Here we are again, smack in the middle of the 2010 World Series. I love baseball. It's the quintessential American game. I like footballl and NCAA basketball, but give me the Boys of Summer every time. For human drama on a field of play, nothing else compares.
Now, I need to tell you up front that I'm a Yankee fan of long date, since about 1955. I'm from western Pennsylvania, so the Pirates are always my team of preference. I remember going to Forbes Field with my Great Aunt Ruth on hot summer afternoons. We would take the trolley from Shadyside and walk the last half-mile to the park and drink cokes while we watched the Pirates lose, because in those days, losing was their strong point. Aunt Ruth was a real Pirate fan - Rosie Rosewell and Bob Prince on the radio in her apartment for every game. I learned to love all the Pirates, but most of all Roberto Clemente who was, for me, the very essence of baseball.
And what Pirate fan can forget the 9-9 bottom of the ninth Mazeroski homer that won the 1960 World Series for Pittsburgh -- against the Yankes and against all odds. It was pure baseball magic and I still get goose bumps when I think about it..
But, except for that Series, I was and am a loyal Yankee supporter. When I was a kid, it was the Dodgers who got the support among my friends and I was the outsider. The Dodgers were the New York National League team and since the Pirates were in the National League, too, it was only loyal to support the Dodgers and Duke Snyder, who far more often than other NL teams made it to the Series, only to face the Yankees. That enduring Yankee class is built on hard work, talent and also money, I know, but it produces great baseball.
Well, most of the time. This year, the Yankees had bad pitching and not much better fielding and got beaten by the Giants, who now face the Texas Rangers for the Championship. Even the Yankees can't win all the time. The Series is 2-1 as I write and my guess is we're in for a 7-game affair. Reverting to form, I'm cheering for the Giants because they fly the National League colors. My sister, who loves NASCAR more than baseball, is rooting for the Rangers because they've never won, and because Nolan Ryan and a Pittsburgh attorney saved them from bankruptcy.
There you have it. The baseball World Series is history. It's Americana. It's the Boys of Summer at their best. May the best team win.