Verducci: How Game 6 of 1975 World Series changed baseball and TV sports

From Tom Verducci at Sports Illustrated on October 21, 2015:

That night endures not just because a son of New England hit one of the most famous home runs in baseball history, the clout that ended Game 6 and made necessary an almost-as-thrilling Game 7 to confirm a superlative Reds ball club as world champions. That night also changed American culture.

Forty years later our arenas and ballparks and especially our living rooms, dens, man caves, bars, restaurants and every other place we gather to watch sports have become our secular versions of St. Luke’s. Worship is not too strong a word to describe what we do at the nexus of our two favorite pastimes: sports and television.

Think about what we now take for granted in televised sports. Prime-time starts, the networks influencing when games are played, cameras placed at unusual vantage points, reaction shots of athletes away from the ball—all of it can be traced to the NBC telecast of Game 6 of the 1975 World Series. What the 1958 NFL title game did for pro football, Game 6 did for televised sports. There is only before and after. It is the most influential telecast in the 76 years that baseball has been televised.

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Originally published: October 23, 2015. Last Updated: October 23, 2015.