At 6pm eastern this evening, the new MLB Network went live, and after an initial airing of their “Hot Stove” show, they’re currently airing Don Larsen’s famous perfect game in Game 5 of the 1956 World Series. As a baseball fanatic and a history buff, it’s of course fascinating – look at all the men in hats! All the advertisements for razors, which is apparently the only thing for sale on any shelf at the time! The one-camera black and white shot! The absolute legends on the field - Jackie Robinson (in the third to last game of his career), Duke Snider, Gil Hodges, Roy Campanella, Mickey Mantle, Yogi Berra, and the rest.
Yet, none of that is what’s most amazing about this video. It’s the fact that the voice on this video is none other than our very own Vin Scully. Look, I’m hardly the first, tenth, or millionth guy to point out how amazing Vin Scully is, so I’m not going to insult him by trying to do it. But what’s really getting to me right now is his utter longevity. At the time of this game, he was just short of his 29th birthday, and as we all know he’s still going strong. It’s just that, even though this tape is about 52 years old, it feels as though it’s about 500 years old. Think about it – at the time of this game, none of these people knew who Martin Luther King, Jr. or the Beatles were, yet they all still liked Ike. You could freely travel to Cuba, but the thought of men traveling to the moon would get you a free trip to a room with padded walls. There were only 48 American states, and the Boston Red Sox were still three years away from employing their first African-American player. There were still only six NHL teams! Not to mention that more than one of these players died decades before I was even born. Feels like it’s a lot closer to 1909 than 2009, doesn’t it? Yet the same great man who’s calling this game and discussing greats like Mantle & Robinson is still gracing us with his presence, even though he’s sometimes talking about guys like Jason Repko and Ramon Troncoso.
So I present you with these two videos of Vin calling this historic game; one of him doing an advertisement in-between innings, and one of Sal Maglie facing Don Larsen and Andy Carey. Forgive the lousy quality; I couldn’t find any videos online of this game other than the last out, so this came right off of my phone. How’s that for longevity? What do you think would have freaked out young Vin more? That one day, people would be able to time-shift videos and record them with handheld mobile devices to post instantly for the entire world to see – or that he’d still be doing Dodger games when it happened?
And yeah, I know, these are copyrighted materials. Yeah, it’s probably not kosher for me to have put them up. But hey, if MLB finds out about this blog and considers us enough of a threat to the copyright to do something about it, that must mean we’re doing something right, right? Since I can’t find Vin on this game anywhere else, I’m willing to risk it just to share.
In other news, a big thanks to you guys, especially since our move to MVN. You may have noticed that at the bottom of each post, next to the number of comments, is an option to click to recommend the post across the entire MVN site. I’ve never once mentioned it nor asked anyone to do it, but for the last few days, we’ve had the two most recommended posts across the entire site, as you can see from the screenshot posted at right, which comes right off the MVN.com front page and really helps get us some more eyeballs. So, cheers to you! And, now that you know about the ‘recommend’ feature, if you wanted to, you know, do it a lot, well, I certainly wouldn’t stand in your way.
Onward to 2009!