Randy Smith: The Greatness Of Playoff Baseball

Wednesday, October 9, 2019 - by Randy Smith
Randy Smith
Randy Smith
NBC News Political Contributor Mike Barnacle said this week, "Our country needs playoff baseball." He's right. We need a distraction from the rhetoric, the name-calling and downright ugly commentaries going on in our country right now. We are so divided as a nation, not even our national past time can rescue us, but it can distract us enough that we can forget about our problems for a few days.

Playoff baseball is much different than it was when I was a lad. The first World Series I can remember watching or taking an interest in was in 1960. My favorite team, the New York Yankees, was facing the Pittsburgh Pirates in the best of seven fall classic.
That's when Bill Mazeroski of the Pirates hit the home run to win the Series. That dinger crushed the Yankees as well as the heart of a nine-year-old boy in Nashville, Tennessee. I was in the fourth grade at Amqui Elementary school and our teacher allowed us to watch a few of the games when we finished our work. We all finished quickly so we would have a chance to watch baseball in school. The World Series was so big back then, most every teacher allowed students to watch the games on television or, if they saw a student with a transistor radio listening to the game with an ear piece, they usually ignored it.

The next year, 1961, I was really into baseball because of the home run battle between Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle of the Yankees. Mantle would finish with 54 homers, while Maris broke Babe Ruth's record with 61 home runs, still an American League record. In the World Series in 1961, the Yankees beat the Cincinnati Reds four games to one. I can remember being a bit sad that the series only lasted five games and it cheated us out of watching a couple of games at school. But since the Yankees had won, I got over my sadness very quickly.

In the 1960s there were no playoffs. When the regular season ended, the American League champion would face the National league winner in the World Series. There was no wildcard game, no divisional series and no league championship series. The series would last nine days unless one of the games was rained out or if one team won the title by winning four games in less than seven opportunities. All games were played during the day. Night time World Series contests wouldn't be played until the early 1970s. That's why those games were so important. You had to try to carve out time to watch or listen to them while at work or in school. When the World Series was on, everyone became your friend and even your teachers were interested in what was going on. It was a pleasant distraction back then, just as it can be now.

Yes, Mike Barnacle. We do need playoff baseball now as much as ever.

* * *

Randy Smith can be reached at rsmithsports@epbfi.com



Major League Baseball Post-Season Schedule/Results

UTC Golfers Fourth At Magnolia Women's Invitational

Skyhawks And Eagles Prove Too Much For Bryan Volleyball


Major League Baseball Post-Season Schedule/Results All times Eastern League Championship Series SATURDAY, OCTOBER 12 ALCS Game 1, New York 7, Houston 0 (Yankees lead ... (click for more)

The Chattanooga Mocs women’s golf team is tied for fourth in the Magnolia Invitational after Sunday’s 295. It was the opening of three 18s at Old Waverly Club. Esme Hamilton led the way ... (click for more)

WALESKA, Ga. – Bryan Volleyball had an action-packed weekend but came up short in a pair of Appalachian Athletic Conference contests, which began in West Point, Ga. at Point University and ended ... (click for more)


Sports

Major League Baseball Post-Season Schedule/Results

Major League Baseball Post-Season Schedule/Results All times Eastern League Championship Series SATURDAY, OCTOBER 12 ALCS Game 1, New York 7, Houston 0 (Yankees lead series 1-0) NLCS Game 2: Washington 3, St. Louis 1 (Nationals lead series 2-0) SUNDAY, OCTOBER ALCS Game 2: Houston 3, New York 2 (Series tied at 1-1) MONDAY, OCTOBER 14 ... (click for more)

UTC Golfers Fourth At Magnolia Women's Invitational

The Chattanooga Mocs women’s golf team is tied for fourth in the Magnolia Invitational after Sunday’s 295. It was the opening of three 18s at Old Waverly Club. Esme Hamilton led the way with an even-par 72. Rheagan Hall added 73, while Maddy McDanel and Kirsty Beckwith turned in matching 75s. Michaela Kulhankova had the drop score with 79. The Mocs are tied with Tennessee ... (click for more)

Breaking News

Mac Taggart Shot In Shoulder By Officer After Pointing Gun At Deputies At Charleston, Tn.

A man was shot in the shoulder by a police officer at Charleston, Tn., early Sunday after a domestic disturbance call. At approximately 2 a.m., Bradley County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to a 911 call near Laguna Drive in Charleston. Lance Leroy MacTaggart has been taken into custody on four counts of aggravated assault. While the victim sought medical treatment, deputies ... (click for more)

Woman Injured In Red Bank House Fire Saturday Evening

A woman was injured in a house fire Saturday evening in Red Bank. A 911 call was made reporting a house fire at 133 Flora Circle. At 6:30 p.m., Red Bank Fire Department responded to the scene and arrived reporting heavy smoke and fire on the back of the residence. The Red Bank Fire Department immediately requested a mutual aid response for additional manpower. The Signal ... (click for more)

Opinion

Ignored By The Water Company

How much time do you spend at Tennessee American Water's website? It is worthless for online reporting problems. Replies? Never happen. Communication? They appear to consciously avoid honest communication with concerned citizens. This "Opinion Page" is an avenue of last resort to report a problem, because no one is trying to listen at Tennessee American Water. ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Let’s Start With Truth

By all accounts the public schools in Chattanooga and Hamilton County are far from what the average taxpayer would want them to be. Our schools are our number one priorities, this easily reflected by the fact they now receive over 60 percent of the total county budget -- the most money ever allocated to public education in history -- and the unbridled desire of our booming area ... (click for more)