Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
Golden Oldie
2008-07-03 07:22
by Alex Belth

A&E recently released a six-dvd set The Boston Red Sox: The Greatest Games of Fenway Park.  The most interesting selection is September 30, 1967, the second-to-last day of one of the most thrilling pennant races of em all.  Yaz hit his 44th dinger of the year in this one.  The broadcast is dated, but in a fascinating way--there are zero graphics and no instant replays, making it something out of the stone age.  The announcers call the game like they were on the radio (funny, because today, radio broadcaster's have the benefit of the televised replays).  I couldn't hear any Stadium noise, sound effects or even music from the organ.  Of course, most of the players look smaller (a rookie Reggie Smith was lean and mean), but the big guys--Killebrew, Kaat (who started the game)--look strapping, no matter the era.  Funny thing about the game, Sparky Lyle warmed up briefly in the bullpen during the early innings.  I also learned that Jose Tartabull, Danny's father, was on the Sox that year, and he was the guy who pinch-ran for Tony C after the young star was beaned in the face on August 18th

The set is worth picking up for this game alone.  One thing that struck me while watching, however, was how dull the game was as a televised sport.  Although the space on a ball field is flattened-out to an extent that is nothing short of dismaying these days with the use of the center field zoom lens, all the bells and whistles today make for a more satisfying experience, particularly on an HD set.  It's no wonder that football surged ahead of baseball in the nation's imagination during the late sixties.  The game was built for TV.  I assume that replays and even some graphics were used during post-season baseball in '67 and I'm certain that the NFL was using replay by this time.  Funny, but when you watch the next game in the set, Game Six of the 1975 World Serious, it's as if you've entered the Modern Age. 

2008-07-03 08:31:45
1.   dianagramr
Interesting perspective there Alex.

SNY shows Mets Classics from time to time, and the '69 World Series games are shown quite often.

They were broadcast by NBC, and with Curt Gowdy behind the mike, the one thing I noticed most (after the paucity of graphics) was the lack of annoying promos for other shows on NBC, or how the starting line-up was brought to you by Aqua Velva or some such.

I guess progress is measured in different ways ....

Comment status: comments have been closed. Baseball Toaster is now out of business.