(Poor) Bob Darnell, 1955 Bowman

1955 Bowman, Bob Darnell

I amuse myself in imagining how on one early crisped, freshly mown morn during the spring training session of 1955 some nameless Bowman photographer likely set up his tripod and checked his Logaphot light “extinction” meter—unawares he was about to lose his job later that year in what would be a monopolistic harbinger in the acquisition of Bowman by the notorious Topps company. But before that happened, this Kodak-wielding idealist spectacularly captured the magical moment wherein Bob Darnell defied the laws of physics and threw his fastball so fast that it subsequently vanished in flames and traveled the way of a nuclear-powered, time-bending DeLorean. And now—nearly sixty years later—it just crashed straight through the television screen!

That’s not all: Bob’s career stats also boast a lossless pitching record during his time in the majors. On the other hand, Darnell’s time in the show was so brief that he never won a game either. Yes, that’s right: poor Bob held an 0-0 record during his two-year stint with the Brooklyn Dodgers, the team who subsequently up and left town for sunny California by 1958.

Darnell’s minor league numbers tell a slightly different story. After playing roughly nine years and almost exclusively in AAA, kicking around from St. Paul to L.A. to Montreal and elsewhere, he amassed 778 strikeouts. Sure, his career ERA of 4.06 wasn’t exactly exemplary, but to have experienced that rush of fanning so many batters must count for something, right?

In any case, with the 1956 season—his second and last time called up from the minors to play for Brooklyn—Darnell only pitched one major league game (indeed, only “1.1” innings), during which he failed to strike out any batters and then allowed a hit.

But he tried, didn’t he? Goddamn it! At least he did that.

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Bob Darnell major league and minor league info and stats found at Baseball-reference.com.

Image courtesy of COMC.com.

1952 World Series: Yankees vs. Dodgers, Game 7 . . . on YouTube?

So apparently game seven of the 1952 World Series is available to watch on YouTube for free. Yes, that World Series: Mickey Mantle, Jackie Robinson, Yogi Berra, Pee Wee Reese, et. al. And while it’s not the highest video quality, well, keep in mind that this is 1952 television film footage–and probably shot from high up in the bleachers of the old Yankee Stadium.

Honestly, I’m not sure whether or not this is an official unofficial YouTube release by MLB. In fact, the MLB logo is emblazoned across the channel’s homepage banner and elsewhere at http://www.youtube.com/user/MLBClassics, although I can’t locate any legitimate source that indicates MLB endorses or is responsible for this content. Apparently, the AZ Snake Pit (an SB Nation affiliate blog) has this brief post that claims this is indeed a YouTube channel operated by MLB. In any case, knowing the tendency of MLB’s iron-fisted grip on broadcast rights, I would be very surprised if they did not know about a popular YouTube channel that, by the latest count, over 34,000 unique users subscribe to–and with more than six million views. Nevertheless, I’d watch it while you still can (for free,and before MLB has a change of heart contract). And you can watch game seven of the 1952 World Series along with, oh, about 2oo other fully archived baseball classics. Enjoy!

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Here are some stellar AP photographic images of the 1952 World Series that I found at AP Images:

Mickey Mantle In Action

Yankee Stadium bleachers

Ebbets Field

Stengel in Dugout