Thursday, October 15, 2015

Baseball Update (1969)

“They bought us these red jackets to cover up our red faces,” laughs Mickey Mantle at the outset of NBC’s World Series Report preceding Game 4 of the World Series, Oct. 15, 1969. … Both Sandy Koufax (left) and Mantle picked the Baltimore Orioles to win each of the last two games, and, of course, the New York Mets have won both to surge to a two-games-to-one lead in the series. … Jim Simpson (right) push the Hall-of-Famers-to-be for a Game 4 favorite, and Koufax switches to the Mets because “I think Tom Seaver is going to show today just how great a pitcher he is.” Mantle keeps rolling with the Os, though. … That was such a terrific 15 minutes of sports talk. Nobody yelled, and nobody seemed disturbed about anything. … Today's pitcher pairing in New York is a rematch of Game 1: Seaver for the Mets vs. Mike Cuellar for the Orioles. ... The Shea Stadium public-address announcer announces somebody named "John Powell" as a member of the Baltimore starting lineup, and I have to look up to discover its Boog. I don't think I'd ever heard John "Boog" Powell's real first name. ... Gordon MacRae is on to sing the national anthem. "We don't have an orchestra today, so I have to sing this, the national anthem, what they call, 'a capella,' which means alone. But the way you sang this yesterday, I won't be alone. I've lowered the key, so let's show the country how Met fans can sing our national anthem." ... Everybody sounded great.  ... Lindsey Nelson points out that Cuellar and Seaver were the majors' winningest left-hander and right-hander, respectively, this season. ... Cuellar is the first to be dinged today--a second-inning, solo home run for Donn Clendenon. ... Now here's Earl Weaver going nuts about something, maybe balls-and-strikes calls, in the third inning, and he's pretty much immediately ejected! ... Curt Gowdy: "Many of the old-timers covering the game today cannot ever remember a manager being ejected from a World Series game." ... Briefly interrupting the "Magic Glove" love that has been heaped on the Oriole third baseman throughout this series, Brooks Robinson boots a grounder to put Al Weis on base. However, the scorekeeper gives Brooks a pass and Weis a hit, and the Mets strand the runner. ... Still 1-0 through five innings. ... Nelson: "Tom and Nancy Seaver have a pet dog that they named 'Slider,' so that might give you an idea of Tom Seaver's pet pitch." ... Gowdy, later: "Handsome young couple." Nelson: "They are, indeed." ... This YouTube video is some sort of original network feed that does not include the commercials that the various NBC affiliates or the Canadians overlaid, so, in the inning breaks, we get to hear peppy music from the Shea Stadium organist. ... The organist plays "O Christmas Tree" after the sixth inning! ... Still 1-0, Mets. ... Winners' share for this World Series is $15,000 per player, up from $12,000 for the 1968 Detroit Tigers; losers' share is up to at least $10,000 per player (maybe plus some more, depending on gate sales), from $7,000 for last year's St. Louis Cardinals. ... In the top of the eighth, Gowdy corrects to say that one of the press-row graybeards remembered that the Chicago Cubs' manager in 1935, Charlie Grimm, was ejected in Game 3. ... Still 1-0, Mets, after seven-and-a-half innings. ... Here's Tony Kubek with Red Schoendist, and the Cardinals' manager adds his hip-hip-hoorays for Brooks Robinson, whose team is behind 1-0 in this game and trailing the Mets two games to one, who had an error that wasn't called earlier in this game and who is on his way to an .053 performance in this World Series. Also, Schoendist says there's no way that Tom Seaver, who threw 273 and a third innings in the regular season, could be getting tired because the Mets used a five-man rotation most of the season. ... In the top of the ninth, Frank Robinson singles with one out, and it's the first Baltimore hit since the third inning. The Orioles were shut out eight times during the regular season but never twice in a row. Boog Powell is coming up, trying to ensure it doesn't happen here. ... Boog bounces a hit just beyond Weis's reach at second, and Gil Hodges is coming out to visit Seaver with runners at first and third with one out in the 1-0 game. ... Seaver stays, and here comes Brooks Robinson. ... He flies out to Ron Swoboda in right, and Frank Robinson tags and scores the tying run. That's a sacrifice fly for Brooks Robinson, so I imagine Mickey Mantle, Sandy Koufax, Red Schoendist and about a dozen others are chasing Tony Kubek through Shea Stadium for an opportunity to go all Mike Trout on Brooks. ... 1-1, headed to the bottom of the ninth. ... Eddie Watt is on to relieve Cuellar, and, after allowing a couple of base-runners, he gets pinch-hitter Art Shamsky to ground out and send the game to extra innings. ... Seaver, still Schoendist-fresh, works a scoreless top of the 10th, though he does allow two more Oriole runners and receives another Hodges visit to the mound. ... The new Baltimore pitcher is the oldest player in the World Series, 39-year-old Dick Hall, whose delivery, says Nelson, "has been described as being like a beach chair unfolding." ... The leadoff man, Jerry Grote, swats a full-count pop into left field. The ball drops between Don Buford and Mark Belanger, and the Mets have the winning run on second. ... Weis is intentionally walked, to bring up Seaver. ... Hodges puts in J.C. Martin, and the Orioles' Billy Hunter, filling in for ejected Weaver, subs out old Dick Hall in favor of Pete Richert. ... Kubek has Chief Justice Earl Warren on after the commercial break that allows Richert to warm up, and Warren predicts this at-bat will end the game. ... Indeed, Martin bunts Richert's first pitch; Richert fields and hits Martin in the back on the way to first base, and Rod Gaspar, pinch-running for Grote, comes home for the Game 4 victory!

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