Watching a bit of the ballgame tonight. The Cards are facing elimination, but are leading the Phils 3 to 2 about mid-way through the game. Reminds me of watching the Game of the Week on one of the three big TV networks when I was young. It was the only time, other than the All Star Game and World Series, to see the National League players who were on baseball cards. One game sticks in my mind. It was a Saturday when I was about 12, I guess, and I was with my two Brady cousins who were a year younger and older than me. We were a trio in those days. My uncle had driven us to a “camp” on a pond in Westford that was owned by a friend of his. The weather was damp, so we were inside watching baseball.
The game could have been the Cubs and Giants or the Pirates and Dodgers. I think it was the Cubs because I can see the classic brick and ivy of Wrigley Field in my mind’s hard drive. Maybe the Cubs and Pirates—I vaguely recall Roberto Clemente and Ernie Banks were in this game. We rarely saw those guys in action. My recollection is that we were there a long time and saw most of the game. Nobody was in a rush to go. My uncle must have been talking with his friend. They may have been on the dock fishing. My cousins and I were heavy-duty baseball fans at the time. I don’t know why that afternoon of all afternoons has stayed with me. Maybe it was the unusual waterfront cottage or being a visitor in a new place—or simply the unhurried feeling of having all the time in the world when you are 12 years old. And there was something slightly exotic about watching a National League game in Red Sox country.
That afternoon came back to me tonight while watching the Cardinals and Phillies scrapping for a win. The Cardinals’ home uniforms with the two bright birds on the golden bat across their white shirt fronts are one of the most appealing designs in the majors. And the Phillies with that longstanding P on their caps are the latest in a line that gave us Johnny Callison, Fergie Jenkins, and Cookie Rojas.