Sunday, December 10, 2006

Mission Of The Week

Note: video now gone thanks to YT. I'll get it back up eventually.

If you're an American, you've probably already watched the above video and moved on to some porn site. But if you're actually curious as to what's up with it, here's the deal: That clip is from the one-game playoff in '78. At the moment when Goose Gossage is summoned from the bullpen, the ball he's warming up with is thrown back to him--but the Goose has turned away, looking for his jacket. The ball bounces once, and, despite Elston Howard's feeblest of attempts--granted, he's in the middle of jacket-giving duty--goes over the fence, nailing some poor sap square on the melon.

Who was that person? I must know. Are they still alive? If not, did they get to see 2004? Was it a man or a woman? It appears the person is in a little group of three, each with a white/yellow hat on. It almost looks like it could be three older women.

Almost every fan on the screen besides those three are watching the ball. That one dude almost grabs it just before it hits the head of the unlucky one. One guy on the top right is wearing an orange hat and no shirt. One guy appears to have a Pirates hat on.

But I want to know what became of that person that got hit. If that person was a Sox fan, which they almost definitely were, that must've been the worst day of their life. First the Dent homer. Then getting hit on the head. Then the Piniella play, which they watched right in front of them, and then it was all over.

So what became of them? There's gotta be someone out there who, every time someone mentions that game, gets even more pissed than everyone else, and breaks into their story of having to witness the game AND getting knocked on the skull by a ball. Did they even get the ball? It bounces away, but I gotta figure the person who gets it sees the person holding their head and gives up the ball.

Is this someone's grandma? Can anyone help? This person, if alive, is out there somewhere, and at least knows someone with internet access. Let's find this person. Please help.

Now, about the announcers. These are the dudes I grew up with, as I rooted against the Yanks. Phil Rizzuto, aka Scooter, and Bill White. You've heard White's call of the Dent home run. I actually learned from finding this tape and watching some of the game that Scooter was in the press box at the time of Dent's corky bloop. That is so classic. I think it's awesome that he missed out on being involved in that call--and that we don't have to hear him every time it's shown--because he was doing what he always was doing during games: dickin' around. The guy would leave early to "get on the bridge" and get back to Cora. Later in the inning, Scooter's back, telling us how he was in the press box, letting out three of his stolen trademark "holy cow"s amongst the quiet of the Boston reporters. Note that in the above clip, they're babbling like fools, not able to figure out the simple fact that Bailey had indeed been announced. (They go on even more about it after I cut the clip short.)

And a note on retrosheet: As you know, I've had only good things to say about that site. It's possibly my favorite website. But what's with the commentary? In certain games, in their play-by-play, they'll be some boldface type, reminding the reader of an historic or noteworthy moment or performance. But if you look at the '78 game, you'll see this after the BFD homer:

The HR that broke New England's back

I tried to think of another example of when they include bold type, and I remembered that they do it for no-hitters. So I checked Larsen's perfect game and saw this:

But was the last pitch a strike??? Perhaps it was high and outside

What?? I mean, yes, we all know it wasn't a strike, but they really put that in their play-by-play of the game? And the Dent thing, jeez. Come on. Just shut up about it. There's no need for commentary. At least put it in a separate section or something.

Happy birthday to childhood friend Ali, wherever you are. Hey, speaking of finding people, has anyone seen Ali lately?


If I was alive at that time, that person would have been me. No doubt.

I feel for them. But I also laugh at them. And I wonder the same thing; who they are, and if they find it funny or get pissed.
Ha. Okay, so we knew who it would've been...

Yeah, I wonder. I'm guessing they were pissed at the time, and if they're still pissed, I'd hope finally getting their day on the newfangled internet cheers them up.
I agree with you about Retrosheet. Re: the Larsen pitch, you probably know the story, but Dale Mitchell was the pinch-hitter, a guy known to have an excellent batting eye, and he always maintained that pitch was a ball. It certainly looks like a ball in the film.

I remember sitting in the bleachers for a Sox/Yanks game a couple of years after '78, and watching Gossage pick up some chick during the game.
Jere, your clips work flawlessly. I just wanted you to know.

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