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January 1, 2019 10:57 pm  #1

Don Larsen

Back on Monday Oct 8th, 1956 Don Larsen threw MLB's last, and possibly only perfect World Series game. Tonight MLB Network [Rogers ch 508] ran the entire NBC telecast of the game [minus the lost 1st inning] from an original kinescope including all the original commercials by Gillette and one for Parker pens. Only one ad aired between each inning break.There were no network promos. Yankee announcer Mel Allen called the first 4 1/2 innings and Dodger announcer Vin Scully called the rest of the game. There are so many things we take for granted  when watching baseball games today that simply weren't around then. NBC used only four cameras to televise the game. Two behind home plate and one on each of the base lines. Instant replay wouldn't arrive for another seven years. The centre field camera, a staple today, had not yet been introduced. No shots of the bullpen. Only one shot of the Dodger dugout was in the 9th inning. The Yankee dugout was only caught after the game ended when players were headed to the dressing room. No interviews with players or managers. The behind the plate camera rarely left the infield. Only for Home runs, foul balls or deep fly balls. No advertising anywhere. The centre field batters eye was also missing. All those seats were sold. I guess extra gate receipts were more important than whether the batter could see the ball. The Yankee home uniform seemed to be missing the pinstripes. Yankee Stadium was huge back then. 457' Left 460' centre 407' Right. There was extremely limited use of on screen graphics as well. Players names would briefly appear on screen when they came to bat. No graphics were used at the end of each inning to indicate the score. The camera simply zoomed in on the manually operated scoreboard in right field. Scully and Allen had no colour sidekicks and when there was little action on the field, they were constantly pushing the "free" copy of the Encyclopedia of Baseball when you purchased a Gillette razor for only $1.00. And of course, the game was in glorious black & white.