Friday, October 22, 2004

37 Years Later

The last time the Boston Red Sox played the St. Louis Cardinals in the World Series was in 1967. I was in the first weeks of my dark journey into my freshman year at St. George’s School in Newport, Rhode Island. Naturally everyone there was a Red Sox fan, but since my mother was from St. Louis and our family had lived there for a few years, I was secretly for the Cardinals, even though I was normally an American League fan.

The Cardinals were a powerful team. I don’t remember the names of many of the players except the great pitcher Bob Gibson, and the series went to the full seven games with the Cardinals winning. (Gibson would be a star in the 1968 World Series when the Cards faced the Detroit Tigers, but he was up against 31-game-winner Denny McClain, and the Tigers won in seven.) The morning after I felt better than I had in weeks; something had, for once, gone right for me: my team had won. I was the only kid at the school that rooted for the Cardinals, but I didn’t care.

This time around, I didn’t even know that the Cardinals were in contention. Thanks to my friend Judy and the cratering of the Tigers, I’m a Sox fan. And besides, who doesn’t like the underdog? I certainly remember what it’s like to be one.