The Nostalgia of the Fall Classic

 
Jackie Robinson
Jackie Robinson

It’s time for the World Series, as Game 1 airs Tuesday, Oct. 24 on Fox. If you are a true baseball fan, the Fall Classic stirs up nostalgic memories of past series. Young or old, you remember something about a particular series that just the thought of brings a smile to your face, and a highlight reel transports you back in time. That’s what sports does to you.

For many of us, baseball is a traditional pastime passed down from generation to generation. If your grandparents were around in the early 1950s, they can tell you all about the New York Yankees dynasty of the era, or perhaps even Jackie Robinson and the ’55 Brooklyn Dodgers. The 1960s started off with Pittsburgh Pirate Bill Mazeroski’s Series-winning home run over the Yankees, who would come right back the next two years with guys such as Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris. Later in the decade, it was Frank Robinson’s Baltimore Orioles in ’66, and Bob Gibson’s St. Louis Cardinals a year later. You also can’t talk about the 1960s without the Amazin’ New York Mets of 1969.

The 1970s was a decade of dynasties. First it was the Oakland A’s, who won three in a row from 1972-74. They were followed up by the Big Red Machine, the Cincinnati Reds, who won the Series in 1975 and 1976. Then it was the New York Yankees in 1977 and ’78.  Onto the ’​80s, where Cal Ripken Jr. won a Series with Baltimore in 1983. A year later, the Detroit Tigers mowed down everything in their path, including the San Diego Padres, on their way to glory. The Mets/Red Sox affair in 1986 had an unforgettable Mets comeback in Game 6. As the ’80s morphed into the ’90s, Oakland was once again a powerhouse. They were stifled, however, in 1988 by the Los Angeles Dodgers and Kirk Gibson’s walk-off homer in Game 1. After winning the Earthquake Series over Bay Area rivals the San Francisco Giants in 1989, the A’s came up short again a year later, when Eric Davis of the Reds homered in the first inning of Game 1 to begin a four-game sweep.

The 1990s had Kirby Puckett and the Minnesota Twins as well as Joe Carter’s Toronto Blue Jays. There was no Series thanks to the ’94 players strike. Of course, the dynasty that was the Yankees took us out of the ’90s and into baseball’s modern era. If the 2000s stand for anything besides steroids, it is the broken curses celebrated by the Boston Red Sox and Chicago Cubs, who are now champions.

Yes, the Fall Classic is here and it’s anybody’s game and any player’s moment.

Dan Ladd

Dan Ladd

Dan Ladd is a freelance sports writer who works out of Gracenote’s Queensbury, NY office.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This