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1960 WS Game 7 a treat!

16 12 2010 0 Comment

Major League Baseball Network’s replay of game 7 of the 1960 World Series between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the New York Yankees was really special. The game, considered by many to be one of the greatest in baseball history, was recorded in its entirety on kinescope (5 reels) for Bing Crosby, a part owner of the Pirates at the time the game was played. Crosby watched the tapes one time before storing them in his wine cellar where they remained along with numerous other reels that included home movies until they were inadvertently stumbled upon by Robert Bader of Bing Crosby Enterprises while recently looking through old Crosby TV specials for a planned DVD.  The 16-millimeter film was transferred to DVD and the complete game was broadcast by MLB Network.

Watching this game was like opening a special time capsule. The announcers were two of the games finest ever, Bob Prince of the Pirates and Mel Allen of the Yankees. That alone was reason enough to capture the attention of a die hard fan, but it didn’t stop there. This was the game that included the famous “bad hop” grounder to Tony Kubek that altered the game after the Yankees had come back from a 4-0 deficit to lead 7-4.  It was also the first World Series that ended on a home run in the bottom of the 9th inning of game 7.

The antics of legendary Yankee Manager Casey Stengel with his quick hook, and watching Yogi Berra, Mickey Mantle, Roger Maris, Dick Groat, Bill Virdon, Roberto Clemente and Bill Mazeroski while all were in their primes added to the specter of returning to a place long ago forgotten.

Even more enjoyable was watching the way the game was played fifty years ago. The spectators were right on top of the action at old Forbes Field in Pittsburgh. Many men wore suits and ties while the women were all decked out in fancy dresses. The umpires called a different strike zone, one more in tune with the rules, unlike the tiny slot that is passed off today. A check swing was not a strike unless the hitter actually took a pretty good cut at the pitch. And there was no foul territory to mention at the old park with a hill in the outfield to inform the fielder that he was at the base of the ivy covered brick wall. Back then baseball was a way of life for most Americans. It was truly the National Pastime.

Adding to the broadcast was a studio audience that included many of the living members of the Pirates that played in that game as well as several of the Yankees. During breaks between innings, moderator Bob Costas asked the players questions and tapped into their thoughts and emotions. Thank you Bing for the wonderful trip down memory lane.

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