09/24/10 8:30 PM EST
Film of 1960 World Series Game 7 found
Fans will get chance to see Pirates' victory this offseason
By George Von Benko / Special to MLB.com
The New York Times reported in Friday's editions that the complete NBC broadcast of the game had been discovered in a wine cellar in Bing Crosby's longtime home near San Francisco. Crosby was part-owner of the Pirates from 1946 until his death in 1977. But the avid sportsman was such a nervous wreck watching the Pirates that when they played the Yankees in the World Series, he went on a European vacation with his wife, Kathryn.
The complete broadcast was thought to be lost forever. Many people thought that one of the greatest games ever played had survived only through radio broadcasts, grainy photographs and the written word.
Robert Bader, the vice president of Bing Crosby Entertainment, found five reels of 16-millimeter film while searching through tapes and reels of Crosby's old TV specials.
Bader soon realized he had found the complete broadcast of Game 7, with the Yankees' Mel Allen and Pirates' Bob Prince calling the action. The conditions of the wine cellar -- cool and dry -- meant that the film had survived in pristine condition.
The film was transferred to DVD, and fans will get a chance to view the game during the offseason on MLB Network. Bob Costas is set to host the special, which will include interviews with former players and other programming.
"It was such a unique game to begin with," Pittsburgh's Dick Groat, the 1960 National League MVP who will turn 80 in November, told The Associated Press. "It was back and forth, back and forth. It was unbelievable."
Pirates celebrate best of Minor Leagues
PITTSBURGH -- Prior to Friday night's game, the Pirates presented their annual Minor League Pitcher and Player of the Year Awards to left-hander Rudy Owens and outfielder Alex Presley, respectively.
Presley, currently with the Pirates, batted a combined .320 for Triple-A Indianapolis and Double-A Altoona, with 12 home runs and 85 RBIs. He led Bucs Minor Leaguers with 166 hits (15th in all of Minor League Baseball).
"The hard work paid off," Presley said. "I had a good year and got to the big leagues, and that is something you play for -- just to be up here, and I'm really excited. I worked in the offseason trying to stay consistent with my mindset and my approach at the plate and trusting what I do, and I made some little switches in Spring Training that helped me out and just went from there.
"It's been a really good year for me. I always knew that I could do it and it was in me talent-wise, it was just a matter of bringing it out, and I just found some things that worked for me."
Owens was 12-6 for Altoona with a 2.46 ERA that led the Eastern League, as well as 132 strikeouts in 26 starts with the Eastern League Champion Curve. He was also named to the league's midseason and postseason All-Star teams. Owens also won the Pitcher of the Year Award in 2009.
"It was a great time, and I had a great year this year," Owens said. "I guess the hard work paid off, and it also paid off for the whole team. We won another championship, and it can't get any better than that. Winning the Pitcher of the Year Award is just icing on the cake."
Karstens eager to pitch after side session
PITTSBURGH -- Right-hander Jeff Karstens, out with shoulder fatigue, threw a 20-pitch side session Wednesday, using his full repertoire. He followed that up with another side session Friday at PNC Park.
"I feel like I can pitch," Karstens said. "I don't know how sharp I'll be. I threw about 50 pitches, and it got better as I went along."
Karstens is eager to pitch again this season, but the Pirates have not committed to that.
"Karstens, I think, is going to be able to pitch for us," Pirates manager John Russell said. "It's still a daily process. He threw on the side Friday, and if everything continues to go well, hopefully ... we'd like to get him out there."
Center fielder Andrew McCutchen, coming into action on Friday night, had reached base safely in 18 straight games. He ranked second among National League center fielders in hits (148), second in on-base percentage (.354) and was tied for second in doubles (31). ... In the last 17 games, Pittsburgh starting pitchers have posted a 3.88 ERA.
George Von Benko is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.