MLB.TV is now providing free access to every game played in the 2018 and 2019 seasons to help Coronavirus shut-ins pass the time. You can stream more than 4,800 games (plus post-season action) by simply creating an account at MLB.TV. (No credit card is required.)
But if you’re a fan of old timey baseball, as I am, you can also watch dozens of classic games at YouTube, some that go back almost 70 years. There are complete World Series and playoff games, no-hitter and perfect games, and more. The games can be found on the MLB Vault page which you can see here.
I have dug deep into the MLB Vault and come up with my list of the 5 best classic games to watch as you wait out the virus. And, even better, you can watch all five right here thanks to YouTube’s sharing feature.
So here’s my top five classic baseball games on the MLB Vault page:
5. 2019 World Series, Game 7, Washington Nationals at Houston Astros.
I’m perhaps showing my local prejudice here, but game seven of last year’s Fall Classic is an instant classic thanks to late-inning heroics by Nats’ second baseman Howie Kendrick and third baseman Anthony Rendon. (And perhaps upon a review, you can tell me why Houston didn’t bring in star hurler Gerrit Cole in relief.)
4. 1952 World Series, Game 7, New York Yankees at Brooklyn Dodgers
Where else can you watch a 21-year-old Mickey Mantle hitting a home in the World Series as well as a spindly Billy Martin save the day by catching a wind-blown infield fly? The video quality of the 67-year-old broadcast is surprisingly good; it will make you feel like you’re at Brooklyn’s once revered Ebbets Field.
3. 2003 American League Championship Series, Game 7, Boston Red Sox at New York Yankees
The ALCS deciding game featured two of the game’s best pitchers ever, Boston’s Pedro Martinez and New York’s Roger Clemens. That alone would be enough to tune in. But the game’s twists and turns, and a walk-off blast by a utility infielder whose middle name was changed to one that began with a ‘F’ in Red Sox Nation, makes this a classic.
2. 1988 World Series, Game 1, Oakland Athletics at Los Angeles Dodgers
The Dodgers seemed to have little chance to win game one against an Athletics team (Jose Canseco, Mark McGwire) that was regarded as one of the decade’s best. And the team’s odds were even thinner at the start of the ninth with future Hall of Fame closer Dennis Eckersley on the bump for the A’s. But then a Dodgers pinch hitter named Gibson limped to the plate with one on and two outs.
1. 1986 World Series, Game 6, Boston Red Sox at New York Mets
Young Boston fans who have witnessed the ‘Sawx’ win four World Series championships since 2004 may not understand the angst and misery that once haunted the team. But here it is in full glory as the Red Sox snatch defeat from the jaws of victory in a ninth inning collapse that still must be seen to be believed. (And please, when you speak of Bill Buckner, speak well.)
Happy viewing, and stay safe!
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— Phillip Swann