It’s that time again: Playoff Baseball! And as you may have gathered from the preceding article, cut me and I bleed Dodger Blue. My first memories of our National Pastime date from 1958, when the Dodgers moved to Los Angeles. We were living in Southern California at the time, so of course the Dodgers craze was starting in a big way.
For the past 50 years, I’ve been a die-hard Dodgers fan. Since 1961, my earnest hope for every baseball season is a Freeway World Series between the Dodgers and the Angels, my "second team." This year is a great opportunity for that to happen.
I remember hearing parts of the ’59 World Series against the White Sox (we won, 4 games to 2) on the school playground at recess. I can remember listening to the first regular-season Angels game on KMPC-710 radio. I recall Maury Wills’ historic chase for the single-season stolen base record in ’62, and the heartbreaking 1-game playoff to the Giants at the end of that year. But in ’63, we came back to sweep the Yankees.
In ’65, Koufax and Drysdale beat the Twins, 4-2, but the next year, we were humiliated by the Orioles. Nine years later, it was the Oakland A’s who put the hurt on the Dodgers, and in ’77 and ’78, Reggie "Mr. October" Jackson and the Yankees slapped us around. But we got our revenge with a 4-0 sweep in ’81. And who can forget Kirk Gibson’s heroic homerun against the A’s in ’88 as Orel "Bulldog" Hershiser led the club to a 4-1 World Series victory?
Since then, things have been more than a little grim for the Boys in Blue in the postseason, but right now, everything is even.
So what are your memories of our National Pastime? Favorite teams, players, plays, games? (In the first game I ever saw in person, the Giants behind Juan Marichal beat Claude Osteen, 6-1, thanks in part to a homerun by Willie Mays.) Share your memories with us!
And speaking of memories, see if this song brings some back: Terry Cashman’s "Talkin’ Baseball (Willie, Mickey and the Duke)."