Opinion of Kingman's Performance

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Jackie, Duke and Oisk against the '72 Dodgers

Here's a brief respite from the race for the final wild card spot.

In the early days of this blog, the Sports Challenge Trivia Show was discussed in a post.    This morning I happened to come across on “youtube” a classic show that must have aired in 1972.  It was a trivia match between the Los Angeles Dodgers made up up of Wes Parker, Frank Robinson (a Dodger for only the ’72 season) and Maury Wills.  They went against the defending champion Brooklyn Dodgers team with Carl Erskine, Duke Snider and Jackie Robinson.   As always, Dick Enberg was the host.  Below is the twenty minute clip.   It is really worth watching.

A few things that make this video clip special.
  • This was filmed in the last year of Jackie Robinson’s life.  I’m not sure of the date, but perhaps it was when Jackie visited L.A. to be a part of Old Timer’s Day when he, Roy Campanella and Sandy Koufax had their Dodger jerseys retired.  I am venturing a guess that it was taped then. 
Sandy Koufax and Jackie Robinson, Old Timer's Day, on June 4,1972 at Dodger Stadium.  Four months later, Jackie died from complications of diabetes.
  • The Brooklyn guys knew their trivia.  Duke and Carl knew their stuff and Jackie answered an obscure question naming the second all time winning jockey at the Kentucky Derby.  Who would know that?
  • Frank Robinson had just been traded to the Dodgers that year after appearing in the 1971 World Series for the Orioles.  There is an interesting clip from that World Series against the Pirates where they show Frank’s hustle being responsible for the winning run that scored in game six of that Series.  I had forgotten all about that.   Notice that former Dodger pinch hitting specialist, Vic Davilillo as a Pirate, nearly threw him out from center field on the game winning sacrifice fly that ended the game.
  • Towards the end there is an interesting clip from the 1971 Dodger season.  It shows Bill Buckner facing the Giants Juan Marichal at Candlestick Park on September 13,1971.  Jerry Doggett narrates the action as Buckner gets beaned in 5th inning action.  What results is the start of a bench clearing brawl that amounted to nothing.
I Iooked up this game on baseball-reference.com LINKED HERE I found that Dodger pitcher Bill Singer had already hit Willie Mays and later Dave Kingman with pitches before Buckner was plunked by Marichal.  Who else can you identify in the brawl?  It’s easy to find Hall of Famers liker Mays, Marichal, Alston and Sutton, but I noticed on the Dodgers side Wes Parker, Jim Gilliam, Steve Garvey, Tom Haller, Maury Wills, and Willie Davis (carrying the bat, he was on deck), and Joe Ferguson.  You can see Mays tackling his own player, Jerry Johnson and keeping him from attacking the home plate umpire Shag Crawford.  You can also see Giant Manager Charlie Fox giving lip to Buckner,  (Fox was a crusty old 'cuss).  
Marichal beans Buckner, September 13, 1971.
It’s an short clip from an era in which we’d only get games from Candlestick Park televised back to us.   I honestly remember watching this game as a ten year old kid on a black and white 12 inch TV that my dad got me for Christmas because there was only one TV in the house before that and I was always fighting with my siblings to watch sports on TV.
  • Frank Robinson, a high school teammate of Bill Russell was able to guess him as the “mystery guest” because the hint spoke of Russell’s high school basketball career and they were teammates at Oakland’s McClymonds High School.
  • Check out the threads Russell was wearing in 1972.  Now those were some "hip" clothes.
Sports Challenge was a great trivia show.  I understand it has had episodes run on ESPN Classic in the past, but I haven't seen them on there for a while.  This episode may have been the best ever for Dodger fans.  It truly is a piece of Sports History that was filmed at a special time.  Not many knew how sick Jackie Robinson was at the time and that he only had a few months left on this earth.

1 comment:

  1. Evan, I have to laugh at the similarity of our childhoods, watching the same classic sports shows, loving sports and music, taking piano lessons (with some reluctance on my part!), etc. Great post, my pleasure to stumble on to it. Sorry if I'm repeating myself, but I totally recall watching the Sports Challenge episode as a ten year-old as well. Your estimate regarding the time it was taped is entirely plausible. Thanks again for the great stuff!