One of the drawbacks of growing older is the increasing tendency for memories to blend together so they are no longer distinguishable. A memory of a moment in 1984 is sharp, clear and as vivid as yesterday. But the entire year of 1999 is one muddled mess. It takes real concentration to figure out what I was doing that year.
The same goes for my memories of different World Series. With many, you could name a World Series and I could tell you where I was. I could tell you the other people in the room and even some of the emotions I was feeling at the time. A few examples:
1979: In the basement rec room of my parents' house rooting for the Pirates with my brother, while my other brother desperately rooted for his favorite team, the Orioles.
1984: Sneaking off to the "Home Entertainment" section of the department store where I worked to join some of my co-workers in taking quick glances at the Tigers' beatdown of the Padres while we pretended to dust merchandise.
1986: Sitting in an exhausted heap in my uncle's living room while trying to absorb the incomprehensible, that the Mets had somehow beaten the Red Sox in Game 6.
1988: Leaping and embracing my girlfriend after just arriving home and watching Kirk Gibson hit his epic pinch-hit home run.
And then there is 1989, which is featured on the 1990 Score night card here. I was working in my first year as a young sportswriter in Niagara Falls. The sports department had a small black-and-white television propped up on a file cabinet for emergency situations like the NCAA basketball tournament and the World Series.
I remember standing transfixed as we tried to understand that an earthquake had hit the San Francisco area just prior to Game 3 of the World Series. I was new to this breaking news business, but the veterans on the sports staff -- there were two pleasant, helpful men in their 50s working in the department at the time -- also sat there at their desks with their mouths open over what they were seeing.
That World Series didn't mean much to me before the earthquake. I hated the Giants and the A's were World Series rivals of the Dodgers. But after the earthquake it meant even less. I hardly paid attention after it resumed.
That World Series was a turning point for me. After that, I became immersed in adult life. I got married, dedicated myself to a career, and I had less time for the World Series. And, with the exception of 1993, almost all of the teams that made the World Series in the '90s were on my sh%t list, so it was hard for me to care as much as I once did.
Fortunately, the last decade has been a bit more enjoyable. I'm into baseball much more and the teams making the fall classic are more my speed. That doesn't mean I can remember a lot about each World Series. 2003? I remember snippets here and there. 2000? I remember Clemens going psycho. But remembering how each at-bat went down in the seventh inning? Sorry. That's reserved for the 1981 World Series.
That was when I walked into my high school the day after the Dodgers clinched the series over the Yankees, and yelled, "Dodgers Number 1!" while the vast multitude of Yankees fans stopped and stared at me.
What I actually wanted to say was, "the Yankees can suck it!" But that's not a bright thing to say when you're 15 and living in New York, so I didn't. Of course, I just said it now, didn't I?
But I can just blame that on getting older. I don't know what I'm saying. I'm practically an old man! Hell, I can't even remember two plays from the 2007 World Series. The Rockies? Did they actually play in that thing? Don't pull a fast one on the old man now.