Secret History

Bing Crosby's Baseball Treasure

The late Bing Crosby may be remembered best for crooning Christmas classics like “Silver Bells,” but those who knew him well know he was also a baseball nut. So it’s only a slight surprise that a remarkable baseball artifact—a recording of the most exciting game of the 1960s World Series—was recently found in his wine cellar. Crosby was a fan and part owner of the Pittsburgh Pirates, the team up against the Yankees that year, and couldn’t bear to watch the game live, so he had it recorded while he was away in Paris. “He said, ‘I can’t stay in the country. I’ll jinx everybody,’” according to his widow. The Pirates won, Crosby preserved the tape meticulously—as he did with many of his own recordings—and it wasn’t seen again until last December, when a representative of his estate began to compile material for a DVD release.