The Sights & Sounds Of Yankee Stadium 1931 – Yankees vs. Red Sox
Yankee Stadium on opening day April 14, 1931. Yankees versus the Red Sox. Happenings before and during the game.
What makes it so unusual is that the film crew was experimenting with syncing the sound to the action. So there are microphones recording what was being said or the resonant sounds of baseball. The players don’t quite know what to say when asked to speak. The natural sounds of the ballpark are just so different from today.
Batting practice with Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig. Mayor Jimmy Walker throws out the first ball. An IRT train passes and stops beyond the left field bleachers. Everyone in the stands is well dressed as you’d expect. Large signs remind everyone that “Betting is prohibited.”
The lack of technology is pure pleasure. The advertising is on billboards same as now, but no ads or deafening music being blasted from speakers. Your visual senses are not assaulted by a jumbotron. Fans look at the field, no distractions.
No P.A. system. A guy with a megaphone comes out and announces each team’s battery – a term rarely used today – for pitcher and catcher.
Then there is not only a patriotic marching band entertaining fans, but all the players from both teams march along with the band.
The game itself is great to see, but the things you notice while the game is going on seem so foreign to a modern viewing audience.
Things to notice: the wind-up of Red Sox pitcher Wilcy Moore is quite a sight to behold. Red Ruffing also has an interesting delivery. Seeing Babe Ruth running out a single. (Babe stole a base and hit a home run, but that is not shown.) The turning of a double play. The pace of the game is rather brisk. Then there is left field which is not just cavernous, but seems absolutely impossible to hit a home run into the bleachers.
If you are wondering who won the game, it was the Yankees 6-3.