Newspaper article The Tuscaloosa News

AT LARGE: World Series Has Right Magic to Make Great Memories

Newspaper article The Tuscaloosa News

AT LARGE: World Series Has Right Magic to Make Great Memories

Article excerpt

Bucs win! Bucs win! Bucs win!" the coach hollered as he ran into the Pittman Junior High School lunchroom late that October school day in 1960.

He meant, of course, that the Pittsburgh Pirates -- the Buccaneers, or Bucs, in the parlance -- had prevailed over the New York Yankees in what remains perhaps the most dramatic World Series seventh game in history.

Bill Mazeroski had just hit a walk-off home run in the bottom of the ninth inning to give the Pirates a 10-9 victory and an improbable win in a series in which Pittsburgh had been outscored 55- 27 over the course of the seven-game series by a Yankees squad led by Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris.

The coach had been listening to the game with a bunch of the cool kids down in the gym's locker room while I, as an awkward seventh- grader and definitely not one of the cool cohort, was stuck in the last-period study hall housed in the lunchroom of the woefully overcrowded school.

As the 2014 World Series between the San Francisco Giants and the Kansas City Royals began last week, that coach's exuberant cry some 54 years ago remains my first coherent memory of the Fall Classic.

Back in those days and until relatively recently, most of the games were played in the daytime, and, therefore, during school hours. Over the years, I reached an unspoken agreement with my parents that I would be allowed to take at least one sick day during the series so I could catch a game or two on television.

My next vivid memory of a series game is from 1968 and is of the magnificent 17 strikeouts Bob Gibson pitched for the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 1 of a series the Cards would ultimately lose in seven to the Detroit Tigers. I well remember the lanky Gibson's looming, menacing visage as he scowled in for the signs as he mowed down the over-matched Tigers that day.

And who can forget the 1986 World Series between the New York Mets and Boston Red Sox? I know Bill Buckner can't.

It was Buckner's 10th-inning error, in which Mookie Wilson's soft grounder rolled through Buckner's legs at first base, that paved the way for the Mets' win in that game on the way to their come-from- behind victory in the seventh and deciding game. …

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