To start with, between the New York Yankees and Brooklyn Dodgers, the players in the game are amazing. Including pitchers in the bullpen and three announcers, there are 15 Hall of Famers involved. The legendary Mel Allen has been doing the play-by-play so far, but Vin Scully is in the booth, and I assume will come in later. (And during one inning, there was a guest in the booth, and Mel Allen did an interview with Hall of Famer Carl Hubbell-- who is credited with inventing the screwball.)
Then you’re watching and hearing things like, “Line shot to center…and Mantle has it.” “That brings up Enos Slaughter.” “Ground ball to third, Robinson to Hodges for the out.” (I thought, “How cool, Gil Hodges,” but wondered who Robinson was at third. Brooks Robinson?? No, he’s Baltimore…and then I realized, of course – Jackie Robinson! I think of him as a second baseman, or at first. I wasn’t thinking of him at third, where he did briefly play.) “Berra flies out to right.” “Fly ball down the left field line, PeeWee Reese is after it, and it drops foul.” “There’s a pop-up, Campanella is under it.” (Seeing Roy Campanella actually playing is a joy, when all we've generally ever seen of him is in a wheelchair.) And Duke Snider seemingly breaking up the perfect game by hitting one out of the park against Larsen, but it just curves foul. On and on. It’s utterly wonderful.
Then add in how good the players are. Not necessarily with the physical skills of today, but how effortless it is from players who have been together for years and play with a unity and smoothness. (And seeing that PeeWee Reese isn’t very peewee at all, and when he drifts into left field for a short fly ball, he’s taller than the left fielder.)
Also great is that Sal Maglie for the Dodgers was pitching a no-hitter himself through three innings, and only one hit through four – but that one hit is a home run by Mickey Mantle.
And making the broadcast all the better is that the host is Bob Costas and apparently about five years ago or so, he got the battery mates of Don Larsen and Yogi Berra together for an interview, which they weave in every few innings. (Best moment – Larsen talks about getting bombed in his first outing and didn’t think he’d start again in the Series, and only finds out when he got to the ballpark. Costas asks him, “Were you nervous?” Larsen smiles – “Which inning?”) Also, Costas brings up all the Hall of Famers in the game, which Larsen says he’s thought about in recent years which has made it all the more special. Costas adds to Larsen that with all those Hall of Famers, “But you had the greatest game”—to which Larsen says, “Actually, everyone had a great game. They all had a great game. I just had a better one.”
For some reason, which Costas doesn’t know the answer to, there’s no first inning, so it starts in the second inning. But it’s SO great. The whole game!! I can't wait to watch the next five innings. If they repeat it, and if you have the slightest interest in baseball, it’s a don’t miss.
As a bonus, however, the best baseball news today is something totally personal. After I moved a little over a year ago, I’ve been unable to find my collection of baseball cards dating back from childhood and have been concerned that they accidentally got thrown away in the move. But today...but I found them!!! Huzzah.
Huzzahs all around. Play ball!!