Home Run Derby - Volume 1
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But lo and behold, on July 10, 2007, MGM Home Entertainment (in conjunction with 20th Century Fox's distribution) released the first of three "Home Run Derby" volumes. What a pleasure it is, indeed, to be able to watch these great old baseball shows once again.
Hosted by Mark Scott, each episode of "Derby" is a half-hour, nine-inning home-run hitting contest, staged at Wrigley Field in Los Angeles (which was, at the time of filming, a minor-league ballpark; but it soon became the home of the American League Los Angeles Angels, when the league expanded in 1961).
Many of the top sluggers from both the N.L. and A.L. competed in the televised "Home Run Derby" contests, including perennial All-Stars like Hank Aaron, Mickey Mantle, Willie Mays, and Duke Snider.
The winner of each week's "Derby" received $2,000 for his victory and would be invited to come back the next week to swing for the fences against another big-league opponent.
Some of the "at the desk" chats that Mark Scott has with the players are a bit stiff and awkward, especially some of the small talk with Willie Mays, who has always resembled living cardboard whenever he finds himself in front of a movie or TV camera. But, man, that guy could sure hit a baseball! ~wink~
But I don't really care about the stiffness of the conversations on the sidelines, because it's still great fun just to see (and hear) these legends of the game in their prime....forever frozen in the late 1950s and very early 1960s on DVD.Read more ›
I don't know what kind of ratings the program got while it aired, but it's a pretty bland black-and-white show compared to today's TV. I bought it because I love the old flannel uniforms and old neighborhood ballparks (the show was filmed at Wrigley Field in Los Angeles, what was home to the minor-league LA Angels and Hollywod Stars and the first home of the Major League LA Angels). But it occured to me that EVERY SINGLE HOME RUN IS FREE OF STEROIDS, HGH, ANDRO OR ANY OTHER SUBSTANCES. Suddenly, this makes a very unspectacular program pretty spectacular.
And of course, it's great to watch Mickey Mantle at a time when his drinking and carousing were kept out of the media spotlight, and a young Hank Aaron, long before he and his home run record were the targets of racist bigots.
Home Run Derby is a great program, and two more volumes are due out summer 2007. A lot of fun to watch!
floor coverings had to be replaced because the used areas had been worn away to the brass tacks that held them down, giving a visual indication that it was time to go to work. Home Run Derby was literally such a show.
Filmed at Wrigley field in Los Angeles with no crowd of spectators, there
were three umpires, three minor league outfielders, a catcher, a batting
practice pitcher, two Major League sluggers and host Mark Scott in attendance to determine who could hit more pitches over the equidistant
walls of the park. The lack of an audience adds to the business-like
atmosphere of the proceedings, as does Scott's old-school generic announcing style. Watch an episode after ESPN's bombastic annual All-Star
presentation with resident windbag Chris Berman and shed a quiet tear for
the passing of subtlety in baseball. I won't tell you who wins the competition, but, if you're more than a weekend fan, you probably already know. Worth the time and money.
this Reviewer has never ascertained the actual shooting dates and that would be facsinating for a mantle fan. It appears that it's business as usual for The Mick, dominating the scene, but another scenario could be at work (at play): these shows were filmed during his only down period in his prime years, 1959 and 1960. Mantle had a good start in '59 but unexpectedly had a terrible second half; conversely, the next season, he had a terrible start...but a great finish (just 3 votes shy of this third MVP). One wonders what he might have accomplished on this show if it was made a few years before or after the presumptive 1959/1960 time.
The above summation really hits home, as the grace and quietude of the players and the times, are wonderfully reflected in the side conversations with the sluggers.
For the unititiated, it should be pointed out that all hitters are right-handed (MM fans should know this, as he was the ultinate switch-hitter and his right-handed stance and style was much different).
Further interest (and fun) is found in watching a guy like Harmon Killebrew, in his Senators uniform; a guy like Ernie banks, who, at the time, would be seen by the nation only as an "All-Star". (Despite two consecutive MVP years).
Players: Mantle, Killebrew, Mays, Jensen, Colavito, Banks, Ken Boyer, Hank Aaron.
Note: watch Aaron dominate the scene - he would go on to be the all-time Homer Run Derby Champion. He once said, a major impetus to win was to build an extension onto his Father's house: 15,000 dollars!
[Black and White print is sperb; audio is excellent).
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I loved this series as a kid... and I still love it now! Glad I found these on Amazon on a good price!Published 2 months ago by R. Echavarria
The way it should be. The most interesting way to watch each contest. This is baseball at its best. It was a great showPublished on March 15, 2014 by William Guth
This brings back memories of all these ballplayers I loved as heroes when I saw them when was a Kid! i.e. Mantle and Mays.Published on August 5, 2013 by Ed Piersa
Great show, wish they would make with with today's top sluggers! Definitely recommend this show for baseball lovers of all eras!Published on January 16, 2013 by Cody
My father has Alzheimer's and we hoped that DVD'S of shows that he viewed at a much younger age would trigger a response. He watched every second and even remembered some things. Read morePublished on December 25, 2012 by Steven Spencer
Im only 34 years old but I love these HRDs. I hate modern day players. These guys are the heart and soul of baseball. I wish players were more like they were back thenPublished on August 24, 2012 by David J. Riebe
When I was in junior high school, I used to come home every day, sit down with a post-school snack and watch Home Run Derby reruns on ESPN. Read morePublished on March 31, 2011 by Edwin Reese