Game seven viewing was a remarkable event
“We thought it was only fitting to premiere this here in Pittsburgh.” Bob Costas said during his opening remarks. Fitting it was. Over 1,000 people were in attendance at the Byham Theatre in Downtown Pittsburgh on Saturday night to witness history. Never before has game seven of the 1960 World Series been seen since it’s original broadcast.
Former players who were at the event were: Joe Christopher, Elroy Face, Bob Friend, Dick Groat, Vernon Law, Bob Oldis, Hal Smith and Bill Virdon. Vera Clemente was also in attendance as well as Members of Bing Crosby’s family, Michael Keaton, Pirates broadcaster John Wehner, President Frank Coonelly and Owner Bob Nutting. Bill Mazeroski was unable to attend, he was in the hospital with Kidney stones.
The copy of game seven was found in the late Bing Crosby’s wine cellar earlier this year. Crosby was very superstitious and was in Paris the night of the game and had someone record the game for him (Not until the 1970′s were historic games filmed and saved).The film was recorded in Black and white and had very little use of graphics. There was also no commercials. There were no advertisement’s being shown or even discussed. It was a pure, beautiful game –called by Bob Prince and Mel Allen. The game lasted just over two hours. “The good part of this game, Bob Costas said. “You don’t have guys stepping out of the box every two seconds.”
The host –Bob Costas– recalls game seven of the world series and even said “That was the first time I remember being heartbroken. Costas –who grew up in New York– missed school to watch the game at home. His Mother told him to get to the bus stop and he told her, “I’ll go to the bus stop, but then I’m coming right back home.” His parents finally allowed him to miss school, his dad saying that he will remember this game a lot longer than that one day in class. (I’d say he did just fine).
The film was shown and periodically was stopped for Costas to ask the players questions and reactions to what had just happened.
“I don’t have a clue”, Bill Virdon said to Costas on if he remembered exactly the pitch by pitch of his two-RBI double in the second inning.
Vernon law was asked how he pitched to Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle: “Inside. Don’t throw a strike. In on their hands.”
Dick Groat said, Mantle’s grounder up the middle that he missed “still haunts him to this day.”
Michael Keaton –who grew up in Pittsburgh– flew across country to be at the event. “This to me is art. Watching him run. It’s just something, man.” On watching Roberto Clemente play.
Hal Smith’s three-run home run in the eighth inning (which during the film, Mel Allen says is one of the most historic home runs in World series history and will never be forgotten –ironic?) happened so fast he didn’t know what happened. “I didn’t realize what happened until I was rounding second. I thought, ‘What have I done?” He remembers Clemente picking him up on his shoulders and was, “absolutely overwhelmed”.
The crowd cheered and booed at the appropriate times and even started chants throughout the film. The crowd also gave Vera Clemente a standing ovation after she was introduced. Still to this day, Vera feels his presence. She talked about how much Roberto meant to her and how much he truly loved Pittsburgh. “He told me that if the Pirates traded him he would quit [baseball].”
“It was really something we all wanted to see,” Bob Friend said. “It’s one of the greatest games ever played in the history of baseball.”
And now, everyone at home will get the opportunity to witness it as well. The film will be aired on MLBNetwork, December 15th at 8 PM ET (Maz –who was sick– will be interviewed at a later time and worked into the film). The post game interviews by Mel Allen (which were absolutely hilarious) will also be included during the event along with 60 minutes of additional footage. MLBNetowk will also release a two-DVD set on December 14th by MLB Productions.
Dick Groat said it perfectly. “The 1960 Pirates’ were a team of destiny.”
I asked Elroy Face why he wasn’t smiling and was acting so serious. He said, “I didn’t see you standing there. I am now!”
Pirates Players of the 1960 Bucs take pictures on the red carpet.
The view from my seat in the beatuiful Byham Theatre in Downtown Pittsburgh.
My ticket from attending the event.
My media pass from MLB Network. It was a remarkable night.