FanDuel - WFBC

February 24, 2007

More than 50 years: after he pitched the only perfect game in World Series history, Don Larsen finally got to see the game in it's entirety courtesy an Illinois sports collector.

posted by Ufez Jones to baseball at 02:37 PM - 11 comments

That is pretty cool.

posted by tieguy at 02:55 PM on February 24

So what's the deal with old baseball games like this? I mean Formula One, my drug of choice, it's very hard to find old races because they're never released anywhere. Even old races, you have to rely on Bit Torrent and other peoples video tapes. Just wondered if MLB is the same. "We have all this stuff, but you're never going to see it." Regardless, that's a very cool story!

posted by Drood at 03:59 PM on February 24

Drood, I believe the problem wasn't necessarily with MLB but, with the television networks. I'm fairly sure I read somewhere that back then, it was a common practice for the networks to erase the video tapes as was the case with the Larsen game.

posted by R_A_Mason at 04:13 PM on February 24

Totally cool. Any chance that MLB will let anyone else see it?

posted by 2bnamedl8r at 06:31 PM on February 24

This is pretty cool but you would imagine somebody of Yogi's stature could have seen this anytime he wanted.Larsen too.(you would think).

posted by sickleguy at 06:43 PM on February 24

Any chance that MLB will let anyone else see it? i read somewhere that Ewing would like to get the game on network or cable tv. i'll look for the link later. This is pretty cool but you would imagine somebody of Yogi's stature could have seen this anytime he wanted. like Mason said, many of these broadcasts were erased. (even says this in the first link). no one knew that the game broadcast even existed. there's also a guy in florida that has a "Zupruder" version of the end of the game in color.

posted by goddam at 08:02 PM on February 24

The footage doesn't belong to MLB. It belongs to a private collector of rare sports films who runs a company called, appropriately, Rare Sportsfilms, Inc. Mr. Ewing has devoted a lot of time to uncovering lost and buried films, including kinescopes like the one mentioned in this article -- films made by cameras pointed at the broadcast monitor. Many of the kinescopes made by networks (as stated in the link) were destroyed without consideration of their future value. The clip of Berra leaping into the arms of Larsen after the third out stuck around for a long time thanks largely to World Series highlight films that were produced by Lew Fonseca. Fonseca was an innovator in that he introduced the use of film as a sports training tool in the 1930's. After he retired from his playing and coaching careers, he went on to become director of the major leagues' first Motion Picture Division. (I have been meaning to submit a column on Fonseca for discussion here, which I will eventually get around to.) In any case, the only preserved moments from the Larsen game were those that appeared as highlights in Fonseca's film on the '56 Series. It was only recently that Doak Ewing unearthed this kinescope of the complete Larsen game, which is why Berra and Larsen hadn't seen the whole thing until now.

posted by The Crafty Sousepaw at 08:02 PM on February 24

here are a couple more links about the friday's event.

posted by goddam at 09:54 PM on February 24

The copyright rights in the performance captured in the footage almost certainly belong to MLB, though, unless they managed to time it just right to allow them to expire. As owner of the physical footage, MLB couldn't broadcast it without Rare Sportsfilms' permission, but the opposite is also almost certainly true as well. (And NBC almost certainly has rights in it as well.) (Looking at their webpage, I'm actually shocked to see that they sell DVDs of this stuff. They must have some sort of permission from MLB/NFL/etc.; or at least those parties turning a blind eye, esp. on the stuff from the 60s and 70s whose performance rights have definitely not expired.)

posted by tieguy at 08:16 AM on February 25

Interesting stuff. It's like the BBC. They junked a TON of stuff from the 60's, assuming it had no commercial value, including a ton of "Doctor Who" episodes. There are other shows that are gone entirely from history. (All "Doctor Who" episodes exist in audio form, in many cases from people recording the audio from the original broadcast, but quite a few episodes are still missing the video.) I just wondered if MLB had it in a vault somewhere and never released it. I love all this old film stuff. I find it fascinating.

posted by Drood at 12:51 PM on February 25

I have an uncle that used to play pro baseball back in the day and who is also a collector of rare sports videos. I have no idea if he still has it but he had this video. I remember when I was like 10 years old and he was watching it with a bunch of his friends when he first recieved it. It ran almost like the films from back when with the whole movie projector and everything but no sound. He had a few different clips of rare sport footage but mostly had a lot of Roberto Clemente videos. I have no idea how he got them but I'm going to get on the horn and ask if he still have these gems. I know he didn't collect any of this stuff for the money since he doesn't need it but I would like to preview these videos just to make sure. Classic stuff. Thanks Ufez Jones.

posted by BornIcon at 07:49 AM on February 26

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