June 13, 1972
On Tuesday June 13,1972 16,589 of us gathered in Atlanta to watch the Mets and Braves play ten innings of high quality baseball. It was the first game I ever saw and has left an indelible impression on me. We got to see several future hall of famers go at it and my main man Henry Aaron showed everyone there how to end a ballgame. Yogi Berra was the Mets manager and decided to not play either Willie Mays or Tug McGraw which may have cost them the win, but like he once said, “You wouldn’t have won if we beat you.”
There’s nothing exceptional about an eight year old kid going to the ballpark with his brother and father and becoming transfixed by the event, in fact I’d like to think it happens everyday. I decided to commemorate this game with a series of portraits honoring the men who laced up their cleats that night and the top five plays of the game.
Things were not so different in 1972 as they are today. Vietnam was still raging, racism and sexism were hot button issues, and people were wondering how much longer The Rolling Stones were going to stay together. It was the first year color tv’s outsold black and white ones and Archie Bunker was on the cover of Jet magazine. We didn’t have the Supreme Court ruling on Roe vs Wade yet but the sexual revolution hit a high watermark with the release of the first mainstream porn film. It was an election year and on June 13 we were a month away from the Democratic convention. There were fourteen Democratic contenders and I decided to explore them with portraits as well. They nominated South Dakota senator George McGovern who ran on an “end the war” platform. Sounds good to me. Nope, he got boat raced by the incumbent, losing 49 states on the way, but maybe Nixon got a boost from the efforts of G. Gordon Liddy, Howard Hunt, and George McCord. But what do I know? I was eight.
In 1972 people stayed up late to watch the Tonight Show and on June 13th Flip Wilson was the guest host and he interviewed Coretta Scott King and had Helen Reddy sing a song.
On June 13,1972 the world lost one of the best pop singers ever with the passing of the 38 year old Clyde McPhatter.
He was the same age as Henry Aaron who blasted home run number 650 that day.
Grab a cold one and take a look at my version of June 13,1972.