What I’m watching today: baseball home movies to get me through the winter

screen shot 2019-01-20 at 11.42.04 am
Boston’s Ted Williams in a home movie from the 1946 World Series. (Twitter/Flagstaff Films)

My wife loves winter. I hate it. I hate the cold. I hate the darkness. I hate having to layer up like a Siberian fisherman just to walk the dog. (And I live in Alabama. Imagine how ornery I’d be about this if I lived in Maine.) Plus, baseball is dormant.

If it weren’t for YouTube and Roger Angell, I don’t know how I’d survive. Angell is the best baseball writer ever. Don’t argue with me on that; you’ll lose. As for YouTube, its collection of archived television broadcasts of baseball games is my go-to for a pick-me-up on these bleak winter days. Go subscribe to the Classic MLB1 channel. You’ll thank me later.

Yet, I admit: I have a new addiction.

screen shot 2019-01-20 at 11.45.59 amIt’s the Twitter feed of Flagstaff Films, a New York City-based producer of sports documentaries that peppers Twitter with short clips — many of them in color — of home movies from baseball’s wonderful days just before and after World War II.

The clips are never more than a minute long, and they’re everything the slick “30-for-30” ESPN movies are not: rough, unedited, soundless and occasionally boring. But I’ve found no other collection of baseball videos that consistently offers the vantage points of Flagstaff Films.

Enough with the rambling.

Thank goodness the Atlanta Braves stopped having a Native American mascot in the mid-1980s. But check out Chief Noc-A-Homa in this 1970 home movie, not to mention the understated uniforms the Braves wore in their first few years in Atlanta.

I’ve watched these clips of early 1960s Cardinals-Mets games about a thousand times, especially this one of Curt Flood.

You can never get enough of young Lou Brock.

Or Bob Gibson.

Or spring training action between the Cards and Yankees.

I’d always known that the Chicago Cubs held spring training on Catalina Island, which William Wrigley Jr. bought right after World War I. But I’d never seen video of it, until now.

Marching bands are a staple at college football games, but look at the size of that marching band at a Chicago World Series game.

I absolutely love the views of the PCL Seattle Rainiers practicing their slides into third base.

How about a little baseball with the Montreal Royals?

And dig those brown uniforms of the St. Louis Browns.

As for stadiums, there are the Polo Grounds.

And Sick’s Stadium.

And Comiskey Park.

And Sportsman’s Park.

That’s only a small sample of the Twitter goodies on the Flagstaff Films feed. It’s January, it’s cold outside, and you know you want to click over there. Go ahead. You’ll thank me later for that advice, too.

Author: Phillip Tutor

Baseball fan. St. Louis Cardinals fan. Raised on baseball in Memphis. Faux expert on baseball in Alabama. Lifetime .200 hitter, good glove, below-average arm.

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