More must-see TV (circa 1962): Flashing Spikes

July 25, 2013

That same paper by Chad Sabadie also uncovered another John Ford TV play touching on an ersatz Black Sox situation featuring some high-powered names .

Flashing Spikes was an episode under the Alcoa Presents umbrella starring Jimmy Stewart as a former player who had conspired with six other players (Seven Men Out?) to throw a ballgame. In the teledrama, he comes to the defense of a Yaseil Puig/Mike Trout / Bryce Harper-ish rookie — played by Patrick Wayne(!) — accused of deliberating making an error to lose the first game of a World Series. The accuser is particularly oily newspaper character played by Carleton Young, who has absolutely no concrete evidence, yet prints columns calling for the kid’s head. The Commissioner’s Office holds an impromptu hearing of sorts and, of course, all’s well that ends well. cast for hour-long program includes Jack Warden as the Commissioner; Tige Andrews of Mod Squad fame, as the team’s manager; veteran character actors Edgar Buchanan as the team’s owner; and John Wayne as an office umpiring a military game (most amusing). Flashing Spikes also employed some Major Leaguers of the day, including Vern Stephens and Don Drysdale as “Gomer.” Fred Astaire served as host/narrator, spouting the usual pap about baseball being the greatest game in the world and Vin Scully, essentially playing himself in the broadcast booth.

Here are a few clips. Sorry I couldn’t find the entire show, and whatever is here is badly synced. But you’ll get the idea. The writing is a bit overblown and sanctimonious, IMHO. Also, I’m not sure of the order of some of the clips, so please pardon.


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