It is, the Library of Congress swears, entirely coincidence that four minutes of footage from the 1924 World Series—pitting the Senators against the Giants—was recently rediscovered just in time for the Nationals to take on the Giants in this year's NLDS.

Dan Steinberg at the DC Sports Bog has a look at how the footage came to exist, turning up in the rafters of a garage in Worcester, Mass., back in August, and being shipped to the Library of Congress for archival and restoration. It was, unexpectedly, in near-perfect condition.

"You've got to understand: Nitrate film, sometimes it looks great, sometimes it doesn't. We never know what we're going to get," said Mike Mashon, the head of the Library's moving image section. "The fact that it looks so great is a miracle. It's just a miracle."

It's a newsreel with highlights of the seventh game of that series, won 4-3 by Washington in 12 innings—the last deciding game of a World Series to go to extra innings for another 67 years. (The piano score is new.)

Advertisement

At 3:09, you can see the winner, followed by the crowd rushing the field. As described by the next morning's Washington Post:

While a brown October sun, casting its big shadow over the stadium of baseball war, was curling up for the evening at precisely 5:04 o'clock yesterday afternoon, Mr. Earl McNeely, the best bargain at $50,000 ever put over, bludgeoned his way to everlasting fame with a hit that was heard 'round the world and started the greatest public demonstration ever enacted in the Nation's Capital or anywhere else.

As you already know, it was young McNeely whose drive, bounding over third base, scored the winning run of the seventh and decisive game of the world's series and won the championship of the world for the Nationals, 1924 champions of the American league.

Within less than ten seconds after McNeely's hit, scoring "Muddy" Ruel, the Nationals' catcher, with the deciding run, 35,000 men, women and children, delirious with joy, broke into a bedlam on the field that had never been duplicated in point of volume and intense excitement in the annals of sporting history.

Man, old-timey baseball footage gives me the biggest nostalgia boner.

[DC Sports Bog]