Over the past few weeks I’ve watched the New York Yankees win two historic baseball games. With the help of iTunes and a speedy Internet connection, I was able to download the 1978 AL East tie-breaker (New York at Boston) and Game 7 of the 1952 World Series (New York at Brooklyn). As my airplane soared over California, I managed to take in both games during the course of several trips – watching from my iPod and my PC.
I am not a Yankees fan but their game archive seems to be the most easily accessed. I have not yet found a single location where a fan can access complete game broadcasts of baseball's great games. It seems very scatter-shot to find a gem here and there. Go to iTunes and type in baseball games to see what you can find.
I do enjoy baseball history but I am lousy at remembering results. Therefore, I couldn’t remember who won these two great games. I did recall Bucky Dent hitting the deciding homer in 1978 and so I was not surprised when the Sox failed to advance to the ALCS against the Kansas City Royals. My faulty memory did not prevent me from pulling for the Sox – 30 year later – right up until the final out.
Same thing for the Brooklyn Dodgers. I kept thinking Duke Snyder and Jackie Robinson would combine to bring the team back. As Hall of Fame broadcasters Red Barber and Mel Allan announced that blood pressures were rising, I completely understood even though I was watching from 30,000 feet on a jet airliner somewhere over the United States 56 years later.
Talk about time compression.
At some points during my various flights, men (they were mostly men) would lean forward in their seats or pause on their way to the bathroom to check out the action.
“Hey is that Mickey Mantle?”
“That’s Bob Kuzava on the mound, right?”
“My dad cried the day the Dodgers move out here to California.”
We often say how timeless baseball is, but watching old games in their entirety -- just as my dad and grandpa did -- is priceless.
I couldn’t find any Cape Cod players from the 1952 World Series, but the 1978 AL East tiebreaker was dominated by Cape League catchers. Thurman Munson, who played for Chatham in 1967, caught Ron Guidry and Goose Gossage during the playoff game. Carlton Fisk, who played for Orleans in 1966, caught for starter Mike Torrez.