Thursday, November 2, 2006
St. Louis pulls off shocker
This time Casey did his job.
If some of you don’t get the drift, let me give you a little background.
Readers of this column over the years probably remember from time to time I mention the poem, “Casey At The Bat.” In this instance, the pathos are so similar that it is almost spooky.
In Earnest L. Thayer’s poem (which was based on a true incident), a famous batter, O. Robinson Casey, was waiting his turn at bat in a crucial game. And get this, his team was the Detroit National League.
To make a long story short, the score was 2-4 (just like game five in The World Series), when Casey reached the plate with two runners on. Anyway, he hit only air.
Detroit Tigers’ batter, Sean Casey, stepped to the plate in the fourth inning and hit a two-run homer that gave Detroit the lead 2-1. That was a crucial game for the Tigers because they were facing elimination, being down three games to one in the best of seven.
And our modern day Casey, unlike his counterpart of 1885, would come back and get on base again in the ninth. But at that juncture it followed the path of the poem.
The St. Louis Cardinals went on to win their World Series after almost a quarter of a century. A World Series, which a certain sportswriter (who shall remain anonymous), didn’t give them a snowball’s chance of winning.
Actually, that no name sportswriter wasn’t exactly alone. Half of the baseball world didn’t give the Cardinals a ghost of a chance. It was aptly based on their on-again, off-again play during the regular season.
No former Series champion had ever won out with a regular season record of 83 wins. However, the Cards’ manager already had one World Series title under his belt. Now, Tony LaRussa joins Sparky Anderson as the only manager to win titles in both leagues. Ironically, Anderson won his second title with the Tigers, the last time they won a Series.
Thanks for all the good-natured ribbing handed to me during the Series. They have a saying in the baseball world, “Wait ’til next year!”
And by the way, all of you sports fans, don’t forget to vote next Tuesday, Nov. 7.
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