Rare footage of the 1924 World Series deciding game between the New York Giants and the Washington Senators has been released by the Library of Congress. See embed below.
With President Calvin Coolidge in attendance, the Senators prevailed by a score of 4-3 in a 12-inning Game 7 on October 10, 1924, in D.C.’s Griffith Stadium. This film is perhaps the only Game 7 footage in existence.
Included among eight newsreels from a Massachusetts estate sale, the final game highlights footage — which was miraculously in good condition — found its way to Library of Congress in August.
Baseball interest in Washington is surging given that the Washington Nationals (formerly the Montreal Expos prior to the 2005 season) take the field against the now San Francisco Giants tomorrow afternoon at Nationals Park in the first game of the National League Division Series.
The Washington Senators became the Minnesota Twins when the team moved to the Minneapolis area after the 1960 MLB season.
According to the Washington Post, “…when archivists from the Library’s Packard Campus for Audio Visual Conservation watched the reel, they found nearly four minutes of footage from that 1924 World Series, footage that somehow had remained in nearly perfect condition for 90 years. Bucky Harris hitting a home run, Walter Johnson pitching four innings of scoreless relief, Muddy Ruel scoring the winning run, fans storming Griffith Stadium’s field: It was all there, and it was all glorious.”
Although then more sedate fans in those days wore jackets and ties to games, they nonetheless didn’t hesitate to storm the field when the Senators scored what we now call a “walk-off” run.
A Library of Congress official told the Post that flammable nitrate film can deteriorate but even though this footage was located in the rafters of a garage, it was something of a miracle that “it looked so great.”
That official, Mike Mashon, explained the unique coincidence behind the find: “It started with Lynanne Schweighofer, a Moving Image Preservation Specialist at the Packard Campus. Lynanne’s mother had been named executor of the estate left by an elderly neighbor who passed away last year in a suburb of Worcester, Massachusetts. While preparing the neighbor’s house for sale, Lynanne’s father found eight cans of film in the rafters of the detached and not climate-controlled garage, a space we archivists would not normally recommend for long term storage of motion picture film…especially since these reels were labeled as nitrate film stock.”
The footage was carefully restored at the Library of Congress Packard Campus, with a new soundtrack added.
Added the Post about the newly discovered Giants-Senators World Series film, “Indeed, while footage of prior World Series exists, Library officials aren’t aware of any other clips from the 1924 clincher. And with Nats playoff fever building, they expedited their conservation of this particular reel, prepping and cleaning it to allow for digital transfer, creating a new 35 mm copy, and photochemically preserving the original, which should now be safe for hundreds of years.”