MLB Network’s first day looked good. That was a very interesting Don Larson perfect game show. Does Bob Costas ever sleep? Is he on every sports broadcast? He was at the Wrigley field outdoor game, too, although of course the Larson Show was taped.
The Kinetescope made distances look shorter, sort of similar to the vehicle mirror effect. Still, Mantle’s catch on left center field was amazing as were a few other plays. The crowd was overwhelmingly male, with many in suits and ties. Wierd. did not realize Larson was 3-21 with the Orioles first year in Baltimore, 1954, but two of his wins were against the Yanks, so that explained the trade in part.
Then, there were the endless $1 Gilette razor blade commercials. Amazing. And they threw in that baseball mini-encyclopedia, a — get this — $5.95 value. Wonder how many blades they sold. And “super speed razor”??? Me thinks not.
Another fascinating feature was Jackie Robinson, c. 1956. While his main redux image is of a thin, fast guy, the ’56 Robinson playing 3B actually appeared overweight and slow. A couple of other players also looked out-of-shape by today’s standards, Campanella comes to mind. Duke Snider didn’t, and he made a hell of a catch robbing Mantle before Mantle hit that home run to give the Yankees a 1-0 lead.
And CAN YOU BELIEVE, VIN SCULLY called half the game along with Mel Barber. Scully was a bit more restrained than today, but so was Barber. That seemed to be the early TV broadcast mode, letting the pictures do the work. Now they pile three, maybe four — YES? Network, Mets games — guys.
Sal Maglie at 39, tossing junk; what hapened to the headhunting? Maglie itched awesome as well. Billy Martin at 2B. Yogi Berra of course. Costas said some 15 Hall of Famers either played in the game, sat on the bench or were in the broadcast team that day. Wow! And it was my birthday, but I digress.
Anyway, the Hot Stove Show was very cool, too, even though Harold Reynolds has that cloud hanging over him. Leiter and Larkin did a great, intelligent job.
So, a nice way to start the new year, maybe even a perfect game way.