Most people can tell you their first identifiable memory, distinct from the amorphous images that preceded it. They can tell what they did, or where they were, or what stood out. I’m lucky; I can place it distinctly in time.
Thursday, October 13, 1960. My father was driving my infant brother and me up Garver’s Ferry Hill toward the house my parents had bought just a week or so earlier. (They still live there.) At 3:35 PM Eastern time, Jim Woods announced as Bill Mazeroski hit a one ball, no strike pitch over the left field wall at Forbes Field to win the World Series. Fifty years ago today.
I had some help with the time. On the wall of The Home Office hangs a photograph taken from near the Pirates’ dugout. Mazeroski is in his follow-through, the ball is in the air, and Yogi Berra is turning to give chase to a ball he’ll never catch. The big Longines scoreboard clock is dead center.
It was announced last month that a full kinescope of the game was found in Bing Crosby’s basement, the only known video recording. MLB will broadcast it (announcers Bob Prince and Mel Allen) and make it available for sale to the public. All I’ve ever seen of one of the greatest games ever played (the final score of the back-and-forth game was 10-9) is the movie newsreels, part of which may well be stock crowd footage. Soon I’ll be able to watch it, and remember, whenever I want.