Sunday, May 16, 2010

1971 World Series Broadcast Highlights

I have acquired a copy of all 7 games of the 1971 World Series between the Orioles and the Pirates, and wanted to share some of the more interesting items I saw from these broadcasts.

The pregame show before Game 1 had this great shot of the Pirates and Orioles bullpen carts parked beside each other in Baltimore's Memorial Stadium:


Both bullpen carts were present at all 7 games. In game 1 in Baltimore we see the Orioles cart in their bullpen


as well as the Pirates cart in their bullpen:


I hadn't realized that the team's name was on the back of the cart as well.

The carts were used in Baltimore. The screen capture in the picture above is from Game 1 when Bob Moose came in to relieve Dock Ellis. Unfortunately the broadcast cut away from the cart just as it was exiting the bullpen so I don't have a picture of it on the field.

When the Series shifted to Pittsburgh, both carts made the trip as seen in the Pirates bullpen:


and the Orioles bullpen:


Notice the Oriole walking behind the cart. That is Tom Dukes who is getting ready to come into the game to relieve Mike Cuellar in Game 3. Does Tom take the cart...

No, he walks right past it and heads to the mound:


The Pirates didn't use their bullpen buggy either. Here is Bruce Kison in Game 4 walking right past the cart and heading onto the field:




One of the things that was noticeable watching the games was the variety of batting helmets used by the Orioles. Most of the players wore batting helmets with the smiling bird such as seen in this shot of Boog Powell


but at least 3 Orioles wore helmets with no bird on the helmet, as seen in this picture of Elrod Hendricks:


Mark Belanger and Merv Rettenmund were the other 2 players wearing helmets without the bird.

And of course, Brooks Robinson was wearing his signature shortened brim


which also did not have the Orioles insignia, but was one of the few with an ear flap.


Given the quality of these old tapes, I didn't really notice much variation with the Pirates helmets except for this odd looking helmet worn by Dock Ellis in Game 1:


This was one of the only helmets with an ear flap that I saw while watching the games, and the interesting things are that 1) the lower portion of the helmet is painted black and 2) he's batting right handed, but has the flap covering his right ear, which is not the ear that would be exposed while he was batting. Here is another view:


It did not appear that there was a flap on the left ear, which makes this a very unusual helmet. Dock wore the same helmet (or one that was almost identical) in the 1971 All Star Game according to this Uni Watch News Ticker item.

On the field at Memorial Stadium, the Orioles used a unique logo which is the classic swinging bird, but if you look closely, you can see he's wearing a crown:


Here's a closer picture showing Jim Palmer walking to the dugout:


Here's a sticker showing the logo:


Since the Orioles had won the World Series the previous year in 1970 against the Reds, they were the defending World Champions, so it looks like they decided to reflect this on the logo on the field.

The lines you see in foul territory are from a previous Colts game, since they shared Memorial Stadium with the Orioles.

Obviously, when the Orioles got to Pittsburgh, the Pirates did not use the same logo on the field:


Both Memorial Stadium and Three Rivers had the Pirates early 1970's logo on the field:


Speaking of logos, here is a look at what was then the state of the art NBC graphics featuring the team logos:




as well as pennants:


A significant event took place during this Series - Game 4 in Pittsburgh was the first World Series game played at night:

and the NBC broadcast was making a big deal about it talking about how many press credentials had been issued and how much media from around the world were on hand to cover this historic game:




While this was an historic event, unfortunately the downside is that we no longer see any announcements like this:


A World Series game starting at 1:30 in the afternoon! How strange does that now seem? I understand its all about the advertising and getting the most number of viewers possible, but I would really like to see 1 game each year played in the afternoon.

As Three Rivers Stadium had opened the previous year, there was a lot of discussion about the Pirates new fabulous ball park:


which now 40 years after it opened and 10 years after it was demolished is amusing to hear.

Some of the broadcasts included the pregame show, which featured Joe Garagiola and Sandy Koufax:


If you take a close look, Joe and Sandy are wearing some great NBC blazers.


Apparently NBC had a thing for really big World Series tickets!

One thing that caught my eye is the supposed "unwritten rule" of not crossing over the pitchers mound that we've heard so much about recently with Dallas Braden and A-Rod. Here is Don Buford of the Orioles clearly running right across the middle of the mound back to the Orioles dugout after being thrown out at first in Game 1. Dock Ellis is the pitcher on the mound.


There wasn't a single word mentioned about this being an unwritten rule and nobody seemed to take offense to it.

To wrap this up, I want to show a few shots that I enjoyed seeing from my favorite ballpark - Memorial Stadium. Growing up an Orioles fan (but alas too young to have any memories of this Series), Memorial Stadium was where I remember going to see the Orioles as a kid, and those memories of how amazing it is to be at a Major League stadium are impossible to erase.

Seeing shots like this of the Memorial Stadium scoreboard with the old National Beer (Natty Boh) sign on top


and shots like this of Jim Palmer pitching to Willie Stargell with the trees and houses in the background (reminding us that this really was a neighborhood ballpark)


bring back fond memories of the old lady on 33rd Street who is no longer with us.

6 comments:

night owl said...

Fantastic stuff.

This was a few years before I watched baseball on TV, but there were plenty of familiar items there from the bullpen carts to the TV graphics. And I miss Baltimore's old park, too. It was the only park that I saw on TV that looked like it was sitting in my own neighborhood.

Dan said...

Awesome post! My wife (from western PA) wants a bullpen cart now. I recently dug up some photos I took on my one and only trip to Memorial Stadium, back in its final year: http://njbaseball.blogspot.com/2010/02/memorial-stadium-1991.html

Mark said...

How were you able to get these? I'd love to get a copy.

BucsFan81 said...

This was 10 years before I was born, and I've seen the tapes of those old games. These are some GREAT screen shots!! Love the logos, the graphics, and ecpecially the bullpen buggies! I know they don't serve a purpose, but the Pirates waste money all the time anyway, so why not waste it on something cool like the buggy? Keep up the great work!!

M.C. O'Connor said...

My dad took the family to see the Giants in Game 1 of the 1971 NL playoffs in Candlestick Park. Gaylord Perry beat the Pirates that day, I remember Willie McCovey hit a homerun. Giants fans can be forgiven for thinking they were going to the Series that year!

Great stuff, thanks.

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