One of my favorite discoveries in iTunes has been the old classic baseball games that they sell in their store for just a couple bucks.  It used to be that I couldn’t understand why anyone would want to watch video on a tiny little iPod, but since I discovered these baseball games, I now understand completely.  It’s great to settle in bed at night and watch a couple innings before going to sleep!

Recently I watched Game 7 of the 1952 World Series between the New York Yankees and the Brooklyn Dodgers, which the Yanks won.  It seemed like two out of every three players was a Hall of Famer: Mickey Mantle, Yogi Berra, Johnny Mize, Phil Rizzuto, Jackie Robinson, Pee Wee Reese, Duke Snider, Roy Campanella… maybe others.  What great teams!

Then I watched Game 1 of the 1988 World Series, which had one of the greatest moments in sports history when injured MVP Kirk Gibson limped off the bench to pinch hit the game-winning homer in the bottom of the ninth–his only appearance in the Series, in which the underdog L.A. Dodgers beat the stacked Oakland A’s.

Last week I watched the famous Game 6 of the 1986 World Series between the Boston Red Sox and the New York Mets.  That one was painful to watch because I was a big Bosox fan that year and at the same time was very anti-Mets.  Game 6 was a real heartbreaker.  One thing that really struck me is that Bill Buckner has been the scapegoat for that game (and the Series) for almost 22 years now, but he shouldn’t have been.  It was a weird game with lots of blown chances and, if I counted right, five official errors between the two teams.  There were also hits that could’ve been ruled errors.  But why was Buckner the goat and not the others who blew it–most notably Red Sox relief pitchers Calvin Schiraldi and Bob Stanley, who blew a two-run, two-out lead in the bottom of the tenth inning?  Before Buckner booted Mookie Wilson’s infamous grounder, Stanley threw a wild pitch to Wilson that allowed the tying run to score.  Sure, the winning run scored on Buckner’s error and the Mets went on to win the Series, but Wilson shouldn’t even have had the chance to bat.  And not to make excuses, but Buckner did get drilled with a pitch in the top half of that inning, so he had to be hurting.  I think it’s an injustice that Buckner has been slapped with the blame for more than two decades.

Next up: the 1978 one-game playoff between the Yankees and the Red Sox….

Published in: on May 8, 2008 at 5:22 am  Leave a Comment  

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