Meridian Star

Columns

October 14, 2012

The Fall Classic

Stonewall — The battles for the American and National League Championships started this weekend. We'll see either the Tigers or Yankees face the Cardinals or Giants in this year's World Series.

    I'm a Cardinals fan. So, I've enjoyed hearing the same whining this year that I heard last year — even as they became world champions — about how they shouldn't have advanced to where they are.

    I want to see a Cardinals-Yankees World Series.

    The Yankees have been in the World Series more than any other team — 40 times — with a record of 27-13. The team that's been in the World Series the second most is the Cardinals — 18 times — with a record of 11-7.

    Both these teams have a gazillion fans, and maybe as many who love to hate them. They've been matched up in the World Series five times, but the last time was 1964, and I missed it. I'm sure it was on radio and television wherever I was, but I wasn't quite a year old when the Cards took it all in game seven that year.

    Whoever we find in the this year's World Series I'll watch. This year will be the 108th "Fall Classic," and that's something to be admired.

    Even though the first World Series, played in 1903, was a huge success with fans, there wasn't one in 1904 because the returning championship team, the Boston Americans, were "brushed off" by the National League Champion New York Giants that year.

    John T. Brush, president of the Giants, refused to compete with what he claimed was an inferior American League. According to www.baseball-almanac.com, he quickly decided he'd made a mistake, and the Brush Rules, guidelines for on-field play and off-field finances for the World Series, which are still used today, were established.

    The World Series has endured in spite of scandals, epidemics, wars, and economic depression. Even the tragic earthquake that hit at the beginning of Game 3 in 1989, when San Francisco was pitted against Oakland, didn't do away with that year's World Series. It couldn't survive the player's strike of 1994, however.

    Major League Baseball enjoyed its fifth highest single-season attendance in history this year, 74,859,268 fans flocked to ballparks during regular season play. While that's the highest attendance since 2008, when the economy tanked again, it's important to remember it took many years for attendance to get back to where it was before that strike that cancelled the '94 World Series.

    Baseball fans go to baseball games in good times and bad. They don't easily forget either, and they don't let baseball forget that it exists because of them.

It's not the other way around.

    Steve Gillespie is managing editor of The Meridian Star.

E-mail him at sgillespie@

themeridianstar.com.

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