February 3, 2008

Sounds And Feelings

For more than 25 years, New York City radio legend -- and diehard Red Sox fan -- Jonathan Schwartz spends at least one hour of his Sunday show on the day of the Super Bowl playing baseball-related music and tapes of old games.

As Schwartz told the New York Times in 1995:
I firmly believe that the most extraordinary human game is professional baseball, that it is a 12-month endeavor, and it deeply occupies the mind and heart even when not being played.
Schwartz's essay on the 1978 American League East playoff game, which originally ran in Sports Illustrated, was published as A Day of Light and Shadows in 2003.

I don't know what Schwartz is doing today -- his show airs on WNYC -- but here's my pale imitation:
Vin Scully's radio call of the 9th inning of Sandy Koufax's perfect game against the Chicago Cubs on September 9, 1965.

In late April 1983, the Cubs were 5-14 and hearing boos from some fans at Wrigley Field. After one of those losses, manager Lee Elia was not happy. (Warning: Adult language!)

Bob Dylan's Theme Time Radio Hour: Baseball.

And WEEI's broadcast of the most nerve-wracking game of the 2004 post-season: ALCS Game 5.
I shovelled a lot of snow this weekend, but spring is coming ...

Pitchers and catchers report February 14!

27 comments:

SoSock said...

Thank you!

ish said...

This is fantastic. I'm listening to Game 5 of the 2004 ALCS right now. This really brings me back.

Say, uh, how many other of those games do you have? Game 4?

But that would be one thing I'd look forward to listening to if I were in New York on Superbowl Sunday. I remember in the winter of 2005 turning on WEEI and they were replaying the playoff games, but I haven't heard any replays from this year on WEEI. I still have the musical montage of highlights from the whole 2007 year that the radio did right at the end of their broadcast last October, when the Red Sox won it all.

This is awesome. Thank you!

L-girl said...

The only game that matters. Especially today!

L-girl said...

I just listened to the Koufax clip. That broadcast embodies everything that's great about baseball. Man, I love Vin Scully!

redsock said...

There doesn't seem to be one extra word in that entire Scully half-inning. Everything is perfect! I saw one of Koufax no-hitter 9th inning calls in a book of various baseball writing -- it might have been this one -- and it was amazingly precise, dramtic prose. And he was doing it off the cuff live!

redsock said...

Game 4?

Game 4!

ish said...

Yeah, I really like that Koufax clip. I remember reading a text transcript of it last year sometime.

That Game 4 clip came up with an error message. It says "Sorry, but our tentacles were
unable to locate that page."

Tentacles. Hah.

How did you get these games? Did you tape them like I [tried] did last October?

Jere said...

One thing I've always, I guess, marveled at about the '04 ALCS is how Red Sox fans (myself included, of course) seemed to think we had it won, even down 3 games to 0, and losing in the ninth. The Millar walk--if you watch just that crowd reaction, knowing the score and inning, but not the SERIES score, you'd swear it was game 7.

And I remember watching it live, and just jumping up and down for that walk. It's like we never lost that feeling from the previous season's end, where it was like, "next year, for real this time, we will beat those Yanks."

And when I just clicked your game 5 link, I listened to about 5 seconds of it and got that same feeling, and my eyes welled up. (Which is interesting, because I just had ESPN on, and they're showing highlights of that Super Bowl when Whitney Houston sang the anthem and it was Gulf War time, and they showed all these people literally with tears rolling down their faces and I thought, "Was I the only one who didn't find this the least bit moving?") You can just hear Castiglione's voice in that "It's on" mode. Another game seven-ish call, despite that at that point we were STILL down 3-1.

That Elia rant is great. I just came across it a few weeks ago on YouTube after I posted this similar rant from Goose Gossage. (also contains adult language)

redsock said...

One thing I've always, I guess, marveled at about the '04 ALCS is how Red Sox fans (myself included, of course) seemed to think we had it won, even down 3 games to 0, and losing in the ninth.

I cannot put myself in that camp. All I know is I wanted to not get swept, but beyond that I have no recollection of what I felt in the 9th. Maybe Laura can remind me.

After Game 4, I figured that was fun, why not win one more? After Game 5, I thought we had a good shot. After Game 6, I knew it was in the bag.

...

For nearly 20 years, whenever my VT friend Ray and I would get together, it would (seemingly, sometimes literally) be a matter of minutes before we were talking about the end of 1986. Somehow, without fail, we'd drift over to the subject (we watched most if not all of that WS together). Now we talk about 2004.

redsock said...

Tentacles. Hah.

My host is a company called Laughing Squid.

Not sure why it doesn't work. I uploaded it at the same time as Game 5. I'll figure it out on Monday.

I think I have ALCS 3-4-5-6-7 and WS 1-2-3-4 from 2004. Either got them through SoSH or from a website that had them. I can't find it on The Google, but I may still have it at home.

I have nothing from 2007; those didn't make the rounds -- not quite as historical, I guess.

I should zip those files and upload them to Rapidshare -- which will lead into my next Something Else post.

redsock said...

FOUND IT!

Go here for 2004 goodies!

This is where I got the files. Looks like they still work.

Jere said...

"I cannot put myself in that camp. All I know is I wanted to not get swept"

And I know some people who wanted to get swept at that point, to avoid "prolonging the inevitable," but I'm just saying, once that game started, it was like, Here we go, we can win this. I mean, it wasn't like when Mo came in in the ninth with us losing and down 3 games to 0, people just went home. If you watch that inning, you see people going crazy the whole time, trying to start a rally, as if it were a crowd in a 3-3 series.

L-girl said...

"One thing I've always, I guess, marveled at about the '04 ALCS is how Red Sox fans (myself included, of course) seemed to think we had it won, even down 3 games to 0, and losing in the ninth.

I cannot put myself in that camp."

Me neither.

I absolutely did not give up, because I could not contemplate losing in such a fashion, being swept, not after 2003.

For me it was more a blind, stubborn refusal to quit than any kind of real optimism. Like putting my hands over my ears and going NA NA NA NA I CANNOT HEAR YOU SWEEP I CANNOT HEAR YOU.

Then onward, just refusing to quit.

"All I know is I wanted to not get swept, but beyond that I have no recollection of what I felt in the 9th. Maybe Laura can remind me."

I think (not sure) we were in the same kind of mood. Numb, horrified, but refusing to give in. I remember saying to you after Game 3, How can this be happening? You said, it's a big hill to climb, that's all. I calmed down a little after that.

L-girl said...

"I mean, it wasn't like when Mo came in in the ninth with us losing and down 3 games to 0, people just went home. If you watch that inning, you see people going crazy the whole time, trying to start a rally, as if it were a crowd in a 3-3 series."

That was really something.

Game 3, I don't recall the fans being quite so good. But Game 4, yes.

ish said...

All I remember telling myself was, it takes one to get on for things to get going. I had mixed feelings when Millar was up. I didn't think he was going to get on, but when he walked, I was cheering as loud as anybody, because I knew there was hope. But I always had cautious optimism throughout the rest of the series until Game 7, and then I was sure they'd get it. Same as with this year's ALCS.

redsock said...

Same as with this year's ALCS.

Ah, now 2007. I knew we'd come back the whole time.

Never anything other than supreme confidence.

redsock said...

I remember saying to you after Game 3, How can this be happening?

Yeah, THIS -- on top of 2003? Are you fucking kidding me?

You said, it's a big hill to climb, that's all.

That's what my buddy Sisyphus told me.

L-girl said...

Same as with this year's ALCS.

Last year? It was...

L-girl said...

...INEVITABLE!

redsock said...

After 2004 and 2007, if anyone here gets all "woe is us, we're doomed, here come the yankees" during this season, you are not going to like my reaction.

You are free to express your opinion, but I'm going to comment on it.

Just warnin' ya.

tim said...

Well, now that my beloved Patriots have lost :( .... I'm going with the good ol....

PITCHERS AND CATCHERS IN ABOUT 2 WEEKS!!!!!

The Omnipotent Q said...

I've listened to Jonathan Schwartz' "Salute to Baseball" for many years, and it was always a joy to hear on Super Bowl Sunday. I tuned in to his show on WNYC-FM yesterday and he played a few baseball-oriented songs about Ted Williams, and he later explained he decided to drop the hour-long tribute because "it interfered with the music." A real shame.

ish said...

Hey RS, how did you get the Game 5 audio to sound a little bit better than the other ones? Did you do a little bit of personal editing? Or was it from someone else? There are a lot of bits of the other files from the website you linked to that I have a hard time making out.

Too bad I wasn't still a football hater. I used to be, and that would have made last night okay to handle. And then I'd be able to laugh at everyone instead of feel bad for them. But hey. Hockey, basketball, and baseball. That'll put the Patriots right back onto the back burner of my sports viewing, where they belong.

Too bad they lost, though.

redsock said...

Thanks for the report, Q.

redsock said...

Did you do a little bit of personal editing? Or was it from someone else?

No editing or any tinkering with the files. I do see that Game 4 is less than half the size of the Game 5 file, so that would make it poorer quality. I think I got all of these from the place I linked to above.

Too bad I wasn't still a football hater. I used to be, and that would have made last night okay to handle. And then I'd be able to laugh at everyone instead of feel bad for them.

I'm not a hater, I'm a don't carer. All the SB means to me is spring training is really, really close.

redsock said...

FYI: I removed the ALCS files for now. The files here are identical to the ones I posted.

SoSock said...

I firmly believe that the most extraordinary human game is professional baseball, that it is a 12-month endeavor, and it deeply occupies the mind and heart even when not being played.

That about sums it up.
I like football, watch when my teams are involved, but don't pay much attention otherwise. I do really enjoy my Tarheel basketball team, and do get about as tied up in their success or lack thereof as I do the Red Sox. But again, that's about it.
With baseball I can just watch it - period, all the time, any level.
I watch 7-8 year olds play coach-pitch. I watch the 12-year old "Majors" division locally and in Williamsport. I coach in this division and the 16-18 "Big League" I also coach a 14-16 travel team. I watch the high school kids and American Legion teams, often seeing the kids I coached in lower levels. I like the college game, especially since those Diamond Heels have been to Omaha the last 2 years! I go watch our Warthogs single A team here, and will occasionally go the extra hour or so to catch the triple A Charlotte team. And then when I'm home, I'm either watching a game or, more likely, on THIS site following the Sox with you guys.
I guess I really should get a life, shouldn't I?
Oh well, until I do I'll just enjoy some great re-runs of Red Sox history courtesy of JoS and pray for Feb 14th to hurry up and arrive!
BTW - Great line from Lou Piniella in SI this week, from the annual Cubs Convention - "You guys better hurry up and ask me something quick, because 1 more Bloody Mary and you're not going to understand anything I say"