Monday, August 9, 2021


We now return to our regularly scheduled programming.

Comments flow ...


  1. Bob Luman can put on a show, boy.

  2. CBS is running a four-week trial for a Manhattan Transfer variety series, starting tonight 1975 (Sunday, Aug. 10). It's kind of an attempt to hippify Lawrence Welk (there's bashing of WASPs who feel persecuted, and there's a Robert Klein standup bit smack in the show's center) and cash in on some of the super-hot nostalgia craze.

    The most interesting part so far for me are the commercials, which include spots for both the Datsun B210 series (at about 15 minutes) and Ford Pinto line (29). My parents bought a new Pinto and then replaced it with a used B210 (and then I later owned a B210 as an adult myself). The speaker on the Datsun commercial is an insurance agent from Des Plaines, Illinois, Carl Gulley, who tells us earnestly that the B210 is "the most economical car I've ever owned." He touts its reliability and standard 41 miles-per-gallon. Ford counters with a cast of dancing actors, led by one as sort of a stereotypical fast-talking car salesperson noting that the Pinto is the best-selling line of American-made small cars. Its low base sticker price and 34 MPG add up to differentiating value, quickly says the guy.

    Also, commercialswise, it was great to see "Flick Your Bic" again and to see that Cloris Leachmann is getting her own comedy on CBS this fall 1975.

    1. There's an enormous amount of cultural self-confidence in almost everything that you find from 1965 or 1985. But the world of 1975 is very different. These people were discombobulated, and really didn't know what was coming next.

  3. They were seeing different episodes of New Zoo Revue and Dinah! (at least) in the Bay Area per FredFlix’s edition than we were in Cadiz per mine. For example, they got Melissa Manchester on their morning Dinah!; we got Thelma Houston on ours (and she performed “Everybody Gets to Go to the Moon").

  4. Our New Zoo Revue is about an art show, so I'll bet this song (my favorite song of the week so far, though it's still early, and I'm still on a big Bob Luman jag) is from today's Cadiz episode.

  5. All in the Family this past Saturday had a retrospective narrated by Henry Fonda, and I'll bet this is where Married With Children got the idea to hire George Plimpton that one time.

    1. 2009 note from 2022: Modern Family is outstanding!

  6. ABC tried a variety show for Jim Stafford. Here he is--from the third episode, on Wednesday, Aug. 13, 1975--spoofing Bob Dylan, Charlie Rich and Elvis Presley. Earlier in the show, there's a pretty good gag where Loretta Swit and Ken Berry do dramatic readings of the lyrics to TV-show theme songs.

    1. Good. I'm so glad to discover that I looked at this Jim Stafford stuff last summer so I don't feel the responsibility to queue it up on YouTube again today.

  7. There was still room on the side of the cassette tape that eventual-YouTube-user "TheClassicSports" used to record The Jim Stafford Show, so then he filled the rest of it with part of a White Sox-Indians game.

  8. The White Sox ended up beating the Indians, 4-3, in Chicago yesterday 1975, and now we have the White Sox leading the Indians, 3-1, in the bottom of the fourth on Thursday, Aug. 14.

    The White Sox are 57-60 and 13.5 games behind in the A.L. West:

    1. Oakland 71-47
    2. Kansas City 65-52, 5.5 games back
    3. Texas 58-61, 13.5
    4. Chicago 57-60, 13.5
    5. Minnesota 54-66, 18
    6. California 53-67, 19

    The White Sox get a couple of guys on, but no more runs come across. Still 3-1, after four innings ...

  9. John Ellis homers Jim Kaat's first pitch of the top of the fifth, and it's 3-2, Chicago.

  10. John Ellis was a catcher in the Yankees system in the early 1970s, two years younger than Thurman Munson. So ... he was traded.

    The Indians and Yankees big two giant multi-player trades in the last couple of seasons, and some of the guys who ended up in New York included Graig Nettles, Chris Chambliss and Dick Tidrow. Ellis was part of the group of guys coming to Cleveland. The Yankees in 1975 are about halfway to putting together the team that's going to dominate the American League for the rest of the decade.

  11. And a couple of weeks ago, they got their manager--on Aug. 2 (my seventh birthday), the Yankees fired Bill Virdon and hired Billy Martin, whom Texas fired shortly after the All-Star break (and after Dick Schaap picked his cover photo for the August SPORT).

  12. The Yankees are the fourth team Martin has managed in the last seven seasons. He was MLB74’s Manager of the Year, after leading Texas to second place in the West. But then he fought with management, just as he did in Detroit and Minnesota, and he was fired, just he was in Detroit and Minnesota.

    Surely, Martin has learned his lesson and will get along fine with Yankees management.

  13. James S. Kunen wrote the August SPORT article--"Billy Martin Will Never Finish Last"--while the manager was still at Texas, of course. It's a lot about the different fights Martin has been in over the course of his playing and managing career, as well as his record of quickly improving teams' fortunes ... but the story is mostly about Martin's fights:

    (T)he man linked most persistently with Martin, in the press and in the public mind, is Elliott Maddox, an outfielder Martin discarded before the start of the 1974 season. By the end of the 1974 season, Maddox was the Yankees' centerfielder, one of the ten Most Valuable Players in the American League and the least likely candidate for membership in the Billy Martin fan club. Maddox made no effort to disguise his dislike for his former manager (at Detroit as well as at Texas), to the point of labeling Martin both a racist and a liar, the latter for having promised him a chance to play but never having given it to him.

    "I don't dislike Elliott Maddox at all," Martin says. "He hates me because I never played him. I never liked his make-up, his laziness, his show-offishness. ..."

  14. Then Kunen has a bunch of good detail about bean-ball battles between the Rangers and the Yankees in a spring-training game of 1975:

    Maddox's mouth was the target for a Jim Bibby fastball. The pitch missed the mouth and hit Maddox's shoulder; later, a Stan Thomas pitch skimmed over his head. A cynic might suspect Martin ordered beanballs for Maddox, but Billy demurs.

    "He might have been thrown at," says Martin, "but not under orders from me. They brushed him off because they know Elliott Maddox gets scared to death when someone comes close enough."

    It really didn't matter whether Martin had ordered the brushback--one Texas player told me--his well-known feelings toward Maddox were enough. "It would be a good way to score points with Billy--to throw at Maddox," said the Ranger, "especially for Thomas, a young guy trying to make the club."

  15. Back to Martin:

    "... Maddox is a big baby. What he needs is a good asskicking."

    "You're just the one to do it," a bystander said.

    "That would be so easy it'd be ridiculous," said Martin.

    "If he thinks he's man enough to do it," said Maddox, after I'd told him what Martin said, "all he has to do is name the place."

  16. By the time the Yankees hired Martin in August 1975, Maddox was out for the remainder of the season with a massive knee injury. It was a problem for Maddox the rest of his 11-year career.

    But Maddox would turn out to be Martin's starter in right field and designated hitter in games 1 and 2, respectively, of the 1976 World Series.

  17. The Yankees were swept in that World Series, and, by MLB77, Martin is going to have a new right fielder/designated hitter.

    Surely, Martin has learned his lesson and will get along fine with the new guy.

  18. Back in 1975, here are the A.L. East standings:

    1. Boston 71-47
    2. Baltimore 64-52, 6 games back
    3. New York 61-56, 9.5
    4. Milwaukee 55-64, 16.5
    5. Cleveland 52-62, 17
    6. Detroit 46-73, 25.5

  19. Oh, the saddest story of this SPORT is "I Remember Mickey," an excerpt of a book written by Joe Pepitone with Berry Stainback. It's all about the crazy carousing Mickey Mantle and Joe Pepitone did together in the late 1960s--lots of late nights, lots of vodka sunrise and one story about the two of them playing a game while high on marijuana. It ends with Pepitone relaying a story about the two of them once having a sobbing, earnest conversation about how they both expected to die as very young men because their fathers and other men in their families had died around age 40.

    Mantle made it to 63. Pepitone is 80.

  20. In the top of the fifth, Rico Carty's solo home run off Jim Kaat ties things at 3.

    I was really mad at Jim Kaat through the 1980s and '90s, and, for the life of me, I can't remember why.

  21. At about 9:30 Thursday night in Chicago in this broadcast, Harry Carey notes that the Red Sox are only starting their game in Anaheim, California, against the Angels. The Red Sox are in for four weekend games with the White Sox starting with a single game Friday night, and Carey notes that the team is unlikely to get into O'Hare until about 5:30 a.m. Friday.

  22. Now it's 4-3, Indians, through six and a half as Frank Duffy singles home Ellis in the top of the seventh. Could've been worse, but outfielder Jerry Hairston threw out Jack Brohammer at home to end the Cleveland inning.

  23. Replies
    1. Roger Angell's article on the 1975 World Series -- "Agincourt and After" -- is one of the best pieces ever written about baseball.

  24. Center-fielder (and future Rev.) Pat Kelly of Philadelphia homers with one out in the seventh, and it's 4-4.

    "You see the importance now of Jerry Hairston's perfect throw," notes Harry Caray of St. Louis.

    You know, I love learning and thinking about people's hometowns, and I'm going to try to remember to list them more often at the HP.

    Jerry Hairston is from Birmingham, Alabama.

    1. This was a good idea. John Wall is from Raleigh, North Carolina.

  25. Now 5-4, White Sox, as Deron Johnson of San Diego, California, doubles home the go-ahead run in the seventh.

  26. Indians manager Frank Robinson (originally of Beaumont, Texas, but who went to high school, with Bill Russell, in Los Angeles) comes out to relieve Roric Harrison of Los Angeles. And in comes Jackie Brown of Holdenville, Oklahoma, to face Bucky Dent of Savannah, Georgia.

  27. And that’s the end of TheClassicSports’ YouTube video, which I enjoyed a great deal. The White Sox ended up holding on to win, 6-4, as, in the eighth, Jorge Orta of Mazatlán, Mexico, threw out Duane Kuiper of Racine, Wisconsin, at home on an attempted double steal with Robinson.

  28. So the Red Sox lost in Anaheim on Thursday night, and the Friday-midday Boston Globe sports pages are melting down. "Another summer rerun: The Orioles are coming" reads one headline. And next to that is a Peter Gammons Red Sox notebook column that opens, “Now comes the part of the trip that really kills you.” Gammons recalls a three-game sweep at Minnesota in 1972 that damaged Boston pennant hopes and a 1-4 trip to Milwaukee in 1973 that did same.

    “So the four-game series in Chicago beginning tonight is an important one,” Gammons writes. “Luis Tiant flew in there yesterday to get rested for his start against Jesse Jefferson (3-6) tonight, as the Sox are hoping Tiant can get over his shoulder and back problems and get back on the right track.

    “The fact is, Luis has not been able to bust the ball high—his old strikeout or popup pitch, since coming down with tendinitis."

  29. Nice move, Boston brass, getting El Tiante to Chicago early.

    “Last night they came to White Sox Park, bleary-eyed from their journey across time zones and with their trainer’s room looking like a Civil War hospital, and Tiant gave them what they’ve waited for,” Gammons writes in the Saturday, Aug. 16, Boston Globe. “He pitched his first complete game in a month, and, more important, got stronger as he went along to give Boston the opener of this series, 3-2, before 17,281."

  30. Spoiler alert: The Red Sox are going to hang on and win the East.

  31. Here was Boston's opening-day 1975 batting order:

    1. Juan Beníquez left field
    2. Fred Lynn, center field
    3. Carl Yastrzemski, first base
    4. Tony Conigliaro, designated hitter
    5. Rico Petrocelli, third base
    6. Dwight Evans, right field
    7. Bob Montgomery, catcher
    8. Rick Burleson, shortstop
    9. Doug Griffin, second base

  32. This is going to be Boston's order for Game 1 of the American League Championship Series next month 1975:

    1. Beniquez, designated hitter
    2. Denny Doyle, second base
    3. Yastrzemski, left field
    4. Carlton Fisk, catcher
    5. Lynn, center field
    6. Petrocelli, third base
    7. Evans, right field
    8. Cecil Cooper, first base
    9. Burleson, shortstop

  33. On the evening of July 6, after they split a double-header, the BoSox were 43-37. They then went 52-28 the rest of the way, and were red-hot coming into the playoffs. They opened the playoffs by winning four straight games over the A's and Reds, and they were up 2-1 going into the 9th inning of game two. Almost nothing is worse than running into a red-hot team in the playoffs, but that is what's coming this fall for the Big Red Machine.

  34. Of the debut of this show, TV Guide wrote, “A four-week summer series of be-bop, swing and razzmatazz starring The Manhattan Transfer, a flashy vocal quartet that blends ‘30s nostalgia with ‘60s rock.”

    That's a good summary. The WASP woman they parodied in the debut appears as though it's going to be a recurring gag.

    1. Tom Seaver shut out the Giants, 3-0, on Aug. 17, 1975, as eventual National League rookie-of-the-year John "The Count" Montefusco slipped to 10-7 on the season. With the Pirates losing at Cincinnati on this same date, the Mets are within 3.5 games of the N.L. East lead:

      Pittsburgh 67-55
      Philadelphia 66-55, 0.5 games back
      St. Louis 65-57, 2.0
      New York 63-58, 3.5
      Chicago 58-66, 10.0
      Montreal 50-69, 15.5

      As reported by the Shea Stadium scoreboard at the end of that clip:


      Seaver is now 17-7 with a 2.13 earned-run average on the season.

  35. It appears as though I've exhausted YouTube's stock of the Manhattan Transfer's 1975 summer replacement series, and my mood at the close of this chapter in my life is typically ambivalent. I am unequivocally happy that this series made this IMDB user happy and brought back happy memories of the person's mother, and I did particularly enjoy the mid-show standup bits (Gabe Kaplan!) and commercials (Pelé is among the "Pepsi People"!). Thank you, YouTube user "George Meyer" for uploading these videos.