Game 7 of the 1960 World Series Found

An article in The New York Times by Richard Sandomir reveals that a complete copy of the 7th game of the 1960 World Series (broadcast by NBC on Thursday, October 13th, 1960) was found in Bing Crosby’s wine cellar in December of 2009. The game pitted the Pittsburgh Pirates against the New York Yankees. Crosby, a co-owner of the Pittsburgh Pirates, couldn’t bring himself to watch the game unfold on television and instead listened to it on the radio in Paris. But he wanted a copy of the television broadcast in case the Pirates won (they did) so he had hired a company to make a kinescope recording. Although the broadcast was in color, the kinescope recordings are in black and white.

The resulting five reels of 16mm film — running two hours and 36 minutes — were discovered when Robert Bader, vice president for marketing and production for Bing Crosby Enterprises, was sifting through videotapes of Crosby’s television appearances and found two reels marked “1960 World Series” (he later found the other three). Negotiations with Major League Baseball mean the game will be aired on the MLB Network in December. It will also come out on DVD. Be sure to read the entire article for more details.

That Crosby had this recording made is not surprising, nor is the fact that it survived several decades. He was an early proponent of audio and video recording and was heavily involved in the development of videotape. What I didn’t know was that there were companies that would produce kinescopes for a fee, although it is possible that Crosby was able to use his connections within the television industry to have the recordings made.

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6 Replies to “Game 7 of the 1960 World Series Found”

  1. For baseball broadcast enthusiasts this is the emergence of a real lost treasure, to rank alongside the rediscover of Don Larsen’s Perfect Game serveral years ago. So little exists of baseball telecasts prior to the 1970s that often even just fragmentary things are all we can settle for, but to have this complete makes it more special.

  2. It wasn’t uncommon for several “personalities” to ask the networks for kinescope copies of live or taped programs either they appeared in, or wanted a personal copy of for themselves. One obscure example is Dennis Day; he and two of his daughters appeared on a January 1963 episode of NBC’s daytime game show “YOUR FIRST IMPRESSION” (hosted by Bill Leyden), which was recorded and shown on videotape. Dennis wanted a 16mm film copy for his personal collection, and NBC sent him a “kinnie” of the complete program [with commercials]. I know this because Dennis’ nephew Jim offered that, and several other film and kinescoped shows Dennis appeared on {at least two were unaired pilots for his own show, in 1949 and ’50}, transferred to tape, in THE BIG REEL in the late ’80s. My friend and I paid a considerable sum of money for one of those tapes, but it was worth it!

    Other TV stars, including Ed Sullivan, Jackie Gleason, Lawrence Welk, Dick Clark, Dinah Shore, Jack Benny, and Steve Allen, received kinnies of their shows as part of their contracts with their respective networks. Jack Paar regularly received kinnies of his “TONIGHT”/”JACK PAAR SHOW”s from NBC in the late ’50s and early ’60s, but didn’t have any space to store them. After he finished watching them, Paar used to tip his garbage man to take those 16mm reels off his hands, and dispose of them (but not before the guy watched them on his own 16mm projector).

  3. “It wasn’t uncommon for several ‘personalities’ to ask the networks for kinescope copies of live or taped programs either they appeared in”

    …One Big Name Performer even got busted in one of the first attempts by the wiMPAAs to raid a suspected “video pirate”. The guy – whose name escapes me at the moment, dammit! – had 8mm and 16mm copies of all of his films and TV appearances, including a bunch of kinescopes provided to him by the respective networks as part of his contract. ISTR Mark Evanier reporting about this on his blog, and I’ll drop him a line to see if it was from him I’d first read about it, or if he can point in the right direction.

    One thing I do recall: Jack Valenti got cornered on it back when he was first going around as the spokesmoron for what became the DMCA, and he actually had the audacity to claim that a performer does not have the right to copies of their performances if the rightsholder says they don’t, even if its in their contract. Go figure.

  4. Gee, and to think people like Ed Sullivan, Red Skelton and Andy Williams avoided being “busted” by keeping their kinnies and videotapes in nice, air-controlled vaults….what did Jack Valenti THINK they were going to do with their “cache”? Duplicate them for their “friends”?

  5. Jack Valenti would loved to have orchestrated one of his self-righteous raids…however Sullivan, Skelton, and Williams were all smart enough to own the rights to their shows, which is why they still exist-most in their 2″ tape format.

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