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Wsoxmike59
07-14-2007, 09:44 AM
Not talking about the one they do at All Star Break, but just released on DVD last week was the old B/W TV show HR Derby.

I was just a baby when this originally aired and I caught a few episodes in recent years when ESPN Classic would run it.

It's an awesome time capsule capturing the games greatest sluggers during baseball's golden era.

Has anybody else bought this? Anybody else enjoying watching these old baseball programs as much as I do? I highly reccommend this to any baseball fan who wants to see these players up close and in their prime.

http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/I/51rC-tFO07L._AA240_.jpg (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/images/B000PMFRRY/sr=1-1/qid=1184419764/ref=dp_image_0/104-8635768-3861558?ie=UTF8&n=130&s=dvd&qid=1184419764&sr=1-1)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com
A fascinating spectacle from baseball history, Home Run Derby: Volume 1 is culled from a weekly, syndicated television program that was produced from 1959 to 1961 and pitted Major League Baseball sluggers against one another in a home-run duel. Essentially, one American League and one National League player would take turns at bat in Wrigley Field, where the Pacific Coast League's Los Angeles Angels regularly played. The hitter who sent the ball most often over the wall (at 340 or so feet) in nine "innings" would win a now-paltry-looking $2,000; the loser would get $1,000. Smaller cash incentives were there for the guys who got on a roll and whacked the ball out of sight three or more consecutive times. The charm of the show is in its simplicity, and the way it seems both relaxed and tense. Competing players such as Mickey Mantle, Willie Mays, Ernie Banks, Hank Aaron, and Jim Lemon were far too seasoned and professional to take the program seriously. On the other hand, when they're at bat, you can see something in their eyes: they get down to business and every swing is a mighty one. The best element in the show is player interviews (with host Mark Scott, seated at a desk not far from home plate) that take place while one or another fellow is trying to get some wood on the ball. Thus, it's really a pleasure to see Mantle serenely assess his own performance or admire that of Mays or Banks. The same is true of the latter pair, and also of Aaron and Lemon, who are so gentlemanly in their appreciation of one another and so humble about their own talents that their episode is actually moving. The four segments on Home Run Derby: Volume 1 are minor gems. --Tom Keogh

TommyJohn
07-14-2007, 10:19 AM
Not talking about the one they do at All Star Break, but just released on DVD last week was the old B/W TV show HR Derby.

I was just a baby when this originally aired and I caught a few episodes in recent years when ESPN Classic would run it.

It's an awesome time capsule capturing the games greatest sluggers during baseball's golden era.

Has anybody else bought this? Anybody else enjoying watching these old baseball programs as much as I do? I highly reccommend this to any baseball fan who wants to see these players up close and in their prime.

http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/I/51rC-tFO07L._AA240_.jpg (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/images/B000PMFRRY/sr=1-1/qid=1184419764/ref=dp_image_0/104-8635768-3861558?ie=UTF8&n=130&s=dvd&qid=1184419764&sr=1-1)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com
A fascinating spectacle from baseball history, Home Run Derby: Volume 1 is culled from a weekly, syndicated television program that was produced from 1959 to 1961 and pitted Major League Baseball sluggers against one another in a home-run duel. Essentially, one American League and one National League player would take turns at bat in Wrigley Field, where the Pacific Coast League's Los Angeles Angels regularly played. The hitter who sent the ball most often over the wall (at 340 or so feet) in nine "innings" would win a now-paltry-looking $2,000; the loser would get $1,000. Smaller cash incentives were there for the guys who got on a roll and whacked the ball out of sight three or more consecutive times. The charm of the show is in its simplicity, and the way it seems both relaxed and tense. Competing players such as Mickey Mantle, Willie Mays, Ernie Banks, Hank Aaron, and Jim Lemon were far too seasoned and professional to take the program seriously. On the other hand, when they're at bat, you can see something in their eyes: they get down to business and every swing is a mighty one. The best element in the show is player interviews (with host Mark Scott, seated at a desk not far from home plate) that take place while one or another fellow is trying to get some wood on the ball. Thus, it's really a pleasure to see Mantle serenely assess his own performance or admire that of Mays or Banks. The same is true of the latter pair, and also of Aaron and Lemon, who are so gentlemanly in their appreciation of one another and so humble about their own talents that their episode is actually moving. The four segments on Home Run Derby: Volume 1 are minor gems. --Tom Keogh

The White Sox were the only team in that span not to have someone on
that program. Even the Washington Senators were represented.

Fenway
07-14-2007, 12:47 PM
It was amazing to see how hard these players wanted the $2,000 prize. They really needed the money.

jortafan
07-14-2007, 08:10 PM
It was amazing to see how hard these players wanted the $2,000 prize. They really needed the money.

Back then, major league minimum pay was $6,000, and the average major leaguer was making something along the lines of about $16-20,000. The big stars might make something along the line of $50-60,000.

It always amazes me that in 1961, when Roger Maris had his historic season, his pay was $38,000. And that was considered a top-line salary for the era.

So I could see how an extra $2,000 would make a financial difference to these guys.

Brian26
07-15-2007, 11:49 AM
I used to watch this on ESPN Classic about 15 years ago. It was an amazing show because of the interviews and how classy and professional the players were as their opponents were up to bat.

If I recall, I always questioned the editing a bit. They only had one or two cameras, and the shot of the player swinging always looked like they used the same clip.

thomas35forever
07-15-2007, 02:18 PM
I used to watch it on ESPN Classic when we first got cable. Why don't they bring that show back?

michned
07-16-2007, 06:28 PM
This is great that it's on DVD. For the last couple weeks I've been telling my Little Leaguer about this show - I had no idea it was available. I used to enjoy watching the guys who retired just before I started following the game, like Mantle and Eddie Matthews. Just to see them take their cuts.

Good thing my kid has a birthday next month. I'm going to pick this up for me...err, him.

MeteorsSox4367
07-17-2007, 09:58 AM
I used to watch it on ESPN Classic when we first got cable. Why don't they bring that show back?

Are you kidding? Why educate people on the history of baseball when they can watch poker or a spelling bee? For those of us who never saw him play, why watch a guy like Mantle bat?

In all honesty, I loved HR Derby and am buying the DVDs ASAP.

"And the next home run will be worth $500...and GONE! over the left-center field wall!"

IIRC, HR Derby was filmed at Wrigley Field in LA.

Fenway
07-17-2007, 10:15 AM
IIRC, HR Derby was filmed at Wrigley Field in LA.

yes it was back in 1960. Then the Angels played there for one year before they moved into Dodger Stadium in 1962.

Railsplitter
07-18-2007, 11:59 AM
I saw this on ESPN classic and liked it. The format was easy to follow: Each player had to hit the ball over the fence. They weren't required to swing, but if the ball stayed in the park, even if it would be a hit in a regular game, it was an out. After three outs, the other guys took his turn, and the did this for nine innings.

The format for the All-Star home run derby makes no sense to me.

lumpyspun
07-18-2007, 12:24 PM
I used to watch it on ESPN Classic when we first got cable. Why don't they bring that show back?

Why? Because ESPN absolutely blows. They haven't done a thing right in the last five years or so. They care more about gossip than actual sports programming.

Jerko
07-18-2007, 12:34 PM
I love the ump's calls in HR derby. One OUT!!!!! Two AWAY!!! Three out. Sometimes he'd mix it up. One away. TWO OUT. Three away.

Fenway
07-18-2007, 12:43 PM
The announcer never lived to see the show air :(:


He died in 1960 at the age of 45.

Once Scott died, the producers decided not to replace him and the show was cancelled.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Home_Run_Derby_(TV_series)#Demise_of_show

slavko
07-19-2007, 12:54 AM
This is great that it's on DVD. For the last couple weeks I've been telling my Little Leaguer about this show - I had no idea it was available. I used to enjoy watching the guys who retired just before I started following the game, like Mantle and Eddie Matthews. Just to see them take their cuts.

Good thing my kid has a birthday next month. I'm going to pick this up for me...err, him.

My faulty memory can't recall a LH hitter on that show. I'm happy to find out that they were an equal opportunity employer.

TommyJohn
07-19-2007, 08:21 AM
My faulty memory can't recall a LH hitter on that show. I'm happy to find out that they were an equal opportunity employer.


Not really. The White Sox were never represented on the show. Hell, even
the Orioles were repped by Gus Triandos, for Pete's sake. What, Sherm
Lollar and Al Smith were busy?

WhiteSoxJunkie
07-19-2007, 12:43 PM
My faulty memory can't recall a LH hitter on that show. I'm happy to find out that they were an equal opportunity employer.

There were only two, Eddie Matthews and Duke Snider. Mickey Mantle, a switch hitter, batted right handed in the contests.