Yesterday was pretty fun. As it turned out, it was my birthday, and one of the great things about league expansion and extended playoffs and wild card games is there is almost always a World Series game for me to watch.
As it was, Diane and I came up to the mountains for one more stay before winter really takes hold of the Lake Tahoe area, and for the day we drove near Reno, to Sparks, to spend the afternoon with our friends Reid and Elaina. Mind you, Reid is a sports junkie. He had golf on when we got to their house, and over the weekend there is always golf or baseball, NFL or college football on, so once the Cubs/Tribe pre-game came on, that is where the TV went.
Unfortunately, by then it was getting dark, and the day was rainy, so we decided we should beat it back across the border to Soda Springs, which was ok with me, as I do indeed like listening to baseball on the radio. So, on the 50 mile drive back to Soda Springs, that is what we got.
I do indeed enjoy baseball on the radio, especially in the car, and this fun, throwback Series between a couple of old franchises pulls me back to when I first loved the game. This was when there were two leagues with eight teams each, and winner took all, and well, the Cubs had trouble beating the rest, while the Indians could sometimes do it.
But, when I think of those teams, these are the names that come up: Jimmy Dykes. Sonny Siebert. Rocky Colavito. Don Kessinger. Glenn Beckert. Ken Hubbs. Billy Williams. Jimmy Piersall. Ron Santo. Ernie Banks. Glen Hobbie. Max Alvis Woodie Held. Tito Francona.
I guess you get the idea.
Needless to say, I am as happy as the media--hell as we all seem to be--that both these fine old teams, who have struggled for the ultimate seasonal success, are actually duking it out with one another, meaning at least one of our big cities will finally have an end to their pennant chasing drought.
But, the whole thing, through three really fine games thus far, is indeed a sort of national tonic for us at a time when contentiousness could not be more plentiful.
Not that I want to be politicial. Nor, with the presence of teams who at least for now remind us of the "good old days" which in many ways, for many of us, were really not all that good.
But, it is great to see that Terry Francona, who won in Boston for Theo Epstein and ended their drought, now gets to try to outsmart his former boss on the field while the great tactician Joe Maddon gets to carve Theo's name for eternity by ending said droughts, first in Boston and the Curse of the Bambino, and now, maybe the Curse of the Billy Goat can similarly be exorcised. And, if that happens, who knows, maybe Cleveland will be Theo's next stop.
But, back to this Series, it is great, and we did indeed listen into the fifth, missing only the removal of Kyle Hendricks in between getting home, and getting into the house where my brother Eric had figured out how to stream on our TV (we have no cable in the mountains, as the object is to get away from it, though we do have movies).
And, while it surely is fun to watch live, again, the radio, like the old teams, reminds me of Russ Hodges and Lon Simmons and ads for Chevron while calling the Giants games, in contrast with Vin Scully and Jerry Doggett talking up Union 76, reporting Dodger Blue.
I guess this all makes me feel and sound nostalgic, but as noted, I really am not. But, I do know what is in my comfort zone.
Mashed Potatoes. Pho. Pasta with Bolognese. Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Lying in the sun with a book. Playing acoustic guitar by myself, right here on the porch of the Soda Springs house in that very same sun.
And listening to baseball.
About six months ago, my niece Lindsay, with whom I share music, completed her exhortations in getting me to subscribe to Spotify.
"We can share playlists," she said.
"We can do that anyway," said I.
"No commercials," said she.
"I listen to the Truckee independent radio station, and they have all local commercials, and I like them. They are funky," said I.
"You can listen to baseball without commercials," she said.
"But, I like listening to baseball on the radio. I grew up listening to baseball on the radio," said I. "I love listening to baseball on the radio."
That was the end of the conversation, and in the end, Lindsay won. I got us a Spotify subscription, and the reality is I like it a lot.
But, I still listen to baseball on the radio the old way. Finding the announcers on AM by hitting the seek button till paydirt arrives.
And, well, I can tell you: For some reason, this Series seems extra special on that radio, scratchy reception through the mountains and all.
Don't forget you can find me @lawrmichaels.