No more clunky VHS tapes of mediocre quality. The age of DVDs has put turned of the greatest moments in baseball history into visual collectibles.
by Doug Nye in TheState.com
ONE OF THE most appealing things about Major League Baseball is its rich history. The game’s past not only is filled with stories of sterling performances, but it also links us with other generations.
A&E Home Video and Major League Baseball Productions have teamed up to bring that history back to life on DVD.
Their latest release is "The New York Yankees 1977 World Series Collector’s Edition," a 7-disc set priced at $69.95. This isn’t a compilation of highlights and films clips. It features the original telecasts — every pitch, every hit, every out — of all six World Series games against the Los Angeles Dodgers as well as the Yankees’ fifth and pennant-clinching game against the Kansas City Royals in the American League Championship Series.
Considering the age of the video, the quality is surprisingly good and often excellent. Those who are used to today’s baseball telecasts, which are packed with graphics, might be surprised at the paucity of on-screen clutter. You actually can concentrate on the ball game.
Keith Jackson, Howard ("I’m just telling it like it is") Cosell and Tom Seaver are the announcers for ABC. Although Cosell could be irritating at times, he is eloquent in describing the game the Yankees’ Reggie Jackson had in Game 6.
Jackson hit three home runs to lead New York to its first World Series triumph since 1962. It’s still exciting to re-live that moment and marvel at Reggie’s accomplishment after a season in which he and manager Billy Martin were at each other’s throats.
Bonus features address the Martin-Jackson feud, which exploded publicly when Martin pulled Jackson off the field in a game against the Red Sox. As the DVD shows, once Jackson got to the dugout, he and Martin went at each other. Several players — Lou Piniella, Willie Randolph, Ron Guidry and Chris Chambliss — reminisce about that year the Yankees became known as the "Bronx Zoo," a phrase coined by third baseman Graig Nettles.
All that extra stuff is nice, but watching games played 30 years ago as if they were live is the real attraction.
Here is a checklist of other A&E Home Video/Major League Baseball Productions DVD sets. Orders can be made by going to www.amazon.com or www.mlb.com.
"The Cincinnati Reds 1975 World Series Collector’s Edition," $69.95 The seven discs include all seven games of the series against the Red Sox. "The Pittsburgh Pirates 1979 World Series Collector’s Edition," $69.95. All seven games of the comeback victory against Baltimore after being down three games to one. "The New York Mets 1986 World Series Collector’s Edition." $89.95. This 9-disc set includes all seven games against the Red Sox as well as the 16-inning pennant-clinching victory against the Houston Astros in the NLCS. "The Boston Red Sox 2004 World Series Collector’s Edition." $129.95. A massive 12-disc set that includes all seven games again the Yankees in the ALCS plus the four games against the Cardinals in the World Series. "The Chicago White Sox 2005 World Series Collector’s Edition." $69.95. Seven discs include Division Series Game 3 vs. the Red Sox; ALCS Game 5 vs. the Angels; and the four-game Series sweep of the Astros. "The St. Louis Cardinals 2006 World Series Collector’s Edition." $78.95. Eight discs include NLCS Games 5 and 7 against the Mets and the five Series games against Detroit. "The New York Yankees Fall Classic Collection 1996-2001." $79.95. Five discs. "The St. Louis Cardinals Greatest Games at Busch Stadium." $58.95. Six discs.