Another hit for Bing Crosby

Most of you don’t remember the 1960 World Series, but it’s fresh in my mind.

I was a student at Belvedere Elementary School in Fairfax County. Our principal, Agnes Yeager, was retired military, and a big baseball fan. As a matter of course, the weekday World Series’ games would be piped throughout the school over the sound system, not in an oppressively loud way, but almost as background noise late in the school day. Miss Yeager knew that most of the boys at school would be hustling home when the bell rang to catch the rest of the game on TV.

I was no different. I was a part-time Yankee fan back then, mainly because I was a catcher and Yogi Berra was my favorite player, though by 1960, Yogi was playing a lot of leftfield. Anyway, the ‘60 Series pitted the Yankees against the Pirates, and through 6 games, it was all tied up at 3 apiece, though New York had outscored Pittsburgh at that point by 46-17. Game 7 on October 13 featured Bob Turley against Vernon Law, but both were out of the game by the time the school bell rang.

At that point the Pirates had just scored 5 runs in the bottom of the 8th to take a 9-7 lead. My house was a 6-block walk from school, and by the time I got home and the TV set warmed up, I saw that New York had tied the game in the top of the 9th. I settled in for what I thought for sure would be extra innings once Ralph Terry retired the Buccos in the bottom of the inning.

Guess again.

Bill Mazeroski leads off, and boom. Home run over the wall in left as Berra, in left field, watches helplessly. Pirates win, 10-9.

A week or so later, the Yankees fire Casey Stengel as manager for the sin of being 70, and I dropped the Yankees like a bad habit.

Over the years, I’ve never seen much video from that game beyond the bottom of the 9th, but that’s about to change, thanks to Bing Crosby.


Crosby, who owned a small piece of the Pirates, was out of the country during the Series, but had arranged for Game 7 to be recorded, using the technology of the day, the kinescope, basically filming off of a TV screen. Crosby watched the film when he returned to the US, and then put it away, in his wine cellar, where it stayed until it was discovered by an executive for Bing Crosby Enterprises, the corporation that’s still around though der Bingle died in 1977.

The Crosby estate handed the 5 reels of 16MM film over to the MLB Network, which digitized it, and will air the film in December, and release it on DVD. Those who have seen it say the quality is superb - for what it is - and features the announcing of Bob Prince and Mel Allen.

I can’t wait.