Friday, January 02, 2009

Gum-Chewing Is Larsen-y

From Red Smith's column the day after Don Larsen's "El High and Outside-o":

"I still say," a Brooklyn fan insisted yesterday when the deed had been done, "that the big stiff throws like a girl."

I love reading the thoughts of a rival fan after a historic moment that most people are brought up to think caused only joy and happiness throughout the world. (Despite the sexist overtones to this particular fan's remark--53 years later and we still haven't seen a female in the bigs. But hopefully soon....)

Last night MLB debuted their TV network with a special that showed the whole game, along with Bob Costas interviewing Larsen and the ghost of Yogi Berra. I watched it on and off between Twilight Zones. I like how they showed the old commercials--as we know, having and using razor blades was the cornerstone of a fulfilling life back then. As far as the game, you've seen one black and white shot from high above home plate, you've seen 'em all, but I did get a kick out of the various other shots they showed: a little controversy about the batter's eye in center field, the occasional dugout or crowd shot, and the ancient graphics, which consisted solely of a head shot of each hitter with his name below, on a split screen with that batter stepping into the box on the other side.

I also thought the batter pretty much stayed in the box the whole time back then, but occasionally you'd see a guy step out or the pitcher step off. To see that as an abnormality was kind of fun.

I hope this network gives us good stuff. My idea of what's good never really seems to match that of TV programmers, so I'm not too optimistic about it.

By the way, Google News search has a lot more access to actual newspapers, I've noticed. Works just like the old microfiche machines. For the paper I got that quote from, I was scrolling around on electronic scans of actual newspaper pages. Try it, it's fun. Great to see pictures and captions along with the usual text.

[Title of this post taken from sign on classroom wall of my 7th grade social studies' teacher, Mrs. Larsen. Which was probably spelled Larson. She'd always be talkin' about that son of hers, "Topher." I wonder where Topher Larson is today.....]

Also, Larsen said he didn't know it was a perfect game until "after the series." There's another piece of audio where he says he didn't know until after the game in the clubhouse. Which was it, guy?

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Location: Rhode Island, United States