With the World Series just around the corner, here are some thoughts straight out of left field:
First, whose left field will still be in use in a couple of weeks? Based on past performances, it'll probably be either the Rangers' ballpark in Arlington, Texas, or Yankee Stadium in the Bronx (pronounced “da Bronx”). It's a pretty safe bet there will be nothing going on under the Green Monster in Boston's Fenway Park this October, seeing as how the Red Sox were mathematically eliminated in April.
I was rooting for Texas Rangers President Nolan Ryan to finally pick up another championship ring to go with the one he earned as a pitcher with the New York Mets in 1969. (Unfortunately, the Rangers lost 5-1 Friday to the Baltimore Orioles in the wild card play-in game.)
I am not aware of a more deserving recipient or better role model in all of professional sports (although his one-time punching bag, Robin Ventura, might disagree). My only regret regarding Ryan is that I wore out his (and Jerry Koosman's) $1,000 rookie baseball card by using it as a noisemaker on my bike.
Forget buying stock in Apple or Google. If I had the foresight in 1968 to buy up every 10-cent pack of baseball cards I could get my hands on and not use them as bicycle accessories, I could pay off my mortgage right now. That's if I didn't have to spend all the profits on dental bills after chewing (or crunching) those pink, powdery, usually stale slabs of bubble gum in every pack.
Here's a challenge for the sports-minded. Can you find another trio of pitchers on the same staff who ended up with more career victories than the '69 Mets triumvirate of Tom Seaver, Ryan and Koosman? Together they combined for 857 wins, many of them complete games, which is virtually unheard of these days.
Good luck finding better.