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What one game would you travel back in time to see?

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Bill Mazeroski rounding third after hitting his 1960 Walk off Homer. Photo Getty Images

This is a great topic and a great article from ESPN’s Jim Caple yesterday.  What single baseball game would you want to travel back in time to see?

Caple surveyed a variety of people, from movie stars to current players to fellow baseball columnists, and listed their choices.  His article makes for a great read.  Some of the choices were great.  I won’t spoil all of them here; you have to read the article.

For me, the knee jerk answer was immediately one of two games:

  1. Babe Ruth‘s “Called Shot” game from the 1932 World Series (Game 3), or
  2. Game 7 of the 1960 World Series, which may have been the greatest game in the history of Baseball, featuring Bill Mazeroski‘s walk off home run.

The Called shot game is kind of a baseball cliche; it is one of those lasting legends of the game.  But the only reason to go see that game would be to answer this question; the game itself wasn’t that great.  The box-score reveals a game where the Yankees jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead on the called shot, the Cubs fought back but then back-to-back homers from Ruth and Lou Gehrig put the game away and it was never close after that.  I’d want to go back for the first INNING of that game, see the homer, then go to the 1960 game :-) .

As it turns out, I’m not really that interested in finding out whether Ruth really called his shot for this reason: the Boss family happens to have a bit of inside information, believe it or not, on the game itself and whether or not it really occurred.  You see, we’re family friends with none other than the son (and grandson, who is my age and who i’ve known since childhood) of former baseball commissioner Kinesaw Mountain Landis, and he was actually AT THE GAME as a child guest of his father.  And I’m pretty sure he’ll tell you that Ruth did call the shot.

So, for me, I’d want to see the 1960 game.  Check out the box score from Game 7 of the 1960 world series.  Here’s the Recap:

  • Pittsburgh jumps to a 4-0 lead early.
  • Yogi Berra and Mickey Mantle help spark a 4-run rally in the 6th to take a 5-4 lead.
  • The  Yankees extend their lead to 7-5 in the top of the 8th.
  • The Pirates rally for FIVE runs in the bottom of the 8th for a 9-7 lead.
  • The Yankees’ two hall of famers Berra and Mantle manage to drive in the tying runs in the top of the 9th to make it 9-9.
  • Mazeroski blasts a walk-off homer on a 1-0 count to lead off the bottom of the 9th and win the world series.

What a game!!  For all of us who thought last year’s Game 6 was amazing, this game looked even more amazing.  Plus you’d get to see two legends in Mantle and Berra.

Read the article and tell me in the comments what game you’d want to travel back for.  Disco Night?  1975 Game 6?  Don Larsen‘s perfect game?  Jackie Robinson‘s debut?  How about Game 7 of the 1924 series, a 12-inning affair featuring a slew of Hall of Famers and was also the last time Washington won a World Series?

9 Responses to 'What one game would you travel back in time to see?'

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  1. The Mazerowski Game 7 to me was the greatest game ever, especially considering what kind of Series it was.
    The backstory of the ‘called shot’ game was that the Cubs team was filled with virulant racists and they had spent the whole Series previous to it calling him the ‘N’ word and he had finally had enough. Don’t think he was pointing at anything other than the Cubs dugout.

    Greatest game I ever saw (on TV) was the Carlton Fisk game against the Reds in Game 6 of the 1975 Series. The whole game was great.

    Mark L

    7 Sep 12 at 5:16 pm

  2. My dad mentioned the 16-inning Juan Marichal game when I asked him the other night. I’d have loved to have seen the epic Willie Mays catch. I’d have loved to have seen some of Mantle’s moon-shots live.

    I had heard not that the Cubs were chanting racist comments, more that they were badgering Ruth after (up to that point) a sub-par series at the plate. Kinda like calling him “Overrated.”

    Todd Boss

    9 Sep 12 at 10:25 pm

  3. You mentioned my game at the very end: Jackie Robinson’s debut in ’47. I honestly wish I could witness that entire Dodgers season. The pressure Jackie was under was incredible. I’m sure you’ve read it, but Opening Day by Jonathan Eig was one of the best books I’ve read.

    clark17

    10 Sep 12 at 10:08 am

  4. Todd, there was a book on the Juan Marichal/Warren Spahn 16 inning game not too long ago. Carl Hubbel was at that game and said that Warren Spahn (age 42) should donate his body to medical science!

    Clark, there is one monent during the 1947 season I would love to have seen. Can’t say I’d want to watch the whole season as it would probably be too painful to watch. Not sure if that book covers it, but early in the season the Dodgers were playing someplace bad, like St. Louis, and the racists were in full force. Pee Wee Reese, a Southerner, while the pitcher was warming up goes over and puts his arm around Robinson and signals to the idiots to shut up.

    Mark L

    10 Sep 12 at 10:37 am

  5. Even though I rooted for Brooklyn/LA as a kid (11 years old when both teams left) I would like to see in person (TV was in infancy) Bobby Thompson’s “shot heard around the world!!”

    Sec 204 Row H Seat 7

    10 Sep 12 at 12:52 pm

  6. Mark, the version if that story I’d heard was that it took place in Cincinnati, but the author believes the stoty might not even be true. No one from that team actually remembers it happening, and Reese himself later admitted that he loved the story, but he didn’t remember actually doing it. The author concludes that it probably happened after the ’47 season, if it happened at all. Robinson moved to his natural position of 2B after his debut season (he played 1B in ’47), and he and Reese became close friends only after they played middle infield together.

    clark17

    10 Sep 12 at 3:05 pm

  7. Thanks, Clark, for the clarification.
    I remember that early on in ’47 the players had to decide how to handle things, and that Reese was one of the guys who welcomed Robinson, and that it carried a lot more weight because he was from the South.
    Unlike a lot of the players on the Cardinals team, for contrast.

    Mark L

    10 Sep 12 at 5:48 pm

  8. Game 4 of the 2004 ALCS. That was a game.

    Dan Madden

    11 Sep 12 at 2:45 pm

  9. That was the extra-inning affair won by Ortiz’ walkoff? Yeah, that was a pretty damn good game. I’ll give you that. So much is made of Boston-New York by the national media and ESPN, it gets over-blown. But the 30-for-30 on that series was one of the best of the series and absolutely captured everything that made the whole come back great. Game 4 come back, bloody sock, game 5 going 14 innings. Just an amazing series.

    Todd Boss

    11 Sep 12 at 3:28 pm

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