The First World Series: Play Ball!

The First World Series: Play Ball!

While I was in Indiana a few weeks ago on business, the 2012 World Series started. I don’t typically follow baseball, but I know enough attention to be dangerous. This year the Detroit Tigers took on the San Francisco Giants. Because I wanted to learn more, I ran through the starting lineup for both teams. I didn’t recognize most of the names. The game has definitely changed over the last few years, and is no longer America’s favorite pastime… it’s an international melting pot of cultures.

Names on the Detroit Tigers include Austin Jackson, Miguel Cabrera, Delmon Young, and Alex Avila. Guys on the Giants included Brett Pill, Hunter Pence, Buster Posey, and Joaquin Arias. Unless you follow baseball, you probably don’t recognize many of those names, either. I watched a little bit of the first game, and noticed something during a late inning of the ball game. The game wasn’t sold out. There were plenty of empty seats. I asked my buddy if he was planning on watching, and he didn’t even know the World Series was going on.

On my flight back from the Circle City, I grabbed a copy of Southwest Airlines Spirit Magazine. They have a section near the front that mentions random facts. Did you know it takes 263 licks to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop? We’ve all seen the commercials… and I am sure some of you have counted, but the Spirit staff took matters into their own hands and did an experiment to find that number. Anyway, moving on. On the next page I read an article about the first World Series. Here is what the article said:

The first “modern” World Series game took place in 1903. While October 1, 1903 is certainly history – that day at Huntington Avenue Grounds in Beantown, the Boston Americans (predecessors to the Red Sox) took on the Pittsburgh Nationals (more often called the Pirates) in game 1 of the ’03 series – similar world championships had been played annually between 1884 and 1890. John Thorn, Major League Baseball’s official history, explains: “1903 was the first series between the two leagues that exist today: the National League and the American League. At that time, it was simply an agreement between two pennant-winning teams, not a binding arrangement, which came in 1905.” Pittsburgh pulled off a 7-to-3 win over Boston  in the best-on-nine series five games to three. Thorn credits Boston-‘s pitching. “They’ve had Cy Young,” he says, “but he wasn’t the hero. It was Bill Binneen, who won three games” As they say, the rest is history.”

There were 16,242 people at that game. I don’t know how much tickets were, but for a sport that is still selling tickets today, that says a lot about the game of baseball. I played baseball growing up, and I miss it. But golf is my passion now. I might never play baseball again, unless I play in a softball league when I get older. But I will forever have the memories of my time spent on the mound and in the dugout.

Anyone out there play baseball? Do you watch baseball on TV? Who is your favorite team?

(I will say that since moving to Arizona, I have been to a couple of Arizona Diamondbacks games. I love the stadium, and you can’t beat the atmosphere.)