1976 Monday Night Baseball

I vividly remember the moment a couple of years ago when a (much) younger co-worker didn’t know who Chaka Khan was. Turning to the Google machine, I found a suitable video for his education, and was gobsmacked by the realization that I could watch endless episodes of Soul Train on the internets.

One obsession led to another, first through This Week in Baseball, to this complete masterpiece, worthy of my personal Smithsonian:

It is the summer of 1976, I am not yet four, and I can remember my dad yelling about the Yankees at the TV. For that matter it could have been ’77, impossible to know now. In any event, a full game from your ’76 Royals!

So much goodness here, and of course one is two or three clicks away from the box score, and the standings and how bad Frank White’s OPS+ was, but I urge to just let it flow organically and take this all in.

The game is called by Warner Wolf and Bob Gibson and they don’t really mesh that well but if you have a longing to hear Gibson complain about pitchers not pitching inside, and the DH, and make a couple of astute predictions over the course of the night you won’t be disappointed. Also, Warner Wolf loves to say Amos Otis. AA-MUSS OO-TISSS, an alliterative dream, he rolls it around as if he had a tongue stud.

Bit players you forgot existed. The Straw the Stirs the Drink (as an Oriole?!). Managers, the world’s best pitching coach catching, and the absolute topper, a defensive substitution by the O’s that will make you shout NO WAY!!!! and bother your wife – or maybe that was just me. Look for it.

There is pine tar foreshadowing. Frank White chokes way up but has a good game. HOF #5 is young and shows off a rifle arm and a premium bat toss – he positively Delmons that thing. Amos Otis jacks one way foul and far. Player introductions that look like they’re produced afterschool by precocious eighth graders. I’m not going to tell you anymore.

Except… the commercials. OMG the commercials. I love ‘merica. I was hoping against hope for the Chuckwagon but no dice. That’s ok, it’s on youtube as well. There are three Miller High Life bits that show dudes tossing them back on a work site, quitting time on the Alaska Pipeline, and crop dusters winding down with bad beer. Two spots for Chevettes. Someone had to buy them new I guess. AND a spot for my first car – who has heard of a Chevy Monza? I paid $800 for one in 1988 and didn’t kill myself.

Enjoy. Don’t forget to adjust the rabbit ears and vertical hold.

This FanPost was written by a member of the Royals Review community. It does not necessarily reflect the views of the editors and writers of this site.

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