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Sunday, June 09, 2002

Forty Years To Yankee Stadium

The San Francisco Giants are in Yankee Stadium this weekend. It's taken forty years to make the trip. The last time they were there was the memorable World Series of 1962.

It's a nostalgic turn for me. 1962--forty years ago this month I picked up my degree, bid a fond farewell to my beloved Indiana U, packed up my '55 two-tone green-and-cream Chevy Bel Air, and headed west to the city by the Bay.

It was a magical season for the Giants. Come October, they were fighting it out tooth-and-nail with the fearsome Yankees. What a Series it was! A plethora of future Hall-of -Famers--Mays, Mantle, McCovey, Cepeda, Marichal, Ford, Maris, Berra. Every game a close battle.

The city was having one of its wettest Octobers on record. Play was suspended for three or four days in a row as the skies emptied. The Yanks were forced to cool their heels in their hotel.

But Mantle and Ford, notorious carousers, with time on their hands in a fun-loving, hard-drinking town were in their element. No hanging around the hotel for them. The newspapers had a field day reporting their bar-room exploits.

We thought we'd win the Series because these two super-stars would be too messed up from boozing and whoring. Well, they don't call'em super-stars for nothing. Their bodies and hearts are a size or two stronger than mere mortals, and their play didn't suffer a bit. When the skies finally dried up, the Yanks went on to beat us by a fingernail on the last play of the last inning of the seventh game.

The current meeting going on in NY is worthy of the tradition. Close, exciting, superbly played games with capacity crowds on hand. Let's hope when October rolls around, we'll see a rematch of 1962.


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