1958 World Series New York Yankees vs Milwaukee Braves

Tue Jul 20, 2010 12:06 pm
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Recently I watched a film on MLB TV that was a one hour recap of the 1958 Baseball World Series, Yankees vs Braves. I remember watching this World Series in 1958. However what I did not see as unusual at the time was the very different way society treated the world Series 52 years ago.

Firstly the World Series was an afternoon affair, no games were played at night. I would run home from school(no buses and no mommy picking up the children in 1958) and watch the games on local televison in the afternoon. Baseball had just then been added to the West Coast with the Dodgers & Giants in 1958.

The games were much shorter in length, averaging just over two hours each instead of the current three hours or more (one of these games in 1958 was actually just less than two hours in length). In fact Game 6 of the Word Series was played on October 8th in 1958. 

In 2010 we will not have even concluded the first round of the playoffs by October 8th. The fans were mostly dressed in suits & ties and the ladies were dressed in dresses and Hats! I suppose I was a part of the culture in 1958, none of what I just wrote seemed out of the ordinary to me.

The batters remained in the batters box, not leaving to adjust every piece of their equipment after each pitch. In fact, not every player used a batting helmet. Yankee Hank Bauer used a batting helmet, Mickey Mantle did not. Not one player I observed used batting gloves, arm bands, shin protectors etc. Again, I never thought of that as being anything but the game as it was to be at that time.

To the matter of the outcome of this World Series. The Braves had beaten the Yankees in a seven game series in 1957 with Lew Burdette winning three games (Burdette had been a Yankee when he came up to the Big leagues).

1958 was a reversal of fortune for the Yankees. The Yankees won the series in seven games with "Bullet" Bob Turley being the hero for the Yankees. Turley was 21-7 in 1958 for the Yanks.

Times change but baseball remains in my heart as the sport I love the most. Money has changed the character of the game but I still look forward to the World Series every October and now in 2010 November also.

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