The World Series has special experience for all of us. My first experience of baseball includes the 1960 World Series playing between the Pittsburg Pirates of the National League and the New York Yankees of the American League. It was still for the Game 7 when on 9th inning Bill Mazeroski stepped in and hit home run. It’s a winning game for the Pirates and its 3rd crowed world championship since 1925.
Now in this particular year, in 1975, my grandfather came to live with my parents. He was eighty-three years old. I was eleven. My grandfather was before a fan of Los Angeles Dodgers, then of New York Mets, and finally of Cincinnati Reds; but nothing made us suspect that his dream of being seeing the Boston Red Sox to get to the top. I may add that my father often come to the idea to change his beloved Los Angeles Dodgers team to New York Yankees because the astonished victories of the Cincinnati Reds.
One morning when I woke up, about seven o’clock to go to school, there was already a hottest argumentation between my Daddy and Grandpa. It was in these discussions none of them had that dominated ground to win but my Grandpa surprisingly eliminated any doubts my Daddy has. “Hey, boy, listen to your father! Not by the chances of pitchers and the exceptions of being Reds.” He looked straight up. “The Cincinnati Reds has the best records in modern baseball history. You will be dead wrong to swift to New York Yankees. Are you doing it because you hate me?”
“Of course not!”
“Well help me out with it. The Reds, champions of the National League, barely defeated the Boston Red Sox, champions of the American League, 4 Games to 3, in the World Series. Tell me I’m talking nonsense? The division races were all one-sided. The Reds won the National League’s Western Division for the third time in four years. Their 20-game margin was staggering, and their September 7 clinching date as remarkable achievement. Do you hear me? There is one of the greatest World Series in American history. You remember that silly boy’s ruling?”
My Grandpa referred to Arbitrator Peter M. Seiz. He ruled on December 23 that pitchers Andy Mesersmith of the Los Angeles Dodgers and Dave McNally, who quit the Montreal Expos in mid-season, were free agents and could sign with any club. A 1974 Seiz ruling made pitcher Jim “Catfish” Hunter a free agent on the grounds that Oakland A’s owner Charles O. Finely had breached Hunter’s contract. Hunter then signed with the New York Yankees. But Seiz said the Mesersmith and McNally, by playing in 1975 without having signed contracts, had completed their contracts, and he ruled against the club owner’s contention that player contracts could be renewed indefinitely.
All of these were in the news but my Grandpa had made out of this a show in front of my Daddy, who by that time he was on a shaking ground to swift from Los Angeles Dodgers to New York Yankees, simply because my Grandpa’s connotations as a Cincinnati Reds. It was naturally decided that that day I should not go to school. The time was perfect and there was also a paramount desire to go to Cincinnati as well as to New York to witness alive the 1976 World Series. My father, when at 8 o’clock he went to Elegancy Co., where he was employed to get permission with his boss, passed by the school mine, and went in to tell my teacher of the misfortune that had befallen him. He told him his papa was sick and he must go to Cincinnati with his older son to see him before he die. He replied that he knew it already from my Daddy’s brother who had sent to him a note as it was explaining that their father had been hospitalized since Friday. The fact was that my Daddy didn’t have any brothers but he had been fielding it long time ago to make such journal to see the World Series in Cincinnati.
Each was that fact. It’s indisputable, and I was already to bear witness to it in a legal way. Now for the explanation gave to me the next day or the day after by my Grandpa who went along with this with a smile. My Daddy woke me up in the night and I saw besides me a New York Yankees uniform, and holding in his hand two tickets with marked prices of $8.00. “Tomorrow at 10 o’clock, we shall be no longer in this place. Instead we’re going to be in Cincinnati. Don’t you hear me? We are going to see the 1976 World Series, son!”
Was my Daddy exact and truthful in what he reported? I could tell you it was a truthful report. But what was certain was that on the faith of his love of seeing it, he was not sure he was. Nevertheless, in the most precise way a fact that he could not possibly have presaged when my Grandpa indeed fell sick that day and he missed the first, second, and third game. This didn’t hold my Daddy to make a second plan. By October 19, 1976, we were in New York to see the Game 4. It was scheduled for October 21, 1976 at Yankee Stadium in Bronx, New York. My cousin’s father, Victor, already had purchased the tickets for us. The memorable tickets were marked Field Box, Sec 2 and Seat 3 which it generated a dispute with a short fellow regarding to that seat. Did my Daddy hold on those tickets? Victor kept them as an effort having a memorable piece of that day. My Dad didn’t mind, complaining only of being unable to sleep, and he had no idea of how he’s going to hold on. When that day arrived, October 21, my Daddy had been already at line, and finally when we sat, there was something I’ve seen before.
The Yankees Stadium was indeed an enchantress, and whatever Yankees’ lost, to a young fellow, it was all dazzling and picturesque. I was still remembering the Cincinnati’s four hits by Munson and the fourth; Morgan singled, stole second, and came home on a Foster single. There was a winning moment I loved it. But New York Yankees fans like my Dad and those hundreds of thousands people there were devastated as they were seeing their team crushed back to back by Cincinnati’s magic. My Daddy tried to explain it to me that the New York Yankees was bulleted out in front of the mighty forces of Cincinnati Reds. And that Cesar Geronimo and Dave Concepcion were the men. That day at Yankees Stadium in Bronx, New York, the Cincinnati Reds were making history. No one was able to put a stop in front of the Cincinnati Reds. We all watched that game back to Los Angles. Growing now, remembering those days and disillusion and pain and love, personally I have such enjoy to record for you; but I was rewarded as a man as my Daddy and Grandpa who had taught me no matter where you are you should appreciate every effort from every team and remembering it is just a game.
196 World Series Game 4
Cincinnati Reds vs. New York Yankees Alive
Reichler, Josepth (1982) The Baseball Encyclopedia, 5th ed
1976 World Series by Baseball Almanac