Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Replacement Players podcast on older sports telecasts

I recently discovered the fascinating Replacement Players podcast series. This series has a rather intriguing concept - select an older sports telecast as the main topic and use it as a springboard for discussion.

On the podcast, host Matthew Callan interviews a special guest after each has watched a recording of the classic telecast. The conversation covers interesting details about the game itself, but also delves into a wide range of areas including commentary on the announcers, graphics, and original commercials. Callan and his guests do a skillful job of supplying background details surrounding the game at hand and conveying the sports TV landscape of that time.

The first episode focuses on the so-called "Rick Camp game" (Mets-Braves) from July 1985. I remember watching some of the early innings of this game on WOR-9, heading out somewhere, driving home late, learning from the car radio that the game was still going on, and then staying up until around 4 AM to watch the remainder. The podcast recaptures the wackiness of that night and reminded me of many specifics I had forgotten.

Episode 2 covers the "Mark Fidrych game" which of course is the famous ABC Monday Night Baseball telecast (Yankees-Tigers) from June 1976 which has also been replayed on MLB Network. The topic for episode 4 is the "Pedro Martinez game" from the 1999 ALDS (Red Sox-Indians).

While the series has dealt mostly with baseball telecasts, episode 7 branches into college basketball and looks at the 1992 Duke-Kentucky NCAA tournament regional final (a.k.a. the "Christian Laettner game"). Check out the complete episode listing.

Replacement Players uses the classic Jet Set instrumental music to provide an ideal lead-in to the baseball episodes. You may recall this as the theme song from the syndicated TV series This Week in Baseball.

I highly recommend this free and entertaining podcast series. If you saw the original telecast in question, it will bring back tremendous memories. And even if you didn't see the original, the podcast episode will provide some valuable historical perspective.

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