Sunday, April 4, 2010

Greatest Opening Day Ceremony in Mets History

Happy Opening Day Eve!

After seeing Games 6 and 7 of the 1986 World Series on ESPN Classic (in their mind, an "Opening Day marathon), I decided to honor Opening Day properly following the theme that ESPN went with by finding my 1986 World Series DVD box set, getting out the bonus DVD, and selecting track 22, which is the 1987 Opening Day ceremonies, which I now label as the "Greatest Opening Day Ceremony in Mets History".

I remember this day. It was my first Opening Day. Channel 9 had the broadcast, and I remember in 3rd grade coming home after school so I could watch this on TV, after my Dad recorded it for me. I *think* it went onto the same VHS tape that the end of Game 7 of the 1986 World Series went onto (and I *think*, or want to think, that the movie Back to the Future was on that tape as well - both of which I have on DVD). I remember watching this tape over and over many times. I probably wore out the tape, but I've love to go see if it survived and record it to DVD.

A few thoughts...
  • It's great seeing Bob Murphy introducing the Mets players. The TV production kept showing his face as he red the names from on the field. I've referred to Howie Rose and Gary Cohen as "Mets fan #1" or "Mets fans #1A and #1B" before, but I think Bob Murphy should be in there ahead of them.
  • Shea looked beautiful. I had forgotten that it took a very long time to convert Shea into the blue stadium that I remembered it. Only the padding and one inner facade were blue by Opening Day 1987. It was a little more blue than what I've seen in video from the 1986 season.
  • While it was interesting to hear the commentary from Rusty Staub, Tim McCarver, and Steve Zabriskie in the broadcast booth, I wish they had shut up and let us watch the ceremony. But you can't have it both ways.

    It was bad that Channel 9 left the ceremony for a commercial, but they showed a still shot of what we had missed. I don't think a TV production team would cut away for commercial today. But I like that the DVD included whatever was recorded in the TV truck during the commercial (namely most of the "Good Luck floral piece" from Bill Shea to Davey Johnson, and Tim McCarver's apology to the truck for erroniously saying that Ralph Kiner would be coming up after the break). Once again, I wish they had just shut up and let it all play throughout.

    I remember my VHS tape showing more of the ceremony after the flag was raised in centerfield than what the DVD showed us. It's a shame they had to cut away.
  • There were no Opening Day logos painted on the grass. It was just the field and the traditional bunting. Nice touch.

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