I am a huge baseball fan so you can imagine the excitement I felt when it was announced that the MLB Network would broadcast the original telecast of the thrilling Game 7 of the 1960 World Series between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the New York Yankees at Pittsburgh’s Forbes Field.
If you recall, this is the game in which Pirate second baseman Bill Mazeroski hit a home run in the bottom of the ninth inning, breaking a 9-9 tie to win the Series for the Bucs. But there is a fascinating story about this rare footage that MLB telecast tonight. Here’s the story:
For one reason or another all the tapes of the television broadcast were thought to be lost. So the game has never been seen since the day it was broadcast on Oct. 13, 1960 — that is, until tonight.
The Pirates were owned by Bing Crosby. Crosby was superstitious and felt he would jinx his team if he watched. So he and his wife went to Paris, France, where he listened on short wave radio. But he had a friend film it off his TV for him. That is interesting because the game was originally telecast in color on NBC, but the friend’s camera could only film in black and white.
As I said, it was thought that all tapes of the telecast were lost until recently when one of Crosby’s grandson’s found the black and white tape among Crosby’s archives. It is that tape that is being shown tonight on the MLB Network.
The film, as I watch it now, is in great shape, but in black and white. There are no graphics and no replay, so you only get one look at each play. The game was played on a sunny, autumn afternoon. The play-by-play duo of the legendary Mel Allen, Voice of the Yankees and later “This Week In Baseball,” and legendary Bob Prince, Voice of the Pirates, handled the telecast. Couple of other tidbits …. they showed the official program for the game and the cost was only 50 cents. Popcorn was 30 cents and no beer was sold in Forbes Field.
If interested, the starting lineups that day were, for the Yanks: Bobby Richardson at 2nd; Tony Kubek at shortstop; Roger Maris in right; Mickey Mantle in center; Yogi Berra in left; John Blanchard catching; Bill Skowron at first, Clete Boyer at third and the starting pitcher was Bob Turley.
For the Bucs: Bill Virdon in center; 1960 NL MVP Dick Groat at shortstop; Bob Skinner in left; Rockey Nelson at first; Roberto Clemente in right; “Smokey” Burgess catching; Don “The Tiger” Hoak at third; Bill Mazeroski at second and “The Deacon,” Vernon Law pitching.