Briggs Stadium 8mm Color Home Movies from 1956

I recently discovered the single greatest YouTube baseball clip imaginable.  It’s a home movie shot on August 4, 1956 by a family from New York visiting Briggs Stadium.  It was filmed by Alphonse M. Capurso, Jack Capurso, and Eric Monacelli and edited by Daniel J. Capurso.  The clip is dedicated to Alphonse (the Grandfather) who died a few years ago.   The film now resides in Cooperstown at the archives of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.

What the family created is the single best documentation of a 1950s game day at Briggs Stadium I’ve ever seen.  It includes street scenes, exterior shots of the stadium, pre-game grounds crew rituals, player warm-ups, and a storybook baseball game between the New York Yankees and Detroit Tigers in which Mickey Mantle and Al Kaline each hit two home runs.  The Tigers beat the Bronx Bombers, 5-4, as Kaline went 3 for 4 with two homers, a double, two runs, and five RBI.  The complete box score can be viewed by clicking here.

This is beyond “Field of Dreams” because it really happened.  Thank you, Capursos.  Click on the nearby image to auto-launch one of the finest home movies you’ll ever watch.  Make sure your speakers are on because the accompanying music will bring tears to your eyes.

One reply on “Briggs Stadium 8mm Color Home Movies from 1956

  • Karen Elizabeth Bush

    I forgive Mr. Capurso for being a Yankee fan…

    I wish the camera focus was better so we could be sure of some of the Tiger players. I think Paw Paw (#4) comes up to bat in one shot.


    Viewing this film should be mandatory for anyone who believes the propaganda that the old ball park’s “obstructed view” seating was a positive evil. Mr. Capurso is not behind a post, but he is sitting well up in lower deck reserve — possibly even grandstand seating, depending on where the chains were on that particular day. Translation? He’s sitting in cheap seats. Infield popups are going to be difficult for him to follow because of the presence of the upper deck…but look at the tradeoff! Look how close he is to the field! Look around the park at the absence of signage. There is nothing whatsoever to distract him from the action on the field.

    While you’re looking, look at an umpire dressed like an umpire, and wearing the balloon chest protector that gave the American League the high strike…

    This footage captures baseball at its best, played in the best possible venue. We all darn well should watch it regularly, at least at the beginning of each season, and remember the game as it can and should be.

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