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)."

 

 
  • krizzybear Oct 1, 2008, 17:45

    As a pastime, baseball holds no candle to hockey up here in Toronto, where the stinkin’ Leafs reign supreme. But either way, I still root for my Jays!

    I was still a child when the Blue Jays won the series twice in a row, but nonetheless I appreciated how special it was for my city to win it at all.

    My memories from that era include a school-wide rally for the Jays that was held shortly before the clinching game of their second title. The mascot at the time was there (BJ Birdie), and our rally was covered by the local news.

    I also went to the parade the second year. It was also the first time I rode on the GO train. I still remember seeing Joe Carter ride by with his hands in the air. He was the one who hit the winning homer; it was something magical.

    • Kestrel Oct 1, 2008, 20:56

      I watched Joe Carter hit that home run, and it gave me goosebumps. Joe was one of the sport’s all-time Good Guys, and it is great to see good things happen to good people like that.

  • Tuna Oct 1, 2008, 19:22

    Growing up in South Jersey, and currently living in Philadelphia, I have been a Phillies/Flyers/Sixers/Eagles fan all my life. As a Philadelphia fan, I’ve seen many Championship caliber seasons, and have seen them all end in heartbreak.

    No special memories I can recall right now… well, no positive memories, but hopefully that changes this year.

    I am actually watching the Dodgers game right now, and they are looking real good. Maybe we’ll see Dodgers-Phillies in the near future.

    Tuna´s last blog post: WotLK: Build 9014 – No Damage on Deep Freeze

    • Kestrel Oct 1, 2008, 21:08

      I recall the 1980 World Series–Phillies beat the Royals. I was rooting for KC; having lived near Kansas City a few years earlier. Good luck to your team in the playoffs…at least against Milwaukee. :)

  • Trollin Oct 1, 2008, 21:07

    Yeah, I lived in Tampa my whole life… We got the Devil Rays when I was in 5th grade. We’ve been pretty terrible up till this year. Coincidentally (?), this is the first year I’ve been away from Tampa for the entire baseball season. Say what you will.

    All I really remember from baseball is Wade Bogg’s 3000th hit. I remember the story that was spread around after that. Supposedly, his wife had told his son to run our on the field and take whatever base Bogg’s got to (i.e. take first if he hit a single). When he hit a home run, the kid didn’t know what to do since home plate isn’t a removable base. =P

    Trollin´s last blog post: A Winrar is RTZS

  • Kestrel Oct 1, 2008, 21:09

    By the way, I neglected to mention in the original article: You can make up to 3 selections in the poll. My thought was you could choose your league, your favorite AL team (of the contenders) and ditto for the NL.

    I went NL, Dodgers, Angels.

  • Andy Salisbury Oct 2, 2008, 02:55

    AL>NL!

    But hey, as a Mariners fan I haven’t had a good team to watch in a while. I’ll be rooting for the White Sox though, Ozzie Guillen is one spicy fella.

    Andy Salisbury´s last blog post: Hiatus, what a dirty word.

    • Kestrel Oct 2, 2008, 22:28

      Andy, I was very happy to attend the second home game of Ichiro’s second season in Seattle: He made an unbelievable throw from deep right field to nail a base runner at third. Awesome player!

  • Arrens Oct 2, 2008, 09:47

    Being born and raised in Cleveland, I’m a die-hard Tribe fan. I remember going to the old Municipal Stadium. It held something like 90,000 people and back in the 80’s the team stunk. So going to a game that had maybe 5,000 in attendance, it was like being in a tomb. But I cheered my ass off for players like Bret Butler, Pat Tabler, Cory Snyder and George Vukovich. The mid-90’s were our heyday but we never could close the deal in 1995 and 1997 in the World Series. As a result, I’d still like to blow up the Braves and Marlins. Stupid National League. *kicks dirt and stomps away*

    Arrens´s last blog post: Where Was I When…

  • Cordless Phones Cheap Oct 2, 2008, 16:19

    It would be cool if LA and Anaheim go all the way, but things may get a little crazy in Los Angeles if they are both there!

  • Kestrel Oct 2, 2008, 22:23

    Trollin » LOL…my oldest son lived in the Tampa area for the past few years…until December of last year, when they moved to the St. Louis area. Season before last, I went to a Rays game–interleague against the Dodgers. Rays won. :p

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