Pennington: Now in living color: Ted Williams’ last game

From Bill Pennington at the New York Times on July 19, 2018:

Bill Murphy, a 19-year-old student at an art college in Boston, skipped class on Sept. 28, 1960, and bought a $2 ticket to Fenway Park. Ted Williams was playing his last game in the major leagues.

Even more auspiciously, Murphy brought his 8-millimeter color film camera with him.

“I wasn’t a rabid fan, but something told me to go,” Murphy said last month. “I took my camera to the front row and shot scenes as I roamed freely around the park all afternoon.”

A few days after the game, Murphy developed the film. There was Williams, one of the best hitters to ever play the game, clouting the last of his 521 home runs for the Red Sox in his fabled final at-bat. Murphy showed the film to his father and a few friends then tossed it into a desk drawer where it has remained since, all but hidden.

“At one point, the film was in the attic,” Murphy said.

For the past 58 years, Williams’s last game has been seen in grainy, black-and-white, newsreel-like footage. But this year, on the 100th anniversary of Williams’s birth, Murphy’s homemade movie, like a buried treasure, has finally been unearthed.

The vibrant color footage will make its broadcast premiere on Monday in a new PBS documentary made in partnership with Major League Baseball.

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Originally published: July 19, 2018. Last Updated: July 19, 2018.