Thursday, December 10, 2009

Rewind: 1968 World Series Game 1

I don't know about you, but I need a little breather from rumor central, aka the Winter Meetings. So, MLB Network aired Game 1 of the 1968 World Series a few weeks back, and I recorded it. I had seen a sort of summary of the 1968 Series, with game clips, etc., but not any full games. Here was my chance. I just now got around to viewing the game. Well, most of it anyway. I got into the top of the 8th inning before the technician arrived to switch my cable provider, so I had to wave Sayonara to my recording--and bonus, my new provider does NOT have MLB Network. Let's get to the game so I don't snap and do something I'd regret to my "better half," who ordered the new service.

Curt Gowdy (long the voice of the Boston Red Sox) was the play-by-play man for Game 1, while icon Harry Carey provided the color commentary (George Kell was the color man for games 3, 4, and 5).

How amazing to see Roger Maris, Bob Gibson, Curt Flood, Lou Brock, Tim McCarver, and of course all of our Tigers, just playing the game. Not interviewing, reminiscing, analyzing...just out there on the field.

Gibson had 9 strikeouts after only five innings, and racked up his 13th K after seven, en route to 17 large, setting the record for most strikeouts in a World Series game (which stands today according to Baseball Almanac). Denny McLain meanwhile, was struggling with his control, walking both Maris and McCarver on four straight pitches in the fourth (although not consecutively).

Julian Javier was thrown out trying to steal second to end the bottom of the 6th. The replay clearly showed he was safe, the swiping tag coming down way too late. Harry Carey simply said that Javier couldn't believe the call, the St. Louis manager Red Schoendienst did not come out to argue, and they went to commercial. When the telecast came back, the replay was aired one more time, and Carey did say that it looked as if the ump may have missed the call, but it was all so sedate compared to what would have gone down today. Now I know there were some fiery managers going back, but the whole scene just played out differently, from the broadcaster commentary, to the player and the manager. Quite fascinating.

Well, since my game was so unceremoniously flushed, that's a wrap, (you probably already know that the game ended 4-0 in favor of the Cards), but it sure was fun to watch. Next I search for full game video of at least one of Mark Fydrich's games.

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