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. . . the more things stay the same

October 12, 2012

Fifty years ago almost to the day, I sat with my mother in our living room and agonized

as my beloved San Francisco Giants scored four runs in the top of the ninth to beat the

Dodgers 6 – 4 to advance to the World Series.


The two teams had finished the regular season with identical records, requiring a best-of-

three playoff to see who would play the Yankees.  I remember sliding off our couch to my

knees in jubilation when Giant reliever Billy Pierce retired pesky Maury Wills, one of the

best leadoff hitters to ever play.  Wills had been bedeviling San Francisco all series.


Pierce got the next two batters and I was ecstatic.  The Giants — with greats like Mays,

Marichal, McCovey and Cepeda — would go on to lose to the Yanks in seven, but that

didn’t matter that joyous day.


Yesterday I sat on my couch alone and agonized as the Giants beat the Cincinnati Reds

6 – 4 to win the best-of-five National League Divisional Series.  I exulted when rising

superstar Buster Posey smacked a grand slam to make it 6 – 0, then fretted as the Reds

mounted rally after rally to make it a gut-wrenching game.


When Giant reliever Sergio Romo got the first out of the ninth by retiring pesky Brandon

Phillips, I jumped up rather than kneeling in gratitude.  The Reds squeaked in one more

run before Romo finished them off.  I was emotionally drained.


Half a century ago, I went to school the day after the final game with a sign that read

“GIANTS WIN!  DODGERS LOSE!” to antagonize my friend Gordon, who was an avid Dodger

fan.  Right after the game yesterday, Gordon — who’s not one to hold a grudge — called to

congratulate me.


He lives in the D.C. area now, and is a Washington Nationals fan.  The Nats play the St.

Louis Cardinals today.  The winner will play the Giants in the next round of the playoffs.


I might get another chance to antagonize him.

  1. Gordon permalink
    October 12, 2012 8:17 am

    And, ahhh, there is joy in Mudville this morning, for the mighty Casey (Werth in this rendition) after going to three and two in the bottom of 9th with the score tied 1 to 1, and after fouling off seven or eight pitches, whacked the last one out of the park. I’ll welcome another opportunity to be antagonized if the Nats can just get past the Cardinals one more time tonight. Looking forward with fear and trembling.

    • October 13, 2012 10:28 am

      Sorry, Gordie. You’ll get ’em next year.

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