As It Ever Was and Ever Shall Be
Greetings, folks. Another trip to Alabama, so I was unable to blog this weekend. I'll have a lot more to report in the next few days, but I'm tight on time because of a grant deadline.
However, I did want to take a second to note some things on baseball. Over the weekend I caught part of Game 7 of the NY Mets-Oakland A's World Series (1973) on ESPN Classic. It was great to hear Curt Gowdy's voice. In the first half inning I recorded the following observations (I taped the rest of the game and will watch it this week):
- Graphics Size: One of my pet peeves about broadcasting today is the trend to making graphics as small as possible. The new ticker on ESPN for example is just microscopic, in addition to being obnoxious to read because it alternates between showing info and scrolling it. Not a problem in the 70s. In addition to having bigger hair and brighter colors, the game graphics (stats, lineups, scores) were all in enormous, readable fonts. Broadcasters ought to remember that not everyone is watching a 53" t.v.
- Player Size: It's scary to see how small the players were. The biggest players looked about the size of today's college players.
- Oakland Fans: The broadcaster (not Gowdy) mentioned as the A's ran onto the field that the A's were really down on their fans for not being more enthusiastic and coming out to support the team. Sound familiar to anyone?
- Programming: First, the game was played during the day! A World Series Game 7 day game. Second, the game was opposite a 49ers home game. Can you imagine baseball playing opposite the NFL today? Remember the talk about Joe Buck potentially calling an NFL game in SF last year before as SF baseball playoff game last year? Lou Rawls pulled off the double-play on the national anthem. Btw, guess who threw out the first pitch? Clint Eastwood.
- Umpires: It was great to see the old external chest protectors. A stark difference between today and yesterday is the umpire's stance. Instead of dry humping the catcher the way he does today, the umpire stood a good stride back from the catcher and barely squatted/leaned over to call balls and strikes. His head was easily at the batter's jaw line.
- Colorful Commentary: A couple of fun lines came out. Describing Sal Bando before his first at-bat, who was 7-24 for the series, the announcer said he was, "Hotter than a $2 pitcher." I assume he meant beer and not baseball. Seemed striking to me. The other fun one, so clearly of its time, was regarding the Mets starting pitcher (can't recall, but a left-handed fireballer), who was described by another player as, "Quicker than instant coffee."
I'll try to come back to this during the week. Big, big fun.