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Saturday, November 16, 2013

Deadspin: Never-Before-Seen Color Footage Of 1965 Baseball Is Incredibly Cool

It’s not just incredibly cool, it’s incredibly Billy McCool!

According to Al Yellon at BCB, the very fact that this footage exists, let alone is of a no-hitter, is amazing enough. He says it’s likely the earliest surviving color videotape of a baseball game, and among the oldest color videotape recordings period. And the quality is so good!

Naturally, WGN’s technical capabilities bear little resemblance to today’s broadcasts.

You can see that WGN-TV was using just four cameras in that era. There were two cameras behind the plate (one at field level, one in the upper deck), another in the upper deck behind third base, and the center-field shot. Still, they were able to cover the action quite well. There were none of what we consider staples of today’s telecasts: crowd shots or closeups of players before the action, and virtually no graphics, not even a score graphic. The score was shown by a shot of the scoreboard at the end of each half-inning.

AndrewJ Posted: November 16, 2013 at 10:26 AM | 69 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: cubs, history, jim maloney, no-hitters, reds, tv, wrigley field

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   1. rr Posted: November 16, 2013 at 03:38 PM (#4601238)
Cool. Thanks.
   2. bobm Posted: November 16, 2013 at 03:40 PM (#4601240)
Did they find Verlon Walker's voice on the tape?
   3. Publius Publicola Posted: November 16, 2013 at 03:58 PM (#4601243)
I love the sixties uniforms with the sleeveless tunic and the colored sleeve sanitary underneath.
   4. Coot Veal and Cot Deal taste like Old Bay Posted: November 16, 2013 at 04:31 PM (#4601252)
high strikes! good stuff.
   5. JE (Jason) Posted: November 16, 2013 at 04:37 PM (#4601255)
Didn't the Reds go back to the sleeveless unis for a short time 10-15 years ago?
   6. Tom Nawrocki Posted: November 16, 2013 at 04:42 PM (#4601257)
According to Al Yellon at BCB, the very fact that this footage exists, let alone is of a no-hitter, is amazing enough.


Well, of course, the fact that it's a no-hitter is the reason someone saw fit to hang on to it. It's not a coincidence that the only footage remaining from 1951 is of the World Series.

There were two cameras behind the plate (one at field level, one in the upper deck), another in the upper deck behind third base, and the center-field shot.


The view from the field-level camera behind home plate, which is off to the third base side, is just fantastic. Makes you feel like you're on the field.
   7. Steve Treder Posted: November 16, 2013 at 04:55 PM (#4601265)
I saw this yesterday, posted on Facebook. It is the greatest thing ever.

I was seven years old in the summer of 1965, and it was the first baseball season to which I paid close attention.
   8. JE (Jason) Posted: November 16, 2013 at 05:09 PM (#4601270)
I never get bored watching commercials from nearly 50 years ago. (In particular, check out the Hamm's beer advert during the middle of the 10th.)
   9. greenback calls it soccer Posted: November 16, 2013 at 05:10 PM (#4601271)
Holy cow, he let Jackson bat for himself with 150+ pitches thrown with a tie game in the 9th and the potential winning run on 2nd.
   10. Coot Veal and Cot Deal taste like Old Bay Posted: November 16, 2013 at 05:24 PM (#4601274)
Holy cow, he let Jackson bat for himself with 150+ pitches thrown with a tie game in the 9th and the potential winning run on 2nd.


it was interesting to hear the announcer - in 1965 - mention that 120-130 pitches was an entry into iffy territory.
   11. Steve Treder Posted: November 16, 2013 at 05:26 PM (#4601275)
it was interesting to hear the announcer - in 1965 - mention that 120-130 pitches was an entry into iffy territory.

Quite.
   12. nick swisher hygiene Posted: November 16, 2013 at 05:40 PM (#4601278)
9--yeah, wait til Ray gets to that in his liveblog.....
   13. RMc is a fine piece of cheese Posted: November 16, 2013 at 05:58 PM (#4601283)
I don't always watch ballgames that were played the same year I was born.

But when I do, I notice the excellent sound and video quality.
   14. greenback calls it soccer Posted: November 16, 2013 at 06:20 PM (#4601291)
9--yeah, wait til Ray gets to that in his liveblog.....

That might happen some time in 2015.

The breaks between innings were amazingly short. It was like somebody hit the button on the DVR.
   15. Repoz Posted: November 16, 2013 at 06:49 PM (#4601295)
Jackson and Maloney were both fastball pitchers...but what a difference.
   16. TerpNats Posted: November 16, 2013 at 07:16 PM (#4601301)
In the comments section, there's also a link to a YouTube kinescope of a St. Louis at Los Angeles game from July 25, 1959, but the announcer isn't Harry Caray or Vin Scully, but Jack Brickhouse. Apparently it was from sort of off-season syndicated series that broadcast replays of selected regular-season games, something I was unaware existed (I wonder if any other of these broadcasts exist?). And ironically, the Cardinals' starter that night was...Larry Jackson.

P.S. Enjoy Don Zimmer's first at-bat.
   17. Posada Posse Posted: November 16, 2013 at 07:20 PM (#4601303)
it was interesting to hear the announcer - in 1965 - mention that 120-130 pitches was an entry into iffy territory.


Maloney threw 187 pitches in the no-hitter, what a wimp! No wonder he developed chronic arm problems.
   18. BDC Posted: November 16, 2013 at 07:49 PM (#4601315)
I was six that year, and I can't say I was following baseball closely yet. But I had gone to my first game, at Wrigley Field, earlier that season, so this is a pretty evocative video.

People really wore a lot of black and white in 1965. There are moments when it seems like the players' uniforms and the grass are in color, but the crowd is in black and white. May also have something to do with the depth of field of the cameras, but it has an unsettling Pleasantville effect.
   19. tfbg9 Posted: November 16, 2013 at 08:11 PM (#4601327)
it was interesting to hear the announcer - in 1965 - mention that 120-130 pitches was an entry into iffy territory.


Proto-coddling.

P.S. Enjoy Don Zimmer's first at-bat.


Haha. Yes, pretty good. They ump actually gave Zip a lot of leeway to gripe before he finally had no choice but to run him.

One of the main takeaway's for me is that neither pitcher, in particular the Dodger starter Craig, looks like they are throwing pitches with anything even close to the level of exertion you see nowadays. They're just kinda slingin' it up there, or at least look to be doing so.

Also, Musial's batting stance is not nearly as weird as I had expected. Did he used to have an odder one, then late in career became more orthodox?
   20. tfbg9 Posted: November 16, 2013 at 08:17 PM (#4601331)
YouTube has the penultimate game of the Red Sox 1967 season, in glorious color, almost in its entirety:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cze3fMSa84w


...and at much better quality than either one of these. Don't get me wrong, they're awesome enough...
   21. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: November 16, 2013 at 08:50 PM (#4601343)
YouTube has the penultimate game of the Red Sox 1967 season, in glorious color, almost in its entirety:

from the box score:
Jim Perry replaces Jim Kaat pitching and batting 9th (change occurred mid-batter)

Kaat got hurt, or what?
   22. Baldrick Posted: November 16, 2013 at 09:06 PM (#4601348)
Terrible fielding on Pinson's bunt in the 9th. It's right at the mound; what is the pitcher DOING?
   23. Pat Rapper's Delight Posted: November 16, 2013 at 10:06 PM (#4601360)
Why aren't the batters all stepping out of the box for 20-30 seconds after every pitch? I don't understand.
   24. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: November 16, 2013 at 10:36 PM (#4601371)
Indeed. And the pitchers don't mess around with stepping off the rubber, fake throws, holding forever in the stretch, etc. with runners on base. Other observations: no railings on the dugouts, and some batters remove their helmets after reaching base.
   25. Posada Posse Posted: November 16, 2013 at 10:40 PM (#4601373)
Double post
   26. Posada Posse Posted: November 16, 2013 at 10:42 PM (#4601377)
Kaat got hurt, or what?


Correct, something wrong with his arm.
   27. tfbg9 Posted: November 16, 2013 at 11:13 PM (#4601387)
Watching the last frame of the Cubbies/Reds game. Pete Rose up in the 9th. He's not wearing a batting helmet.
Was that even legal?
   28. Steve Treder Posted: November 16, 2013 at 11:17 PM (#4601392)
Was that even legal?

Yes, helmets were still voluntary at that time.
   29. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: November 16, 2013 at 11:47 PM (#4601397)
Hey Teddy, I'm surprised you don't remember former Sox backstop Bob Montgomery, the last soldier in the fight against the evils of the batting helmet, thumbing his nose at permanent brain damage right up until the final days of the Me Decade.
   30. Bruce Markusen Posted: November 17, 2013 at 12:10 AM (#4601403)
The 1965 Reds had a helluva lineup: Harper and Rose setting the table for the middle of the order (Pinson, Robinson, Gordy Coleman and Deron Johnson) and Leo Cardenas batting eighth. Yet, they won only 89 games and finished fourth, largely because there wasn't much starting pitching beyond Maloney and Sammy Ellis.

Also, I love those Reds uniforms, with the player's name BELOW the number. Very cool.
   31. JE (Jason) Posted: November 17, 2013 at 12:21 AM (#4601408)
Also, I love those Reds uniforms, with the player's name BELOW the number. Very cool

Bruce, I think this year's Golden State Warriors uniform has the name underneath the number.
   32. tfbg9 Posted: November 17, 2013 at 12:41 AM (#4601413)
Hey Teddy, I'm surprised you don't remember former Sox backstop Bob Montgomery, the last soldier in the fight against the evils of the batting helmet, thumbing his nose at permanent brain damage right up until the final days of the Me Decade.


I did not know that. Wacky stuff.
   33. tfbg9 Posted: November 17, 2013 at 12:43 AM (#4601416)
Nice no hitter BTW, 12 KI's, 12 BB's, and a HBP. And about 200 pitches thrown.
   34. Steve Treder Posted: November 17, 2013 at 01:18 AM (#4601425)
Nice no hitter BTW, 12 KI's, 12 BB's, and a HBP. And about 200 pitches thrown.

10 BBs, and 187 pitches. Don't exaggerate. :-)
   35. tfbg9 Posted: November 17, 2013 at 02:55 AM (#4601439)
I didn't know much about Jim Maloney before seeing this, but I thought to myself he looked like he was throwing fairly hard in the video.
And I see that he had some pretty decent K's per 9 numbers when I looked at his stats over on bbref.: he led the NL once and was top 4 other years.
I guess he blew his arm out, since he had his last good year at 29, with a K rate far below his what he had done in his big years.
   36. rr Posted: November 17, 2013 at 03:34 AM (#4601442)
One thing I noticed watching this is that Rose' crouch in his stance is nowhere near as deep as it was by the 70s. As to Maloney, he is in Pennant Race a lot, with a lot of sardonic Brosnanian references to Maloney's bonus, which was apparently pretty large.
   37. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: November 17, 2013 at 04:25 AM (#4601445)
Hey Teddy, I'm surprised you don't remember former Sox backstop Bob Montgomery, the last soldier in the fight against the evils of the batting helmet, thumbing his nose at permanent brain damage right up until the final days of the Me Decade.

I did not know that. Wacky stuff.

One odd thing: when Montgomery shows up in the 75 WS, he is (of course) not wearing a helmet, and is the only player who doesn't, but the announcers do not call any attention to this at all.
   38. rr Posted: November 17, 2013 at 04:36 AM (#4601446)
I have the 75 Series on DVD, and Montgomery pinch-hits in Game 7 in the 9th against Will McEnaney. And, as noted, the announcers don't mention the no-helmet thing. Part of that, obviously, is the fact that it's Game 7 in the 9th. Also, the announcers at that moment were Curt Gowdy and Ned Martin. Gowdy was seemingly sort of foggy in general by 1975, and had seen Montgomery many times, and Martin had seen him enough that he probably didn't really think about it. But it really sticks out now, of course.
   39. Rob_Wood Posted: November 17, 2013 at 04:40 AM (#4601447)
Anybody who goes through play by play games of the 1960's notices innumerable times when managers let pitchers hit when modern managers routinely/correctly pinch hit (late innings, close games), some quite comical. I think this is a topic worthy of research by someone handy with the retrosheet database.

Questions arise: were starting pitchers that much better than relief pitchers back then? was the prospect of a successful pinch hit such a low likelihood? was the stigma of a starting pitcher not completing the game so large? were starting pitchers decent hitters back then? what impact did the low-offensive context play in these decisions? did nobody even think of the wear-and-tear of high pitch counts? were managers really that clueless back then?

Anyway, luv these old-time (i.e. my childhood) broadcasts. 19th century Brickhouse was a hoot.
   40. Rob_Wood Posted: November 17, 2013 at 05:02 AM (#4601448)
Wow, Johnny Edwards, Reds catcher, seems to have difficulty throwing ball back to Maloney. Was he inflicted with that terrible catcher-throwing disease too?
   41. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: November 17, 2013 at 08:00 AM (#4601455)
tf

Maloney threw hard as h8ll.

I saw Maloney strike out 16 braves back in the early 60's. it was really impressive.

   42. AndrewJ Posted: November 17, 2013 at 08:16 AM (#4601458)
The 1965 Reds had a helluva lineup: Harper and Rose setting the table for the middle of the order (Pinson, Robinson, Gordy Coleman and Deron Johnson) and Leo Cardenas batting eighth. Yet, they won only 89 games and finished fourth

Had the Reds held onto Robinson after 1965, they might have been the Big Red Machine before 1970.
   43. BDC Posted: November 17, 2013 at 10:06 AM (#4601470)
Questions arise

One factor is certainly that teams carried fewer pitchers (though that just begs the question at a different level: why didn't they carry more pitchers?)

I looked for fun, for instance, at the game of 14 July 1965, when Maloney went 11 innings and faced 35 Mets batters (striking out 18 of them), losing 0-1 in the process. That game features now-insane things like Leo Cardenas (very decent-hitting SS) bunting, with nobody out, in bottom of the tenth inning of a scoreless game, so that Maloney, with ten innings under his belt, could bat for himself. (Maloney made out and then surrendered a game-winning HR in the 11th.) Maloney didn't hit badly in '65 (.225), but up to that point in his career he was a .187 hitter. To make matters more insane, the Reds hadn't used any pinch-hitters previously. Chico Ruiz was running for the catcher at 1B, and they were going to bring in another catcher anyway if they didn't win the game: Don Pavletich, who was batting .325 at that point in the season. The Reds had Art Shamsky on the bench, your basic PH. The Reds had Tony Perez on the bench. They didn't know he was a Hall-of-Famer yet, but they still let Maloney hit for himself.

That move probably raised eyebrows in 1965, but the one mitigating circumstance (tactically at least) is that they were carrying ten pitchers and they'd played seven games in the last six days, everybody seeing action and everybody having fairly long stints in those six days. One's right arm hurts in sympathy with Maloney's, but as people have pointed out, he was right in the middle of a very successful string of seasons. He didn't pitch much past age 30, but he'd come up young and went on to have a career of entirely respectable length and quality for any pitcher, then or now.
   44. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: November 17, 2013 at 10:22 AM (#4601472)

I looked for fun, for instance, at the game of 14 July 1965, when Maloney went 11 innings and faced 35 Mets batters (striking out 18 of them), losing 0-1 in the process. That game features now-insane things like Leo Cardenas (very decent-hitting SS) bunting, with nobody out, in bottom of the tenth inning of a scoreless game, so that Maloney, with ten innings under his belt, could bat for himself. (Maloney made out and then surrendered a game-winning HR in the 11th.) Maloney didn't hit badly in '65 (.225), but up to that point in his career he was a .187 hitter. To make matters more insane, the Reds hadn't used any pinch-hitters previously. Chico Ruiz was running for the catcher at 1B, and they were going to bring in another catcher anyway if they didn't win the game: Don Pavletich, who was batting .325 at that point in the season. The Reds had Art Shamsky on the bench, your basic PH. The Reds had Tony Perez on the bench. They didn't know he was a Hall-of-Famer yet, but they still let Maloney hit for himself.


The Cardenas bunt before him is indeed questionable, but Maloney had a no-hitter going at the time, so the fact he got to hit shouldn't have been too surprising.

   45. BDC Posted: November 17, 2013 at 11:00 AM (#4601479)
Insane by today's standards, though. The winning run is on second base, and a hit gives them both the win and the no-hitter.
   46. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: November 17, 2013 at 11:36 AM (#4601486)
The 1965 Reds had a helluva lineup: Harper and Rose setting the table for the middle of the order (Pinson, Robinson, Gordy Coleman and Deron Johnson) and Leo Cardenas batting eighth. Yet, they won only 89 games and finished fourth, largely because there wasn't much starting pitching beyond Maloney and Sammy Ellis.

I noted in this column that they had one of the greatest hitting infields ever. But they needed more pitching, so in the offseason they traded outfielder Frank Robinson to Baltimore for Milt Pappas & others. Oops.
   47. Howie Menckel Posted: November 17, 2013 at 12:00 PM (#4601490)

Montgomery didn't play that much and he often wasn't batting on his baseball cards, but here's the helmet-less wonder's 1972 card

http://www.ebay.com/itm/like/271192267039?lpid=82

   48. Jay Z Posted: November 17, 2013 at 12:02 PM (#4601491)
The 1965 Reds had a helluva lineup: Harper and Rose setting the table for the middle of the order (Pinson, Robinson, Gordy Coleman and Deron Johnson) and Leo Cardenas batting eighth. Yet, they won only 89 games and finished fourth, largely because there wasn't much starting pitching beyond Maloney and Sammy Ellis.

I noted in this column that they had one of the greatest hitting infields ever. But they needed more pitching, so in the offseason they traded outfielder Frank Robinson to Baltimore for Milt Pappas & others. Oops.


Well, a year earlier the Dodgers, who already had Drysdale and Koufax (but did need a third starter) traded Frank Howard (not a future MVP but close) AND Ken McMullen (decent to good 3B for eight years, at a position they needed help) AND Pete Richert (decent starter for a couple of years) for Claude Osteen. A lot to give up for a pitcher who wasn't headed for the HOF. Of course, Osteen was a consistent starter for the next nine years, helped them win a couple of pennants, and still brought Jimmy Wynn in trade.

The Reds had by far the best offense in baseball, and weren't really close to winning the pennant in 1965. Pappas was probably the best pitcher they could get. Of course, Robinson wins an MVP immediately, while Pappas declines to mediocrity immediately. The Reds did flip a couple of the pieces in this trade for better things, trading Pappas for Clay Carroll and Dick Simpson for Alex Johnson. The Reds generally made good trades at this time, so I understand the logic of the trade; it just didn't work out.
   49. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: November 17, 2013 at 12:19 PM (#4601495)
The 1965 Reds had a helluva lineup: Harper and Rose setting the table for the middle of the order (Pinson, Robinson, Gordy Coleman and Deron Johnson) and Leo Cardenas batting eighth. Yet, they won only 89 games and finished fourth, largely because there wasn't much starting pitching beyond Maloney and Sammy Ellis.

The 1956 Reds were a variant of the 1965 team's problem. They tied the then-ML record with 221 home runs, but their power was concentrated in just five players (Kluszewski, Bailey, Robinson, Bell and Post) and their pitching strength was exclusively in the bullpen. That offense-pitching imbalance dogged them right up to the time they finally broke through to win it all in 1975.
   50. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: November 17, 2013 at 12:22 PM (#4601498)
while Pappas declines to mediocrity immediately.

That had a lot to do with defense.
   51. Steve Treder Posted: November 17, 2013 at 02:03 PM (#4601532)
a lot of sardonic Brosnanian references to Maloney's bonus, which was apparently pretty large

$100K, IIRC. Had the Bonus Baby rule been in effect in 1959, he'd have been one.

He played shortstop in high school, only pitching occasionally (his team's pitching star was Dick Ellsworth). Was converted to pitcher by the Reds. I suspect that's another thing you don't see much anymore.

Maloney and Ellsworth both blossomed in 1963, and each got their 20th win on the same day. Fresno High coach Ollie Bidwell was roundly congratulated.

EDIT: Another pitcher for that high school a few years later was some kid named Seaver.
   52. Lassus Posted: November 17, 2013 at 02:11 PM (#4601539)
Insane by today's standards, though. The winning run is on second base, and a hit gives them both the win and the no-hitter.

In a current regular-season game not super-close to the playoffs game I would disagree in that situation letting the pitcher bat would be seen as insane.
   53. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: November 17, 2013 at 04:37 PM (#4601576)
Wow, that was all sorts of awesome.

Maloney had a mid-90s fastball, no question about it. Even from the stretch. The awesome shot just on the third-base side of home gives us a really good read, because it's the type of view you'd get from your seats.(*) He blew Banks away. Breaking balls didn't bite like the best guys of today -- maybe that's where the "pacing" came in.

(*) And the vile degenerate who eradicated that shot from mainstream baseball coverage deserves a spot in a circle of baseball hell just this side of the one wherein Anson and Chase repose.
   54. Dan Evensen Posted: November 18, 2013 at 12:43 PM (#4601792)
This footage is not "never before seen," nor is it a recent discovery. I've had this on DVD for over two years now. It's extremely common in trading circles.

Having said that, the video is really cool. I'm glad to see it getting more internet views. There are a number of "rare" vintage games from this era that circulate but are not in MLB's Baseball's Best collection. However, there aren't many games in color -- just this one, the 1967 Red Sox - Twins game another poster mentioned as well as the final three games of the 1969 World Series. There's also an original broadcast clip of Mickey Mantle hitting his 500th home run in Yankee Stadium, also in full color.

As always, I'm more than happy to chat with anybody who collects old baseball broadcasts, whether radio or video. Personally, I prefer old radio broadcasts, in part because there is a lot more selection (and a lot of "did they really save that?" games, such as the 1934 All Star Game), and in part because it's easier to listen to a ballgame and do something else at the same time. Drop me a line if you are interested, and I'll let you know about my collection.
   55. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: November 18, 2013 at 12:57 PM (#4601805)
Dan,

Perhaps you can answer these questions:

What is the earliest baseball game preserved on film or video in its entirety?

What is the earliest baseball game for which we have a complete half-inning on film or video?
   56. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: November 18, 2013 at 01:10 PM (#4601810)
I've never seen any complete (or near-complete) game videos that predate games 6 and 7 of the 1952 World Series, which I think would answer both of your questions.
   57. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: November 18, 2013 at 01:16 PM (#4601814)
This footage is not "never before seen," nor is it a recent discovery.


I presume some saw it in 1965. If not, the Hamm's company was wasting a lot of time and money.

   58. Dan Evensen Posted: November 18, 2013 at 01:35 PM (#4601827)
What is the earliest baseball game preserved on film or video in its entirety?

Game 6 of the 1952 World Series, to my knowledge. At least that is the earliest recording of a complete broadcast that is out there. There were rumors on a few trading forums around 2002 or so that a copy of the 1951 Dodgers - Giants third playoff game had been preserved, though I've never seen anybody who actually has a copy (it is possible that the guy who runs RareSportsfilms is sitting on a copy, much like he sat on the 1960 World Series Game 7 and the 1956 World Series Game 5 broadcasts for years, and like how he is holding back copies of several games of the 1957 World Series).

What is the earliest baseball game for which we have a complete half-inning on film or video?

Good question -- I'm not sure what the answer is. I'm sure there are videos made with handheld cameras floating around that may include up to a half inning, though those films are usually not frequently collected. Most collectors hope to find copies of original broadcasts, for some strange reason. I don't think any clips of an original broadcast before the 1952 World Series Game 6 exist, other than the above-mentioned rumors about the 1951 game.

Rumors float around the trading community now and then about "lost gems" that have supposedly been found. I've seen a number of people claim to have discovered copies of the 1974 "Sea of Hands" game and the 1972 "Immaculate Reception" game, though those claims usually are completely unfounded. However, I do put stock in the rumors about the 1951 Giants - Dodgers game, mainly because the same message board included speculation about the 1960 World Series Game 7 and the 1956 World Series Game 5 broadcasts. At the time, I thought there was no way those games were preserved.

There are basically two kinds of collectors: those who spread their collection as widely as possible and those who jealously hold on to their "rare" games in hopes of somehow cashing in one day.

Right now, the audio side of collecting is a lot more interesting, though people don't pay much attention to it. Gillette kept audio transcriptions of every World Series and All Star Game from 1934 until its contract with MLB ended (sometime in the late 1950s?), and those games are slowly being released. I'm not sure if somebody decided to go to the Library of Congress and make audio recordings of the old transcriptions or what. At any rate, 5 of the 7 1934 World Series games have been released, and a number of other 1930s games have come to light. 10 years ago, the oldest known World Series game was from 1936. Also, nearly the entire 1955 and 1956 World Series are accessable, as well as a ton of interesting games like Game 4 of the 1941 World Series. The funny thing about that game is that Congress added the original broadcast to a registry of rare and valuable recordings about 6 years before it was publically available. Anyway, you don't see as many interesting video discoveries.
   59. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: November 18, 2013 at 02:05 PM (#4601843)
Game 6 of the 1952 World Series, to my knowledge. At least that is the earliest recording of a complete broadcast that is out there. There were rumors on a few trading forums around 2002 or so that a copy of the 1951 Dodgers - Giants third playoff game had been preserved, though I've never seen anybody who actually has a copy (it is possible that the guy who runs RareSportsfilms is sitting on a copy, much like he sat on the 1960 World Series Game 7 and the 1956 World Series Game 5 broadcasts for years, and like how he is holding back copies of several games of the 1957 World Series).

If that's true, I sure hope that one of them is game 4, which is one of the great and nearly forgotten World Series classics. Yanks down by 3 runs with 2 outs and none on in the top of the 9th, and they tie it with 2 singles and a 3 run Ellie Howard home run to the sound of crickets in County Stadium. They then go ahead in the top of the 10th, only to have the Braves come back on a "shoe polish" HBP, a game tying hit, and a game ending home run by Eddie Mathews. There were two other close games, but that's the only really memorable one.
   60. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: November 18, 2013 at 02:07 PM (#4601844)
However, I do put stock in the rumors about the 1951 Giants - Dodgers game,

Pretty much the Holy Grail of the (allegedly) out-of-prints.

MLB has thrown in the towel on protecting its copyright (*) and YouTube is now a veritable treasure trove of old games. Early impressions from sneaking in some watching over the past week:

1. Maloney reaching back for extra on his heater 150 pitches in/Hamm's/Brickhouse's mustache/Boudreau and the other guy running on the field and interviewing Maloney not far from the pitcher's mound. Classic on every level.

2. Game 3 of the 1979 NLCS from a rocking 'Burgh: Second inning -- Phil Garner busting ass from the getgo on a hard basehit to right that got by Dave Collins and turning it into a triple. A textbook demonstration of what we're missing with the disappearance of '70s/'80s speed and mentality from the sport. And Blyleven's curveball, which was filthy.

3. 1980 All-Star Game: Willie Randolph leads off and Keith Jackson immediately launches into a discussion of his .425 OBP and talks with Cosell and Drysdale about how important a measuring stick it is. Kind of puts the lie to the conceit that no one cared about OBP until ca. 2000.

4. Curt Gowdy and Joe Garagiola were ... well ... not good.

(*) Presumably related to its decision to itself post a bunch of old games on YouTube.
   61. rr Posted: November 18, 2013 at 02:17 PM (#4601849)
Yeah, as mentioned here a month or so ago, there is someone who goes by "ClassicMLB11" who has put a lot of full, or nearly full, games from the 70s and 80s on You Tube. One of the ones I like is the 1975 All-Star Game, complete with a lot of the pre-game show and many of the commercials. Musial and Mantle were honorary captains, both in uniform. This guy also has posted Game 2 the 1972 ALCS, Detroit at Oakland, and many others, includng the '74 and '76 ASGs.
   62. Smiling Joe Hesketh Posted: November 18, 2013 at 02:18 PM (#4601851)
2. Game 3 of the 1979 NLCS from a rocking 'Burgh: Second inning -- Phil Garner busting ass from the getgo on a hard basehit to right that got by Dave Collins and turning it into a triple. A textbook demonstration of what we're missing with the disappearance of '70s/'80s speed and mentality from the sport. And Blyleven's curveball, which was filthy.

I'm watching this one now. Blyleven is pitching in the 9th and it's mentioned that he's at 89 on his fastball and 76 on the curve. Nice to get some idea of how hard these guys threw. Of course Blyleven was likely worn down a bit, but still, info is info.
   63. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: November 18, 2013 at 02:26 PM (#4601857)
There are basically two kinds of collectors: those who spread their collection as widely as possible and those who jealously hold on to their "rare" games in hopes of somehow cashing in one day.


Heh, so not unlike boxing, eh?

Boxing historians are doubly lucky, as reasonably high-quality film of historically-significant bouts dating back to the very late-19th century still exist, and better still there is enormous value in assessing a fighter's ability and techniques through viewing said footage, I don't think there's any kind of equivalent value for baseball footage. What Thinking Baseball Fan wouldn't give an eye tooth or two for baseball footage of contemporaneous quality and significance to the 1897 heavyweight championship fight between Jim Corbett and Bob Fitzsimmons or the 1910 "Fight of the Century" between Jack Johnson and James J Jeffries(bonus significance - at ~1 minute in you can see Jeffries in his street clothes standing between "Gentleman" Jim Corbett and none other than John L Sullivan himself - this is the only surviving footage of Sullivan).

On the downside the sport is in the midst of a long slide into irrelevance and I won't miss it, it's too brutal a pastime to excuse any longer.
   64. Dan Evensen Posted: November 18, 2013 at 02:35 PM (#4601861)
If that's true, I sure hope that one of them is game 4, which is one of the great and nearly forgotten World Series classics.

I believe I've seen an audio copy of the TV audio of 1957 Game 4 floating around somewhere. When you see people trading audio copies of the TV broadcast, you usually figure that somebody has a copy of the video as well. Not a whole lot of people were holding tape recorders up to televisions in 1957.

I don't have the 1980 All Star Game, but I do have the complete 1979 NLCS -- and the ALCS as well. I don't mind Garagiola, though mostly like him as an alternate to Gowdy. Both were excellent radio announcers earlier in their careers. My vote for greatest radio team of all time is the Cardinals booth of 1956 or so, with Jack Buck, Harry Caray and Joe Garagiola. Unfortunately, I only have a copy of the late innings of a '56 Cardinals - Giants game featuring them, though I hope there is more out there.

YR is spot on -- there is a lot of interesting video out there for boxing fans, and most people have no idea that it survived over all these years. Man, the ending to that Johnson - Jeffries fight is pretty brutal.

There was a guy on Ebay back around 2001 or so who was selling VHS copies of the complete Muhammad Ali. He didn't just include all known footage of his fights, either -- he had copies of pretty much every interview Ali made during those days, as well as promotional material and who knows what else. I sort of wish I had purchased that instead of getting VHS copies of the 1985 World Series; I could have just waited for the better quality A&E version. Oh well.
   65. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: November 18, 2013 at 03:13 PM (#4601873)
I'm watching this one now. Blyleven is pitching in the 9th and it's mentioned that he's at 89 on his fastball and 76 on the curve. Nice to get some idea of how hard these guys threw. Of course Blyleven was likely worn down a bit, but still, info is info.

Seems about right, though I'm not sure how trustworthy the measurements were. If I'm remembering right, that was the game where early on Garagiola was all get off my lawn about the very concept of the radar gun, telling a folksy yarn about how they've been known to measure trees going 30 mph. Then there was all the stuff about "fast" and "slow" guns right around that time and extending (if memory serves) well into the '80s.

In the '80 All-Star game they say they have J.R. Richard at 95 which seems about right, maybe 1-2 mph too low. In the 1977 World Series, Keith Jackson says they clocked two or three Mike Torrez offerings at 93, which seems high. I'd put Maloney at 94-95 top end. Blyleven was probably 90-91 -- his calling card was his curveball. I haven't seen a broadcast where it's noted, but Ryan was pretty famously clocked over 100 more than once.
   66. spycake Posted: November 18, 2013 at 03:17 PM (#4601875)
Dan: for us non-traders, where's the best place to look for free downloads of old radio broadcasts? I see some stuff at the Internet Archive and a few things on YouTube...

I know the Miley and Wolff collections went to the Library of Congress in recent years, but it doesn't sound like they will be going public anytime soon -- here's what they told me by email:

We are committed to putting Bob Wolff audio online, but there are currently no immediate plans to do so. I would check our website in a year. I would imagine we will put selections from the collection online, but not the entire collection. Bob Wolff retains the rights to the material in the collection.

Currently our recording engineers are preserving the collection by copying the discs and tapes in it to high-quality wave files. We have information about the collection in an internal database that our reference staff can search, if something is needed for research here at the Library. Researchers would contact us if they needed to access the recordings, we would locate relevant items and the researcher would need to make a listening appointment to hear them.

There are no plans to put the John Miley collection material online at the moment. This collection is quite challenging because many of the tapes have four tracks and are recorded at a very slow speed. As a result there can be up to 12 hours on each tape, but the contents are not well indexed and, as a result, it can be difficult to even locate particular games in the collection.


Any chance the "Dan Evensen collection" appears somewhere? :)
   67. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: November 18, 2013 at 03:40 PM (#4601892)
YR is spot on -- there is a lot of interesting video out there for boxing fans, and most people have no idea that it survived over all these years. Man, the ending to that Johnson - Jeffries fight is pretty brutal.


Most great boxers hang on too long and have a whooping laid on them like this at the end of their careers, but for me this is the saddest one of all. James Jeffries was an absolutely monster of his era, magnificently conditioned, blessed with a granite chin and a monomaniacal zeal for training that astounded even his contemporaries in those hardened times. Jeffries literally killed the heavyweight division during his reign, gamblers lost interest in his fights because nobody was thought to be near his level. He retired undefeated in 1905 and there was widespread agreement in the sport that there wasn't another man alive who was his equal.

And yet all history remembers is this footage above, his ill-conceived 1910 comeback where he came out of his farming retirement to shed 60 pounds and entered the ring a shell of the man he was during his championship heyday. Once arguably the greatest all-around athlete in the world (in addition to being heavyweight champion of the world Jeffries was also an excellent wrestler, performing exhibitions with world wrestling champion Ernest Roeber across the country) the man that entered the ring in Reno was Jeffries in name only. It's worth noting that Tommy Burns, the man Jack Johnson beat for the heavyweight title in 1908, dismissed the possibility of a Jeffries comeback way back in 1907: "The biggest and toughest man living can’t drink raw whisky the way Jeff does and keep his vitality. It didn’t hurt Jeffries for a few years, but it has him going now. Jeff is terrible heavy. … He can’t train down the way he used to."

But that's what history recalls of its great champion, and it's a shame. Imagine if we only judged Joe Louis by his bout with Marciano, or Muhammad Ali from his 1980 shellacking from Larry Holmes, or Roberto Duran from getting his ears boxed by Hector Camacho (or perhaps more relevantly, Willie Mays stumbling in the outfield as a Met, or fat Roger Clemens puffing his way through 5 innings). Jeff deserved better from history.
   68. Dan Evensen Posted: November 18, 2013 at 03:49 PM (#4601897)
The internet archive is a pretty good place to start. There have been websites with MP3s from time to time, though I'm not sure which ones are still around.

The best way, actually, is to find places that sell games on cassette or CD. I purchase games on cassette regularly from Danrick Enterprises. However, building up a collection can be a slow process, especially at the beginning.

I might have some time this evening to upload a few games here or there for those following this thread.

I think most of the games in circulation come either from the Miley Collection or from the man in Schenectady who recorded games throughout the 1960s. I see that collection mentioned every now and then in different articles, though I can't seem to find any at the moment.

I wish that the LoC would just digitize those 12 hour tapes as they are and put them online for the rest of us to sort out. Those of us who really care about collecting this stuff would do the indexing for free.
   69. spycake Posted: November 18, 2013 at 04:16 PM (#4601921)
Thanks Dan. Anything you want to share or recommendations are always appreciated!

I believe Pat Rispole was the Schenectady guy, and his collection was bought by Miley.

Interesting suggestion about "crowd-sourcing" the Miley collection indexing... I'm guessing old sports audio broadcasts just aren't high on the LoC's to-do list.

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