness and audio are at the level of the original broadcasts. They might even have bits from the other 5 games,I don't know.I have all 7 games ,the same 7 B&W CBC kinescopes, and the two clips are one the disc of Game 6.