World Series Set–Dodgers and Red Sox; Past World Series Rewind, take 2

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Hi all. Here’s how I see baseball near Midnight of Saturday, Oct. 20 and into early Sunday morning. The Dodgers finally outlasted the Cinderella Brewers and the Angelinos will face Boston Tuesday night at Fenway Park. Also, I will write the piece I planned to do about a past World Series game which had to be postponed due to technical difficulties earlier in the day.
The Brewers’ coach and 4 horses finally turned back into a pumpkin and the Dodgers won game 7, 5–1. Credit to the Brewers for taking game 6 last night and forcing the issue tonight. They had the early lead on a Christian Yelick home run in the first. In the second, the beleaguered and troubled Manny Machado, known for his machete and his temper, laid down a bunt instead of trying to wallop one into the smoggy night. His bunt went for a single, and Cody Bellinger took Jhoulys Chacin’s offering out of sight. From there, the Brewers’ manager Craig Counsell continued to make a farce out of how baseball, especially in the postseason should be played. Chacin, his best starter didn’t need to lleave in disgrace following Bellinger’s home run. Cody could do that to anybody. But Chacin was gone in favor of Josh Hader who shut the Dodgers out as long as he pitched. He was gone in the 6th when the visitors scored their final 3 runs. Another troubled character, Yasiel Puig unloaded a mighty 3-run home run, and that was that. Walker Buehler was removed sooner than he might have been, so he didn’t get credit for the win. In spite of this, he’s packing his bags for the trip to Boston.
Boston has been laying back waiting to see what National League foe they would face. I’m not sure what the Red Sox think about facing the Dodgers but I know the network and MLB executives breathed a sigh of relief. Besides being more boring than a weekend in my apartment, almost nobody would watch the Red Sox face the Brewers. Red Sox Nation doesn’t exist south of Connecticut and I don’t know if enough New Yorkers would be willing to watch just to jeer the Red Sox and hope they would lose. The Brewers are in one of the game’s smallest markets and don’t have much of a fan base south of where I94 meets I55 in Chicago or north of the junction with I35 in the twin cities which are Twins’ territory. But the Dodgers have always traveled well and attracted great crowds in person and good ratings on TV. Kirk Gibson’s home run in game 1 of the 1988 World Series still gets talked about 30 years later. The Red Sox and Dodgers met in the 1916 World Series when Ebbets Field and Fenway Park were both relatively new. Before this series opens I plan to do a look back at game 2 of that 1916 World Series when the Red Sox’ pitcher Babe Ruth faced the Dodgers.
Here is the look back I had planned for the column earlier today. I decided not to rehash a famous game like game 6 of 1986 or game 6 of 1975. I thought I’d go deeper in the archives and see what interest there might be in revisiting some of the World Series games of the more distant past. The World Series was broadcast on radio as early as 1921 but it took 13 more years before it was possible to record an entire game and preserve it. The earliest recorded events were boxing matches on NBC as early as June, 1934. A month later, both NBC and CBS broadcast and recorded the famous All-Star game where Carl Hubbell struck out 5 Hall of Famers in succession. With those triumphs behind them, both NBC and CBS sent men and machines to Navin Field in Detroit (later renamed Tiger Stadium.) It was called Navin Field in honor of the team’s owner Frank Navin who had gotten it built. Navin’s name is pronounced to rhyme with raven. NBC’s recording of game 1 is the earliest World Series game recorded and preserved in its entirety. One of radio’s pioneers Graham McNamee did a brief pregame of just under 15 minutes. The Indians’ broadcaster Tom Manning did the first 4.5 innings, then New York broadcaster Ford Bond carried on. Manning was a cheerleader broadcaster, using ra-ra tactics rather than giving any kind of stats or material about the players.
Ford Bond was more low-key and gave more hard information rather than cheering on the action. Neither showed an ounce of bias toward either team. It was the era of colorful nicknames. Manning used the nicknames, Bond would first give a player’s full name and then his nickname. He used the limited stats available at the time. Some of the nicknames, especially on the Cardinals are still famous-Dizzy Dean and his brother Paul who the press christened Daffy, the Fordham Flash (Frankie Frisch), John “Pepper Martin and Ducky Joe Medwick. Can you imagine any player today being called Duck or Ducky? Dizzy Dean was named (depending whose column you read) Jerome Herman Dean of Arkansas or Jay Hanna Dean of Mississippi. When somebody mentioned the different stories his reply was typical Dizzy. It was something like “If I gave two writers the same story they wouldn’t use it.” Now that facts can be checked, it’s established that he was born in Arkansas but can take credit for either of the two chosen names-Jerome Herman or Jay Hanna. By 1934 He was a brash kid of 24 and his manager wouldn’t tell him if he would start game 1 in spite of Dizzy’s pleas. Finally the boss relented and told “Ol’ Diz” as Dean called himself that he could pitch game 1. And pitch he did. The Tigers had few answers to Dean’s fastball and the Cardinals’ offense built up an 8–1 lead by the home half of the 6th. After not scoring in the first off the Tigers’ Alvin “General” Crowder” (nicknamed for an undistinguished WW1 general) the visiting Cardinals put up a pair in the second, one in the third and fifth and a major 4-run rally off the Tigers’ bull pen in the sixth. Unlike today’s home run happy games, only one Cardinal home run left Navin Field that day, a solo blast by the New Jersey native Medwick. When all was said and done they had pounded out 13 hits. The Tigers scored in the third, briefly making it 2-1, then scored in the sixth and 8th. Their only home run was by a young and relatively unknown Hank Greenberg who would only later be nicknamed “Hammerin’ Hank.” The Tigers didn’t help themselves by making 5 errors early in the game, amazing for a World Series game in any year. Meantime Dean pitched like the 30-game winner he was in the 1934 season and pitched like the man who would later say “If ya done it, it ain’t braggin’.” Both teams had player managers-Frisch for the Cardinals, and Gordon Stanley “Mickey” Cochrane of the Tigers. Detroit had won 103 games while St. Louis had won 95. The Cardinals’ team were nicknamed “The Gashouse Gang.” The gang ended game 1 with an 8-3 win in a tidy 2 hours 13 minutes. Over 42,500 people paid to see the game in the depths of the Great Depression. Almost a thousand more squeezed into bulging Navin Field for game 2 which the Tigers took in 12 innings. The only recording of that game that exists was made by CBS and features Ted Husing, another of the great sports broadcasting pioneers. He did the pregame, then turned it over to the Cubs’ Pat Flanagan and the Cardinals’ France Laux (pronounced Locks.)
If you wish a particular World Series game to be written up in this forum, please contact me by way of my Facebook group also called “Baseball as I See It” or by twitter where I can be found at “@baseballmandon.”
I look forward to writing up games of your choosing. Please consider the less obvious games, games that were considered highly exciting when they were played but aren’t talked about much in these days of giant contracts, ruthless agents and players pushing all the limits and hoping not to get caught.


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