Friday, September 24, 2010

Bing Crosby, baseball historian

Posted on Fri, Sep 24, 2010 at 5:08 PM

  When I was 5 years old, I could spell "Mazeroski."

But then every kid with a baseball mitt knew Bill Mazeroski. Fifty years ago next month, playing for the Pittsburgh Pirates, he hit the only walk-off home run ever to win Game 7 of a World Series.

But nobody had actually seen the event in all the time since, because all the movie footage was thought to be lost.

Until last December, when (as recently reported in the New York Times and Sports Illustrated), several film canisters were found — in Bing Crosby's basement.

That makes Spokane a footnote! We're the childhood home of the famous golfer who was too anxious to watch the Pirates play so he had it kinescoped, and watched it, and then (evidently) forgot all about it.

I'm thinking this probably isn't the first time that Spokane has been a footnote. 

As for me, the baseball glove that I would own three years later had been mechanically "autographed" by Tom Tresh of the New York Yankees — the very team that Bill Mazeroski's Pirates defeated.

For Yankee fans, that October 1960 day held no joy —none at Forbes Field, none in the Bronx, and certainly no joy in Mudville.

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