At the 1964 baseball trading deadline (June 15 in those days), the St. Louis Cardinals made a six-player deal with the Cubs, a trade that really boiled down to swapping pitcher Ernie Broglio for outfielder Lou Brock. This deal remains famous as one of baseball’s all-time great swindles even as modern analysts have chipped away at Brock’s claim to greatness (He was not a very good defensive player, he did not walk much for a leadoff man, etc.).
How long does it take for a broken heart to heal? For older Pittsburgh Pirates fans, the answer may be: Forever. At least it feels that way to the ones who’ve never forgotten how the Bucs lost the 1992 NLCS to the Atlanta Braves in the last inning of Game 7. Last play. Last millisecond. Last desperate tag that catcher Mike LaValliere put on the sliding Sid Bream. To the Bucs’ army of loyalists, that memory will last into infinity.
It is hard to believe that we are more than a half-century removed from the turbulent decade of the 1960s. Though it is exaggerated how static the 1950s actually were—two of modern America’s most significant achievements occurred in that decade: the GI Bill that opened college education to millions and the Eisenhower administration’s establishment of the interstate highway system—there is no doubt that the 1960s were a watershed in our history.
As the 1957 baseball season dawned, baseball fans in New York City could be forgiven if they had taken to thinking of the World Series as their very own event. In the recent decade (1947–56), there had been 58 World Series games played, and 48 of them had taken place in New York, including 36 of the past 38. Think about that.
It’s not very often that your senses are overwhelmed by sound and fury when you encounter a wall of noise so thick it’s pointless to speak. When no one can hear you. When you cannot hear yourself. When you mortgage away the rest of the night to the ringing in your ears.
More than half a century has passed, and the World Series records of New York Yankees infielder Bobby Richardson continue to hold fast.
These are amazing not only for longevity, but for being serious offensive marks for a player better noted for defense.
Has there ever been a World Series in which the two biggest stars in baseball were the starting pitchers in Game 1 (and potentially Games 4 and 7)? I maintain that it happened just once—appropriately enough, in 1968. The Year of the Pitcher.
George Lee “Sparky” Anderson, the manager of baseball’s greatest teams of the mid-1970s, stepped into the press conference room after putting finishing blows on the New York Yankees in the 1976 World Series and the Cincinnati Reds’ emphatic four-game sweep. This was no small takedown: The Bombers were an excellent team, having won 97 games, finishing 10½ games ahead of the second-place Baltimore Orioles, and were catalyzed by Billy Martin’s first full year as their manager.
In the first four years since moving out of Brooklyn after the 1957 season, the Dodgers finished—in order—seventh, first, fourth, and second, with a World Series victory in 1959. During that time, they played temporarily out of the mammoth built-for-football LA Coliseum, a venue cursed with an extremely short left-field fence only 250 feet from home plate. The left fielder played a deep shortstop, which barred the speedy Dodgers base runners from taking third base on singles to left.