Sunday, July 20, 2014




(July 21, 1971)

One reason I remember this game was that it seemed like the perfect doubleheader victory. 

I listened to the first game and it was a see-saw affair that included homeruns by the Padres Bob Barton and Ollie Brown. But the Braves bettered them with  two Hank Aaron home runs and a game winning Darrell Evans blast in the bottom of the 11th for the 8-7 victory. It wasn't one of Phil Niekro's better games, but Cecil Upshaw pitched three scoreless innings in relief for the win.

The second part of the double header was the opposite type of game. Pat Jarvis was in a pitcher's duel with the Padres Fred Norman. The Padres only managed three hits and two walks off of Jarvis, but Norman was just as good, shutting out the Braves until the bottom of the ninth. Jarvis started the ninth inning with a single. Felix Millan followed with a single and Jarvis scored on an outfield error by Cito Gaston. 

Why this double header? Well, the Braves won both games and each one I guess you could label as a prototype for an exciting high-scoring win and a pitcher's duel win. Why couldn't they all be like that?

More from 1971: The key from the above paragraph  is listened. 

Before Ted Turner bought the Braves in 1976, a majority of the road games and all of the home games were not televised. So if you didn't attend the game, the way you kept up with it was by radio. I had one of those Panasonic transistor ball radios like the one pictured above. I got to know announcers Milo Hamilton and Ernie Johnson pretty well. I remember listening intently to games at times and at other times listening a bit passively while doing something else.
Of course, it was better after the Super Station era when I could watch almost every game on television...but I do think something was lost. I think what I lost was a bit of my imagination...of picturing what was going on in the field by visualizing it in my mind or using the description of the announcers to get an image of what is going on whether or not it was the way it actually occurred. I still have the picture of Earl Williams' upper deck home run, Phil Niekro's no-hitter or Pat Jarvis scoring that winning run in my mind. It probably isn't the way it actually happened, but it is my interpretation. Of course, I still listened to some games on the radio after 1976, but I admit, the overflow of the pictures coming out of the television were too pervasive for my imagination to overcome at times. That's progress for you.

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