On Youtube, you can find almost anything. For example, the start of the 1983 World Series between the Orioles and Phillies, Live (back then) from Memorial Stadium. ABC had the game, and had Al Michaels, Howard Cosell and Earl Weaver in the booth. It’s a little cut up (we only catch the end of a interview with a young Cal Ripken, and they don’t have the National Anthem), but it still is neat.
It’s interesting to me to see how this is different from how the World Series is broadcast these days, partially due to technology, as well as just some general differences and observations:
- The graphics are extremely low tech, popping up very quickly in yellow and white to tell us that we are looking at “Claude Osteen, Pitching Coach”. Oh, but the managers? Their names flash in a strobe of technicolors, which no doubt gave some people seizures back in the day.
- And we see the entire teams getting announced before pre-game, like it was the All-Star Game. I vaguely remember that this was done at least earlier in my lifetime, but I can’t remember FOX ever doing it.
- All of the guys in the booth have bright gold-yellow jackets, as back then apparently network announcers had to have coordinated uniforms, much like the people on the field.
- Oh, and one of the biggest differences between now and then: Nowadays, that players wouldn’t so clearly and openly be using chewing tobacco (check their cheeks). Oh, they are still using it, but not as many.
- Orioles fans remembered Kiko Garcia.
- I like how the Phillies brought the Phanatic along on the road. I don’t seem to recall them doing that during their more recent World Series appearances.
- Joe Morgan, Pete Rose and Mike Schmidt were the first three in the starting lineup for the Phillies. They’d also make a good first three guy in the lineup for a 1970s National League All-Star Team. Sadly for the Phillies, it was 1983 and the two members of the Big Red Machine were on the downside of their careers. Also, apologies to Sixto Lezcano, but I honestly have to say I had to look that name up on Baseball Reference.
- Trivia factoid: Jim Palmer is the only man to win a World Series game in three different decades.
- Ballplayers in the 1980s had way more awesome hair. Behold the impressive Afro of Eddie Murray when he tips his hat to the crowd.
- Notice how Scott McGregor is said to be in the “ninth position” of the lineup. This is because, from 1976 to 1985, the DH was in effect FOR ALL GAMES REGARDLESS OF VENUE in even years for the World Series, but not odd years. And that, in my opinion, is a weird and often forgotten fact.