For the last week or so, I’ve been playing around with the Yankees 1977 World Series Collector’s Edition DVD Boxed Set. This is a new collection that was released three months ago. If you haven’t checked it out already, you’ll want to get this one for your collection.
There are seven DVDs in the set – All six ’77 World Series games against the Los Angeles Dodgers plus Game 5 of the ALCS against the K.C. Royals. There’s also lots of post-game footage following Game 6 of the World Series and interviews from people like Reggie Jackson, Willie Randolph, Ron Guidry, Lou Piniella, George Steinbrenner, Paul Blair, Brian Doyle, and others.
The video quality is not always the greatest – in terms of being what one expects from a DVD – but, it’s not at the level where it’s an issue for your eyes.
Personally, it was fun to watch Game 1 of the ’77 Series – since I never saw that one on TV (as I was there, in-person, at the Stadium that night). Heck, it’s just interesting to watch games at the Stadium from that time period – with the distances in the outfield being 430 feet to left-center and 417 feet to dead-center. Billy Martin had a lot of confidence in Lou Piniella – playing him in that big left field.
Speaking of Piniella, in one of the later-day post-series interviews found on the bonus footage, Lou said that he couldn’t remember Reggie’s third homer from Game 6 of the Series…even though he knew that Jackson had three that night. How bizarre is that?
It was almost as bizarre as watching the 1977 post-game footage of Reggie being interviewed after Game 6…and seeing a baby-faced Dan Shaughnessy (aka “the CHB“) looking like a deer in head-lights during the whole thing.
Like I said, there’s some cool stuff in this set. And, watching the games on these DVDs is easy…I love the way the menus are set-up…so that you can go to any half-inning that you want at any time.
The World Series games were covered by ABC – so, for those games you get Keith Jackson, Tom Seaver, and Howard Cosell doing the games. (Cosell was in Cosell-form for these games too.) But, for Game 5 of the 1977 ALCS, you get the WPIX coverage of the game.
For me, having this game, with Phil Rizzuto, Frank Messer and Bill White covering the contest, is the prize of this set.
First, just watching the game is awesome. It reminds me that George Brett and Hal McRae were the Manny Ramirez and David Oritz of their time – as they were major pains for the Yankees. And, it reminds me of how important Mike Torrez was to New York in the ’77 post-season. (If there’s such a thing as an overall MVP to the post-season, Torrez was it for the Yankees that year.)
Secondly, you get to see how Rizzuto, White and Messer handled games back then…mixing and matching between play-by-play and color (while also doing the radio on WMCA).
In this game, White did the play-by-play, with Rizzuto doing color, in the first three innings – with Messer on the radio. For the middle three innings of the game, Rizzuto did play-by-play, with Messer doing color – and White did the radio. And, for the last three innings, Messer did play-by-play, White was the color man, and Rizzuto closed out the game on the radio.
As a kid growing up, following the Yankees, this broadcaster set-up was the norm for me. And, I think it was the best – everyone got to do it all…and you, as a fan, got to hear your favorites…no matter if you were watching on TV or listening on the radio. Ah, memories.
And, that’s what this DVD set is all about – bringing back some great memories – for me. For others, who are not as old as me, I think it would be a great primer to see what it was like to watch the Yankees, thirty years ago.
I highly recommend the Yankees 1977 World Series Collector’s Edition DVD Boxed Set. It’s the story of a great team’s October. And, it’s a time-machine dream for Yankees fans.