Buckle your seat belts because this years world series will be a thing of beauty with two supermotivated wild card teams battling for the gold ring.This series could be decided on the base paths where the Royals are the fastest in baseball along with their stellar late inning bull pen but this could possibly be counter balanced by the moves of wily future Hall of fame manager Bruce Bochy and an experienced Giants team who have been here before ~ winning in both 2010 and 2012. Two evenly matched teams but the difference maker could well be Royal’s budding super star Lorenzo Cain: Allen L Roland, Ph.D
“It’s great to see small-market teams get in there and play the big boys, and see what they can do.” former KC manager Jack McKeon
The Giants have the sixth-highest payroll ($148 million) in baseball, and play in the fourth-largest media market, compared to the Royals, which was No. 18 in payroll ($91 million) and competes in the No. 34 market. San Francisco appears to play with the same winning swagger after years of success under their wily manager Bruce Bochy ~ while Kansas City seems to have relished the underdog role under Ned Yost, who is unproven regarding World Series pressure. See article ~ http://www.ibtimes.com/world-series-2014-kansas-city-royals-vs-san-francisco-giants-matchup-good-baseball-1707189
Let me set the stage for those of you who may not have been around 63 years ago.
I will never forget that afternoon of October 3,1951 ~ it’s emblazoned into my soul for the sheer emotion and excitement lifted me to unparalled bliss, if not ecstacy. Yes, it was the day I became a Giant fan forever. It was a crisp typical late fall afternoon in Western Massachusetts ~ I had just finished football practice and was sitting on the stairs of the Mount Hermon Prep School Fieldhouse listening to the radio play by play of the last game of the New York Giants and Brooklyn Dodgers National League playoff.
The Giants had won 37 of their last 44 games to force this three game playoff with the powerful Brooklyn Dodgers. The Giants had won the first game at home 4 to1 but had lost the second 10 to 0 in Brooklyn and were now trailing 4 to1 going into the last of the ninth of the final and decisive game at the Polo Grounds ~ with the fearsome Don Newcombe on the mound for the Dodgers.
Things looked very grim indeed for the Giants ~ but Newcombe was showing the effects of overuse from the season’s final days. Pitching on only two days’ rest and tiring badly, he attempted to take himself out of the game, only to have Jacky Robinson talk him into trying to finish the ninth inning. Giants shortstop Alvin Dark singled to start the ninth inning rally. Then Don Mueller singled to right, which sent Dark from first to third base. Monte Irvin followed, with a chance to drive in a run, but he chased the first pitch and popped out. Whitey Lockman followed with a double down the left-field line, scoring Dark and advancing Mueller to third. Mueller slid awkwardly into the bag and broke his ankle, forcing the Giants to send in Clint Hartung to pinch-run for him.
Charlie Dressen, the Brooklyn manager, finally pulled the obviously drained Newcombe and sent Ralph Branca into the game. (That move has bewildered baseball historians to this day ) Branca had pitched and lost Game 1 of the series and had given up several home runs that year to Thomson, who had hit 31 during the season. However, in Dressen’s defense, he had no well-rested pitchers available; in the last regular-season game alone the Dodgers had sent seven men to the mound . Besides that , Willie Mays was on deck behind Thomson ~ so he couldn’t pitch around Thomson. During the pitching change, Giant manager Leo Durocher reportedly implored Thomson ~ ” If you ever hit one, hit one now ! ”
So the stage was set and I was frantic in anticipation ~ Branca’s first pitch was a fastball down the middle for a strike. His second pitch was a fastball up and in to Thomson, intended as a setup for his planned next pitch, a breaking ball down and away ~ which never happened. For Thomson pounced on that fast ball and drove it down the left-field line, a rising shot toward the invitingly close outfield fence, and into the third row of a frenzied mass of Giants fans who went stark raving mad ~ including myself as I screamed with broadcaster Russ Hodges ~ The Giants win the Pennant, The Giants win the pennant …
So here is that moment frozen in time on youtube ~ this treasured memory was indelibly implanted in my young mind for it was etched in total joy and delight ~ forever associated with the late Bobby Thomson who died in 2010 at 86 years old. Two minute video
My prediction: Kansas City is much faster on the base paths than SF and it’s bull pen is rock solid in the late innings ~ but the Giant’s 10th man is their indomitable manager and master strategist Bruce Bochy and he will not be denied his Hall of Fame worthy third World Series victory in five years. See article ~
“Baseball is like church. Many attend, few understand” ~ Leo Durocher
About the Author: Allen L Roland is a Freelance Alternative Press Online columnist. He is also a practicing psychotherapist, author and lecturer who also shares a daily political and social commentary on his web site at AllenRoland.com. He also guest hosts a Truthtalk, a national radio show that airs monthly. He is available for comments, interviews, speaking engagements and private consultations via email at [email protected].