Teddy Ballgame's last game fan film surfaces and now in color!

bankshot1

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Must see/must read

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/19/sports/ted-williams-film-last-game.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=image&module=second-column-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news


"Bill Murphy, a 19-year-old student at an art college in Boston, skipped class on Sept. 28, 1960, and bought a $2 ticket to Fenway Park. Ted Williams was playing his last game in the major leagues.

Even more auspiciously, Murphy brought his 8-millimeter color film camera with him."

A few days after the game, Murphy developed the film. There was Williams, one of the best hitters to ever play the game, clouting the last of his 521 home runs for the Red Sox in his fabled final at-bat. Murphy showed the film to his father and a few friends then tossed it into a desk drawer where it has remained since, all but hidden."
 
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Pedros Midget

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That's beautiful footage, wow. HR is just a little past 3 minute mark. Amazing to see the place maybe half full, if that.
 

mauidano

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Fascinating to watch! What a great story this is. How does this just sit like that for nearly 60 years? At least now Mr. Murphy is getting a good nights sleep.

I am so looking forward to the PBS documentary.
 

Bergs

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Unbelievable. And a nicely written article to boot.
 

geoduck no quahog

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Why did they mess with the aspect ratio when converting this to video? Ted (and everyone else) looks 4 feet tall and 2 feet wide.

(Nice to see the Cities Service sign again)

Regardless - great footage.
 

Jed Zeppelin

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"Several years ago, Murphy said he telephoned ESPN but an associate producer showed little interest."

Wow.
This is not a surprise. Associate producer probably means some kid doing grunt work for next to nothing.

Murphy also initiated a cordial conversation with the Red Sox, but the team did not request to see the film either.
This is a surprise.
 

jerry casale

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There was always controversy whether Fisher grooved one for him but who cares.
There was no one there cause the Sox stunk. I heard it on radio and got chills.
For fun, just project his numbers giving him his war years back, wow, he is the greatest hitter ever.
Also add in the ball park factor.
And, of course, he still didn't tip his cap even on his last HR.
 

rajendra82

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Nevertheless, there will always lurk, around a corner in a pocket of our knowledge of the odds, an indefensible hope, and this was one of the times, which you now and then find in sports, when a density of expectation hangs in the air and plucks an event out of the past.
 

mdipalma78

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Jul 19, 2005
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Just came here to post about this. I was surprised to notice that Williams wore a protective device on his right ankle when hitting. It was also interesting to just watch his AB's unfold. The fly balls in the two preceding AB's that he later said might have gone out on a day with better weather and the swing and miss immediately prior to the HR. In the Burns documentary, Ted said that he could tell that Fisher thought he threw is past him and that he'd be getting another fastball.

I'll just leave this here... https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/1960/10/22/hub-fans-bid-kid-adieu
 

worm0082

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I remember years ago some old guy called into one of the WEEI shows and claimed he had footage of Williams' one pitching appearance from 1940. They basically laughed him off the radio. Imagine how much other stuff like this is still out there.
 

Spacemans Bong

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You can feel Ted grimacing after he swings and misses Fisher's fastball for strike 2. You know he's thinking "I can't believe I missed that."

I feel like you can also see him, for a nanosecond, consider tipping his cap just after he rounds second. His arm goes up just a little bit, then steadily drops as he comes towards third.

I remember years ago some old guy called into one of the WEEI shows and claimed he had footage of Williams' one pitching appearance from 1940. They basically laughed him off the radio. Imagine how much other stuff like this is still out there.
IMO, WEEI is the main reason the nation thinks Boston sports fans are blockheads. Jesus Christ.

There's definitely stuff out there. In the last 10-12 years, we've had:

- Super Bowl I found in an attic, which the NFL then sat on for years (I hate the NFL).
- Almost all of Don Larsen's perfect game found in an attic, thanks to a soldier who disobeyed orders to destroy the film after showing it to the troops in Germany. Although Doak Ewing sat on this for years.
- Game 7 of the 1960 World Series, in Bing Crosby's wine cellar.
 

Joe Sixpack

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Why did they mess with the aspect ratio when converting this to video? Ted (and everyone else) looks 4 feet tall and 2 feet wide.

(Nice to see the Cities Service sign again)

Regardless - great footage.
Yeah, it's kind of maddening. Hopefully it isn't stretched out like that in the actual documentary.
 

bankshot1

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I was never aware there was a pre-game ceremony, presumably honoring Williams, where he spoke. While I do not expect a Gehrigesque "luckiest man in the world" line, I would have hoped that whatever he said had been recorded.

Maybe in at attic somewhere...

As a reminder the PBS series American Masters, about Williams airs Monday 7/23 Its on 9pm in NYC metro.
 

rajendra82

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I was never aware there was a pre-game ceremony, presumably honoring Williams, where he spoke. While I do not expect a Gehrigesque "luckiest man in the world" line, I would have hoped that whatever he said had been recorded.

Maybe in at attic somewhere...

As a reminder the PBS series American Masters, about Williams airs Monday 7/23 Its on 9pm in NYC metro.
You mean to say you haven't read the New Yorker piece by John Updike linked above? You must, as many, including myself, consider it the finest sports essay ever. The ceremony, including what was said, is mentioned there in some detail.
 
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Mugsy's Jock

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So well shot — I can’t imagine what Murphy was using a tripod, but his framing and steadiness are incredible.

I’ll set the over/under on what MLB paid for the footage at $5000. Do any of our collectible experts know what it might fetch on the open market?
 

mikeot

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You mean to say you haven't read the New Yorker piece by John Updike linked above? You must, as many, including myself, consider it the finest sports essay ever. The ceremony is mentioned in there in some detail.
Word: Updike's prose flooded my memory as I watched this remarkable footage, as if John was shooting it himself (" Gods do not answer letters.").
 

bankshot1

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You mean to say you haven't read the New Yorker piece by John Updike linked above? You must, as many, including myself, consider it the finest sports essay ever. The ceremony is mentioned in there in some detail.
I read the Updike piece a gazillion years ago, and don't recall the details, other than "Gods don't answer letters", but I've never heard any recording of Williams miked up, pre-game.
 

rajendra82

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I read the Updike piece a gazillion years ago, and don't recall the details, other than "Gods don't answer letters", but I've never heard any recording of Williams miked up, pre-game.
The Updike retelling is better than any recording.

"Then the occasion himself stooped to the microphone, and his voice sounded, after the others, very Californian; it seemed to be coming, excellently amplified, from a great distance, adolescently young and as smooth as a butternut."
 

charlieoscar

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My parents sold the house without warning when I was stationed overseas. Among other things that I lost was a copy of the paper from the next day.
 

Bergs

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You mean to say you haven't read the New Yorker piece by John Updike linked above? You must, as many, including myself, consider it the finest sports essay ever. The ceremony, including what was said, is mentioned there in some detail.
I had forgotten about the ceremony details. In fact, if I was Updike's editor, that might be a chunk I'd cut. Nonetheless, I just reread it, and it is indeed a masterful piece of writing.
 

Al Zarilla

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You can feel Ted grimacing after he swings and misses Fisher's fastball for strike 2. You know he's thinking "I can't believe I missed that."

I feel like you can also see him, for a nanosecond, consider tipping his cap just after he rounds second. His arm goes up just a little bit, then steadily drops as he comes towards third.



IMO, WEEI is the main reason the nation thinks Boston sports fans are blockheads. Jesus Christ.

There's definitely stuff out there. In the last 10-12 years, we've had:

- Super Bowl I found in an attic, which the NFL then sat on for years (I hate the NFL).
- Almost all of Don Larsen's perfect game found in an attic, thanks to a soldier who disobeyed orders to destroy the film after showing it to the troops in Germany. Although Doak Ewing sat on this for years.
- Game 7 of the 1960 World Series, in Bing Crosby's wine cellar.
I’ve seen an interview with him where he said he considered tipping his cap on his way back to the dugout. However, because he hadn’t done that for years, he figured it would be out of character to all of a sudden do it, so he didn’t. Have to wonder if he’d played almost anywhere else, where the writers weren’t so caustic, what the relationship might have been like. But I don’t want to think of him playing anywhere else.
 

GreenMonster49

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I was never aware there was a pre-game ceremony, presumably honoring Williams, where he spoke. While I do not expect a Gehrigesque "luckiest man in the world" line, I would have hoped that whatever he said had been recorded.

Maybe in at attic somewhere...
The 9/28/60 Evening Globe had an excerpt of Williams's remarks on Page 1, but a full transcript on Page 56:
https://bostonglobe.newspapers.com/clip/22112801/the_boston_globe/

"First, I want to thank all you dignitaries for coming here today, including Mayor Collins. I especially want to thank Mayor Collins for the magnificent check for the Jimmy Fund.

"It is awfully hard for me to speak on an occasion like this... [with this Ted received a standing ovation]

"In spite of all my differences and disagreements with the 'knights of the keyboard' upstairs, I must say my stay in Boston has been the most wonderful thing in my life.

"If I were ever asked what I would do if I had to start my baseball career over again, I'd say I would want to play in Boston for the greatest owner in baseball and the greatest fans in America."

====================

The Page 1 excerpt obviously had a different scribe:

"Despite the many disagreeable things said about me by the 'knights of the keyboard' [pointing to the press box]—and I can't help thinking about them—despite these things my stay in Boston has been the most wonderful thing in my life.

"If I were ever asked where I would have like to have played I would have had to say Boston with the greatest owner in baseball and the greatest fans in America."
 

Monbonthbump

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For those interested, there is a wonderful little hardback book published by The Library of America in 2010 titled "John Updike on Ted Williams" which has "Hub Fans Bid Kid Adieu" and Updike's story behind the story. I got it from Amazon and it is well worth the price.
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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Nevertheless, there will always lurk, around a corner in a pocket of our knowledge of the odds, an indefensible hope, and this was one of the times, which you now and then find in sports, when a density of expectation hangs in the air and plucks an event out of the past.
Williams greatness is beyond debate but the fact that this paragraph resonates some 60 years after it was crafted speaks volumes about what a brilliant writer Updike was. Like the entirety of the essay, this part is simply perfect.
 

The Long Tater

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Great find. Two things of interest re his swing

(1) he bet at the waist more than earlier in his career; and

(2) lots of lower body cocking.