Sunday, December 04, 2022

COLUMN: The fall classic

Valley Press | November 2, 2022 12:00 AM

Anyone else notice something missing lately?

The kind of missing that drives you nuts, which is a really short trip for an increasing number of us, but something just ain’t right.

And in this kind of goofy world, that’s saying something.

No, this has been nagging at me for several years now, like a piece of me is gone. And I don’t mean the clogged arteries that once surrounded by heart.

In my spare time, which is not as much as one might think given all the other things I have to ponder in my “retirement” days, this void surfaces from time to time, but seems to come up in the fall more often than not.

What is it I used to muse? It’s been like someone ripped a chunk of my childhood out of my psyche and is still laughing maniacally as they run down the street.

And then, about two or three years ago, thanks probably to my friend Adolph Coors, it came to me: someone has apparently stolen the, gasp, World Series.

The World Series, which by the way would have already been over for another year so as to avoid the horrifying thought of a baseball touching snow (warps the horsehide). World Series heroes would have been making the late night TV rounds, you know The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson and the Late Show with whomever that was.

All thoughts would have been turned to football, pro and college, with baseball enjoying a well-deserved rest until the Boys of Summer would return in Spring.

Maybe that was part of the problem, a time directional thing. Shouldn’t the Boys of Summer return in Summer? Did that start the downhill slide?

Is that why classrooms of children who had been well-behaved got to listen to the ball games over the transistor radio that crackled away from the teacher’s desk?

And for goodness sake, was that why transistor radios are nothing more than an eyebrow-cocking oddity to most of the people alive today?

Games were played in the afternoon, in the bright Fall sunshine. All was right with the world.

Micky Mantle, Roger Maris, Bob Gibson, Don Drysdale and Sandy Koufax. Real men who had to work part time in the off season in many cases to “make ends meet”.

Imagine discussing that concept with even back-up players these days?

Where did Saturday afternoon BBQs and watching THE game go?

These things and more went the way of the TVs around which we used to huddle so we didn’t miss a pitch.

Now days the weekday games are all played at night in stadiums with more lights than the Las Vegas strip. Talk is as much about the bets as the Mets.

I for one will always fondly remember the thrill of listening to the game broadcast in school. And I will admit part of that would be because I would never have thought kids in my class (yes, including me) could have ever strung enough good behavior days together to earn such an honor.

It had to be that the teacher in charge was a baseball fanatic, or at least a real fan of a team that made it to the Series.

My God, I’m getting old.

Someone stole the World Series and I didn’t even notice for several years. I suppose it’s been boxed and carted off to some wealthy guys storage room by now. And I’m guessing you not only couldn’t by a transistor radio anymore, but the means to broadcast on ancient airwaves most likely no longer exists.

I better go now. I have an overwhelming urge to put a baseball card in my bike spokes with a clothespin and pretend I am writing a motorcycle.

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