A TV eye on 1965 — in breathtaking color

A recently-posted video swung open the door to the time machine and I couldn’t enter fast enough, ready for rapture.

I wasn’t disappointed. It wasn’t so much the subject of JOVE23’s post at SB Nation as the wrapper. Witnessing the final three innings of Jim Maloney’s 10-inning no-hitter in Wrigley Field on Aug. 19, 1965 — in color, no less! — was precious. But peeking into how baseball was played, and covered, nearly a half-century ago was priceless.

Check it out for yourself: http://www.bleedcubbieblue.com/2013/11/15/5107464/video-jim-maloney-1965-no-hitter-cubs

You will not see a comparable bit of flashback anywhere, for the simple reason this was videotaped right off WGN’s telecast, complete with commercials. You could be watching it in the living room of your South Side flat, with the Loop clackety-clacking nearby. 

My takeaways, the coolest then-and-now contrasts:

  • The game included four future Hall-of-Famers, relatively early in their careers before they were stamped Cooperstown-bound — Ernie Banks, Billy Williams, Ron Santo, Frank Robinson — and a young Pete Rose.
  • No: Batting gloves, TV replays, pitch counts.
  • Cubs broadcaster Lloyd Pettit, aware of Maloney’s control issues [he ended up with 10 walks], says in the eighth, “He’s thrown quite a few pitches, 150 give-or-take.” [To Pettit’s credit, he later does ask the Cubs PR staff to come up with an exact number: Maloney is at 173 pitches after nine, and winds up with 186.]
  • Even though it was clearly a sweltering mid-August day in Chicago — short-sleeved crowd — pitchers Maloney and Larry Jackson both donned jackets when on base.
  • Speaking of Jackson: The Cubs starter was allowed to bat in a scoreless game with two on and two out in the bottom of ninth.
  • There is only one commercial during each break, and they leave you shaking your head: One promotes a contest in which you could win a boat — complete with motor and even trailer — worth $3,900; in another, you are encouraged to give All-State a call because you could save “$10 to $40” on your car insurance.

Not a gecko or a Flo in sight.

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