To celebrate the advent of this year’s MLB playoffs, which I am looking forward to with rapt anticipation (no, really), I’d like to do a few posts featuring YouTube finds representing each team that’s made their way to October. Last but not least, the Giants.
I know it’s hard to believe, since the game has been poisoned by Buck and McCarver for the last 10+ years, but there was once a time when national baseball coverage wasn’t a complete shit-show. Seriously! I long for the days of NBC’s baseball coverage, and it’s not simply nostalgia. Back then, NBC employed excellent play-by-play men like Vin Scully, Marv Albert, and Bob Costas. (Whatever else you think of Bob, he’s a great baseball play-by-play guy, and I wish MLB Network would use him in that capacity.) And even their color/sideline guys like Tony Kubek and Joe Garagiola were, at the very least, unobtrusive.
To see what I mean, check out this pregame footage from the 1987 NLCS between the Cardinals and the Giants. It makes today’s game reportage look even worse in comparison. Somehow, NBC was able to broadcast competent baseball coverage without the music of Kid Rock or Frank TV promos. Also, check out Whitey Herzog getting snippy with Marv Albert.
ABC also had the rights to some playoff games back in them days, and their coverage–featuring Al Michaels most prominently–was not too shabby either. Here’s the open of game 3 of the 1989 World Series between the Giants and A’s, which is notable for being the only postseason game ever delayed by earthquake. This one of those “where were you when it happened?” moments for people of a certain age. Except I can’t really remember where I was.
As a young’un, I devoured all three volumes of The Baseball Hall of Shame, which was pretty much exactly what it sounds like. The fact that the cover art was drawn by Mad Magazine‘s Mort Drucker should give you an indication of the intended audience. One book had a chapter dedicated to the worst mascots ever. The Giants’ Crazy Crab was high on their list. He made a few appearances in the early 80s, went over like a lead balloon, and was quickly relegated to the dustbin of history.
For some reason, the Giants revived him a few years ago, and he make some kooky appearances at AT&T Park. Some people were happy about this. Some, as seen in this video, were not.
Earlier this year, the Giants had a “Wearable Blanket” giveaway, a rather transparent euphemism for Snuggies. I do not approve of this, but the ad for said giveaway gave me a chuckle nonetheless.