Sunday, November 17, 2013

Never In My Lifetime...

Now that it is the offseason, I feel comfortable with the statement in the title, that I won't be jinxing the Cubs anytime soon. Never in my lifetime have the Cubs been no-hit. In fact, the last time they were was 13-ish years before I was born and it took somebody the caliber of Sandy Koufax. But the time before that was just three weeks prior on August 19, 1965.

And thanks to the blog Bleed Cubbie Blue, I (and you) can now watch the last 3 innings of said game. In color! It took 10 innings of no-hit baseball to beat the Cubs 1-0 in spite of Cincinnati Reds pitcher Jim Maloney issuing 10 walks and hitting a batter.

I'm adding the youtube link but you should check out the article at the link above, too.

Yes, I took the hour and watched this whole thing. It was pretty amazing to step back in time.

I stopped about 10 minutes in and decided to sort of "live blog" it by making the list below. Some of these things I remember from games as recent as the 1980s, but if you don't have time for the video, here are a couple things I found interesting.

  • The camera angle from behind and to the left the catcher and right handed batters and only showing the now prevalent center field angle for lefties.
  • Ernie Banks struck out swinging, made an error at first and grounded into a game inning double play. Not the best outing for Mr. Cub.
  • Watching the all-time hits leader, Pete Rose start off an inning by attempting to bunt for a single.
  • Speaking of small ball, I saw at least five players in the 8th and 9th innings with bunt attempts. Four sacrifice attempts in addition to Roses's attempt to get a hit. One of the sacrifices even ended up as a hit. That would be crazy these days, even late in a tie game.
  • Cubs pitcher Larry Jackson, tagged up from second on a fly ball to center and was safe. While wearing his jacket on the basepaths. In August.
  • I don't know why I didn't think it possible (not that I thought it was impossible), but it was still weird to see the wind at Wrigley was a factor even back then.
  • This was the first game of a double header. With no night games at Wrigley until 1988, this game must have had a morning start time.
  • One commercial during the commercial breaks. With a break every half inning, that's five commercials in the one hour of game time shown in the video. And three were for Hamm's.
  • With two outs in the bottom of the 9th and runners on first and second, Cubs pitcher Larry Jackson was not pinch hit for. Granted, he ended up walking but what manager would do that today?
  • Seemingly after every pitch, Reds catcher John Edwards walked the ball out to where the dirt met the grass before throwing it back to the Maloney.
  • During the start of the 10th inning, it is announced that Maloney had thus far thrown 173 pitches, including 13 3-2 counts. What?!? Crazy. He'd run a 3-2 count one more time in the 10th and ended with (I think) about 187 pitches. 
  • The broadcasters had Maloney doing an interview, literally within 30 seconds of the game ending out. Talk about quick.
I don't know if this make sense but the game seemed both a lot more casual but also more expedient than today. No human rain delays in the batter's box. Quick pitches. But also things like the umpire throwing the ball to the pitcher instead of passing it off to the catcher, balls in the dirt kept in play, batters picking up the catcher's mask and handing it to the catchers, and the player on deck kneeling and taking practice cuts with two bats on the way to the plate instead of, you know, while on deck.

I still have never seen a no-hitter all the way through live. Usually, I'll get wind of it in the 7th, 8th or 9th inning and catch the end. I've seen a few from the beginning get lost in the 8th or 9th, but never a full one live. I probably would have watched this whole video even if it hadn't been the end of a no hitter. It was such a different time.

Sorry I couldn't 

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