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Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Home Run Derby: Mathews v Aaron

Not much to it, and not really news, but I just realized that a bunch of the old “Home Run Derby” programs, which were first aired in the 50s and 60s, and then re-aired in ESPN back in the 80s, are available in their entirety on YouTube.

This one sees the Braves’ sluggers go up against one another. It’s interesting to see Eddie’s smooth, left-handed uppercut, and its contrast to Hank’s lunging, shoulder-heavy right-handed slash.

Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: February 19, 2014 at 09:31 PM | 13 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: braves, classic baseball, home run derby, old school, video

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   1. frannyzoo Posted: February 20, 2014 at 01:55 AM (#4659474)
I'd forgotten about the cash prizes, including "an additional $500 for hitting three consecutive home runs." Of course $500 in 1960 is about $4,000 in 2014 dollars. There is that fact.
   2. Pat Rapper's Delight Posted: February 20, 2014 at 03:29 AM (#4659487)
The hokey banter between Mark Scott and the contestants is a million times better than Chris Berman incessantly screaming "BACK-BACK-BACK-BACK-BACK-BACK." Thanks for posting. I didn't know these were online.
   3. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: February 20, 2014 at 06:36 AM (#4659494)
I think younger posters would be surprised at some of the entrants in this contest.

they should check out the link
   4. AndrewJ Posted: February 20, 2014 at 09:02 AM (#4659499)
Home Run Derby was cancelled after Mark Scott died suddenly in 1960. ESPN rebroadcast the series in the late 1980s.
   5. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: February 20, 2014 at 09:25 AM (#4659505)
I've rewatched a bunch of these, and there were a lot of stars on it, many of them more than once -- Duke Snider, Willie Mays, Harmon Killebrew. But there were a lot of interesting lesser lights, including Bob Cerv, Gus Triandos, and Ken Boyer.

It is fascinating how piddling the cash prizes seem to be. Even adjusted for inflation, the amounts of money being tossed around are ashtray money for your modern ballplayer.
   6. Juilin Sandar to Conkling Speedwell (Arjun) Posted: February 20, 2014 at 10:31 AM (#4659529)
Hulu used to have all of these (it probably still does? I haven't checked). I watched a bunch on that platform - they're surprisingly fun, especially for a younger viewer like myself.
   7. djrelays Posted: February 20, 2014 at 10:38 AM (#4659535)
I checked salary figures for the "lesser lights." When Cerv was on, the $500 would have been about 1 1/2% of his baseball earnings for the year ($32,500 in 1959.) Not too bad for an afternoon's work.

But in looking at Ken Boyer's salary figures I found this startling tidbit. In each of 1962, '63 and '64 he earned $70,000. In '64 he was the NL MVP, helped the Cards to the World Series win and received MVP votes for the 7th year in a row, and 8th time in his 10-year career.

So what did the Cards do? They cut him, to $65,000 for 1965!
   8. winnipegwhip Posted: February 20, 2014 at 02:31 PM (#4659731)
In the episode with Dick Stuart, a foul ball almost hits Mark Scott and Dick Stuart. Scott makes a comment about a close call and Stuart replies with a phrase was appropriate for him anytime:

"I didn't bring my glove with me today."
   9. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: February 20, 2014 at 02:43 PM (#4659740)
My God, the bats they used in those days!

Also, Mickey Mantle's general attitude is hilarious.
   10. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: February 20, 2014 at 02:46 PM (#4659744)
i hate that i cannot remember what happened to wally post. i seem to recall an injury, maybe a back injury. anyway, after smacking 76 homers over two years it was all downhill.
   11. Jose Canusee Posted: February 21, 2014 at 09:28 AM (#4660124)
Thanks for the link, I had never seen these. What park is this? Was surprised to see Aaron wearing batting gloves. They had a disadvantage of having the ball coming out of the sunny backdrop (in the 4th, Mathews fouled one back and followed with two popups). In current HR derby I don't remember anywhere near as many groundballs, they might have less of the "winner's curse" since they didn't adjust their swing as much.
Anyone know about the outfielders? I imagine it would have been fun to be a HS ballplayer getting to wear the flannels and trying to get a leaping catch against the ivy (since you would never play that deep in a HS game), and assuming it was tape delayed broadcast, get to watch it at home with friends.
   12. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: February 21, 2014 at 09:52 AM (#4660130)
Thanks for the link, I had never seen these. What park is this?

Wrigley field in LA
   13. BDC Posted: February 21, 2014 at 10:38 AM (#4660154)
what did the Cards do? They cut him, to $65,000

And he dropped from 6 WAR to 2! They should have cut him to $25,000 :)

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