World Series

Of the countless sporting memories that I’ve kept, one moment is forever entrenched in my brain’s hard drive. It was that moment when I caught a baseball in a Major League Baseball (MLB) game. This happened back in 1993 when our family vacationed in California.

The baseball fanatic that I was, I convinced my dad Bunny and brother Randy to watch the Oakland Athletics face the then-defending champions, the Toronto Blue Jays. We were seated behind home plate and after a foul ball was struck, I dove forward and scrambled with a couple of other spectators to emerge holding the baseball. That memory I’ll never forget.

Los Angeles Dodgers. That’s another team that my dad and I watched during that trip. I won’t forget catcher Mike Piazza hitting a homerun when the Dodgers played the Colorado Rockies (then a brand-new team).

Why this baseball talk? Because the biggest stage will happen tomorrow. It’s the World Series. If golf has the Masters, the NFL has the Super Bowl and tennis owns Wimbledon, it’s the best-of-seven series called the World Series for baseball.

I was hoping that the New York Yankees would defeat the Houston Astros. They were down 0-2, won the next three games in Yankee Stadium, only to lose the final two games to Houston.

Tomorrow starting at 8:09 a.m. (Phil. time), it’s the Houston Astros vs. the LA Dodgers. It will be a 2-3-2 hosting arrangement. The first two (and last two) will be at the Dodger Stadium while the middle three games will be played in Houston.

As a sport, I find baseball to be both exciting and boring. It gets thrilling when a homerun is smothered or a diving catch is witnessed or an excellent pitching strike is recorded. But in between those mini-moments during the 3-hour long contest, it’s all strikeouts and missed swings.

Why is baseball America’s national pastime? Based on TV ratings, it only ranks third to American Football and the NBA. But it’s such a beloved game because it dates back a long time (in the late 1800s) and because parents and children play throw-and-catch in their backyards and playgrounds.

With the Dodgers and Astros, it will be their first ever World Series meeting. The LA Dodgers is one of the world’s most popular teams (they just outpointed the Lakers in a poll this year) and they’ve accummulated six World Series trophies.

The Astros have never won a title. They reached the World Series in 2005 but lost to the Chicago White Sox. And while the Dodgers was founded in 1883 in Brooklyn, New York (before moving to LA in 1958), the Astros have a less historic resume. They started in 1962 with the name that will let you smile: Houston Colt .45s. Now we know where Colt .45 originated from.

A few interesting facts about the 113rd edition of the MLB championship. Both teams did not lose at home throughout the playoffs. The Dodgers won 104 regular season games (vs. the 101 by the Astros) and they have the homecourt advantage. The two teams did not play each other in the 162 games of the regular season.

In this Texas vs. California battle, my pick is the team from Hollywood.

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