Finally, baseball that matters happening in our postal code.
The first World Series that I actually remember – and yes, I’m dating myself mercilessly – was the 1968 series between Detroit and St. Louis (which was ranked by The Sporting News as the 6th greatest fall classic ever).
Denny McLain and Bob Gibson. Al Kaline and Lou Brock. Willie Horton and Orlando Cepeda. Interesting to note, given the debate in Toronto these days about pitchers and rest, that series MVP Mickey Lolich started game 7 (and won) on two days’ rest, just as McLain had done in Game 6. Both went on to have productive lives in spite of the short turnarounds.
The first World Series that really burned into my brain was the 1975 matchup between Cincinnati and Boston – ranked #3 overall by The Sporting News. As a kid I had become a fan of the Reds a couple years earlier when they lost in the Series to the A’s. Maybe it was the whole “Big Red Machine” thing. I don’t know. I just know it was the first time I saw drama on a baseball field and I was hooked. I can still recite the Reds lineup. Perez. Morgan. Conception. Rose. Bench. Foster. Geronimo. Griffey (the other guy’s dad.) It’s a wonder they ever lost a game.
We lived in Ottawa when Toronto won in 1992. We were in Edmonton when they won again in 1993 – and that win is sentimental because Pad was born a month before that victory and I (we) watched a lot of baseball that fall with him in my (her) arms screaming (him, not me (or us). But maybe both (or all), now that I think about it.) Continue reading