An exercise in baseball and narcissism
Today is my birthday! And with Game 1 of the World Series taking place tonight, I thought it might be fun to look back on some other memorable World Series games played on October 27.
Throughout my childhood, the World Series was usually over by the time my birthday rolled around. If there was a game, it was likely a Game 7 and/or the result of some kind of weather delay. But with the advent of the Division Series, this date now falls solidly in the middle of the postseason action.
If the playoffs expand any further, October 27 World Series games may become rare once again. But if that does happen, I must say I’ve been lucky to enjoy some classic birthday games throughout the years. Here’s my personal Top 5:
5. 2001 WORLD SERIES, GAME 1
Diamondbacks 9, Yankees 1
While this was an exciting and memorable series, Game 1 wasn’t anything special. The Yankees only managed 3 hits, while the Diamondbacks took a 5-1 lead in the third inning and never looked back. But I’ve included it here because it was just such a relief and a joy to be able to watch a World Series game again, after the horrific events of September 11. At the time, it still didn’t feel quite right to be enjoying something as insignificant as a sporting event, while the nation was still reeling from such devastating loss. But this series proved to be a much-needed diversion that brought joy to so many, and I’ll always recall it fondly for that.
4. 2004 WORLD SERIES, GAME 4
Red Sox 3, Cardinals 0
As a Mets fan, I always had a soft spot for the Red Sox and was rooting for them to break the curse someday. I remember being a little disappointed that this World Series was so anticlimactic after the incredible ALCS that preceded it. But nevertheless, the first Red Sox championship in 86 years was truly satisfying to see.
3. 2011 WORLD SERIES, GAME 6
Cardinals 10, Rangers 9
The greatest World Series Game 6 that didn’t involve the Boston Red Sox. I was rooting for the Rangers this year…well, to be more precise, I was rooting against the Cardinals. And when the Texans took a 7-4 lead in the 7th, I thought the Cardinals couldn’t possibly come back. But they did, and then again in the 10th as the Texans blew a 9-7 lead, and then won it on David Freese’s homer in the 11th. Arrgh! But an undeniably great game.
2. 1991 WORLD SERIES, GAME 7
Twins 1, Braves 0
This was the postseason that made me a baseball fan for life. At the time, I liked the Braves. They were a NL West team back then – no threat to the Mets – and my dad watched a lot of their games on TBS that year, so I had grown familiar with them. The intriguing story of the two “worst-to-first” teams also drew me in. I rooted for Sid Bream and David Justice and Terry Pendleton and despised that Kirby Puckett guy who kept getting hits. So as a result, I was incredibly disappointed that the Braves lost this game. It wasn’t until many years later that I was able appreciate just how incredible a game this was, despite the outcome.
1. 1986 WORLD SERIES, GAME 7
Mets 8, Red Sox 5
THE METS WON THE WORLD SERIES! ON MY BIRTHDAY! How could this game NOT take the #1 spot?!
Unfortunately I wasn’t old enough to stay up late enough to see this happen live. (Thanks a bunch for all the kid-friendly start times through the years, MLB!) But I remember the celebrations afterwards, the excitement all around the NY area, the “Let’s Go Mets” video, the Doc Gooden billboard on 42nd Street, and so many other fun things that made the season so memorable. It was the season that made me a Mets fan, and I can only hope I’ll be able to look back on tonight’s game, the 2nd Mets game to be played on my birthday, with as much fondness. LGM!