Tuesday, March 02, 2004

1969 World Series 

ESPN Classic aired a one hour summary of the 1969 World Series between the Mets and Orioles yesterday. I Tivo'd it and when I got home last night my night was set. Give me my remote, my lazy boy, some popcorn and I'm as happy as a pig in $h!t. The documentary was a really old school, low budget special, but it was fun to watch nonetheless. Here are a few random thoughts as I watched it.

Babe Ruth's wife threw out the first pitch, with Ted Williams along side her. I could be wrong, but I think Williams' third leg was cryogenically frozen when he stole a glimpse at Mrs. Ruth's caboose.

Was there anyone better at charging a trickler down the third base line than Brooks Robinson? He was quick on the line drives too, which got me thinking. Ty Wigginton did fine job at third base last year showing good hands. The criticism of his fielding is his range. But if I had to pick one attribute for a third basemen, good hands/reflexes or good range, I would choose good hands/reflexes any day of the week. They don't call it the hot corner for nothing.

Boog Powell looks like Biff from Back to the Future.

Frank Robinson looked mean even back then.

After watching Tom Seaver and Jerry Koosman, I'm more convinced than ever (I didn't need any more convincing) that the Mets would be nuts to trade any top tier pitching prospect for Alfonso Soriano. Pitching wins championships plain and simple while power hitting corner outfielders are a dime a dozen. You take the chance of a stud pitching prospect fizzling before you deal him away for what amounts to simple above average, or perhaps top 1/3, right fielder.

If you think Shea Stadium is ugly now, you should have seen it back then. And in 1969 it was a brand spankin new stadium!

Speaking of Shea, the infield dirt was dry as a bone. I guess they didn't spray down the infield mid game back then like they do now. But it was cool like that. If there was a sliding play at any of the bases you had no idea whether the runner was safe our out. All you could see was a huge cloud of dust and after a few seconds the players would reappear.

No one chokes up anymore? Back in the day many hitters would choke up depending on the situation. I noticed both small guys like Buddy Harrelson and Al Weis, as well as sluggers like Don Clendenon, choking up. These days everyone is swinging for the fences in every situation. Lenny Dykstra touched on this a few weeks ago in an interview with The Daily News when he said,

I don't see that anymore. I see guys up there, down two runs in the ninth inning, hacking at a 2-and-0 pitch with no one on base. You can't hit a two-run home run with no one on. A lot of it has to do with money, I know that. But if you want to win, there are ways you have to play the game.

Earl Weaver was the manager of the 1969 Orioles. Damn, that guy's older than dirt.

The Mets beat the Braves in the first NLCS to get to the World Series.

Joe DiMaggio was everywhere. The guy was like baseball's version of Hugh Heffner.

I can't believe we traded Nolan Ryan.

Damn, it was awesome to watch the city electrified by the Mets.

How cool is it that Eddie Kranepool was the only original 1962 Met to play through the dark ages to finally win the World Series with the Mets in 1969. Kranepool played his entire career with the blue and orange, from 1962-1979.

Willie Mays' "The Catch" gets a lot of ink as the best catch in the history of the World Series. I'm sorry, but Tommy Agee's two ridiculous, game three catches were better.
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