Hey, just because it's New Year's Day doesn't mean there's nothing but football on TV Thursday. There's baseball, too. The new MLB Network goes on the air at 6 p.m. Eastern time Thursday, and an hour later you'll get a chance to watch one of the most-discussed and least-watched baseball baseball games of the past 53 years: Don Larsen's perfect game in the 1956 World Series.
That 2-0 Yankee victory over the Dodgers hasn't been seen on television since Oct. 8, 1956, the day it was played. The MLB Network found the original film negative and restored it with new digital technology. Not only will you get the original play-by-play with Mel Allen and Vin Scully, but new commentary from Larsen and his catch Yogi Berra. And if you're watching on TiVo, replay that second-inning liner by Jackie Robinson over and over (as fans in 1956 could not; instant-replay technology wasn't unveiled in the United States for another seven years) and argue amongst yourselves whether Gil McDougald really threw him out.
Word of warning for modern baseball fans: Nobody gets busted for steroids during the course of this game, no owner threatens to move his team unless he gets a free stadium from taxpayers, and the only strikes are the ones Larsen throws -- there's not an agent or labor-union official in sight. It's just...well, baseball.