Results tagged ‘ World Series ’
Marriage is said to wed something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue. The saw describes the current World Series.
Old: history, starting in 1903. New: MIA New York Yankees, absent for the fourth time since 1995. Borrowed: from the 2004 champion Boston Red Sox, the hope that pigs can fly, MTV become PBS, and cows jump over the moon. Blue: Knowledge that 2005 can become miracle and metaphysical for only one Series team: the Houston Astros, or Chicago White Sox.
In 1945, writer Warren Brown eyed the wartime Cub-Tigers Classic: "They’re so bad neither team can win." The pity is that the Astros and White Sox both can’t. Exhausted but inexhaustible, they are twin veins from a common mine.
Born in 1962, the Colt .45s-turned-Astros — beloved Lastros to a Houstonian — had never made a Series. The White Sox — Pale Hose of quaint childhood usage — last graced 1959′s. A more poignant Classic happened forty years before.
"Say it ain’t so, Joe," a child told Joe Jackson, one of eight Black Sox said to throw the 1919 Series. As Hamlet said, "When sorrows come they come not [as] single spies, but in battalions." Since then the stars have misaligned; tide, run out; Almighty, backed the Yanks.
Take the Astros: said Voice Gene Elston, "forged so we could suffer." They did even in 1962, training at Apache Junction, Arizona, near Superstition Mountain, where Indian spirits and a Dutchman’s ghost were said to guard lost gold. Geronimo’s warriors warred there. "The way we played, he warred on us."
Early ‘Stros had a Reverse Midas Touch. In an exhibition game Al Heist stepped in a hole, breaking an ankle. Jim Pendleton rounded third base:" "My cup fell out, rolled down a pant leg, and was around my knee by the time I hit home." First baseman Rusty Staub told a pitcher, "I’m charging the plate. Whatever you do, throw home." Hal Woodeshick nodded, then almost hit him in the ear.
**** Farrell shamed Peck’s Bad Boy. "He’d put snakes in lockers, give the hot-foot," said Elston. One drive off his head caromed to Jimmy Wynn for an out. Blue acrylic on the Astrodome roof killed grass. The ‘Astros lost the 1980-86-97-98-99-2004 post-season. Said Elston: "If we didn’t have bad luck, we wouldyn’t have any luck at all." The Pale Hose empathized, having long ago turned albino.
The White Sox’ last world title was in 1917, a year before the Yankee Division entered France. They then became the prosopopeia of Wait Till Next Year — except that next year never came. Chicago became a Cubs town. The 1921-35 Hose failed the first division. "Fans expected little notice," said player Hal Totten, "and didn’t get it."
For 40 years the South Siders went pennantless. Then, in 1959, Early Wynn went 22-10. Nellie Fox hit an MVP .306. Luis Aparicio presaged Guillen, Garciaparra, and Cabrera — the first great Latin shortstop. The Go-Go White Sox became a grand team worth living by. "We beat you, 2 to 1," said manager Al Lopez. "No Murderers Row": like now, pitching, defense, and speed.
Chicago clinched September 22 over Cleveland. Mayor Richard Daley ordered city air raid sirens to blast on the final out. Their wail presaged the White Sox’, who began a slow list leeward. Finally righted, the Hose match Houston’s diaspora of the devoted and the crazed.
Lindsey Nelson said of New York’s 1962 Amazin’ Mets: "They played for fun. They weren’t capable of playing for anything else." By contrast, each team will play this week to become the Peepul’s Choice: like the ’04 Red Sox, crushing ghouls and ghosts and deflations of the past.
"Holy Toledo!" says Astros and ex-Hose Voice Milo Hamilton. "Hot ziggety dog and good ol’ sassafras tea!" roared Houston’s Loel Passe. "Holy Mackerel!" former Soxer Vince Lloyd chimed. Harry Caray "Holy Cow!"ed a South Side generation. The Sox’ Ken Harrelson beams "Yes! You can put it on the board!" The Series usually does.
Anyone can have a bad century, Jack Brickhouse excused the sans Series title since 1908 Cubs. Only in America. For the Hose or ‘Stros — mocked, maligned, and yearning to breathe free — a good century is about to dawn.