BY KEVIN FLANAGAN
Its a bit surreal, don’t you think?
As if it were scripted mother nature has flipped the switch for game 1 of the 2013 World Series in Boston, gone are the sunny skies and unseasonably warm temperature and here is the overcast, crisp autumn air just in time for the start of the Fall Classic.
Just as it should be.
And just as they should be the two best teams in baseball stand ready to start what almost everyone expects to be a long and eventful series. Two great teams from two great and historic baseball towns. Each with a history that spans the annals of baseball that includes 3 past World Series match ups.
The Boston Red Sox and St. Louis Cardinals World Series history dates back to 1946 and featured the Splendid Splinter Ted Williams only World Series appearance. The Kid was hit by a pitch in an exhibition game just days before the season started and hit only .200 in the Series that went seven games and was best remembered for Johnny Pesky holding the ball (according to some) on a relay from centerfield that allowed the winning run to score.
The 2013 Sox have been compared to the 1967 Impossible Dream Team who entered the year as vast underdogs only to reach the 7th game of the World Series against the Cards. Despite an incredible performance by Carl Yastzremski who hit .400 in the Series, Yaz and the Sox were no match for Hall of Famer Bob Gibson who pitched a complete game in the series finale to win it for St. Louis in 7.
And who in Boston will ever forget 2004? The World Series had almost become an afterthought after the record setting triumph over the Yankees in 7 games at Yankee Stadium. The World Series Championship that had alluded the city for 86 years became a fait accompli as the Sox stormed through St. Louis on their way to victory, never allowing the Cardinals to lead once during the 4 game sweep.
For days and weeks after the historic win in cemeteries all across New England there were joyous celebrations as those who were lucky enough to live to see the day their Sox won it all celebrated with those who never got the chance. Nary a headstone or plot marker in the six state region was not donning a hat, pennant or banner.
And so it begins. In two towns were baseball fans are born not made and where the game is a way of life passed from one generation to another. It is in this rarefied air is where the Series will play out over the next two weeks of crisp autumn nights.
Both teams deserve to be here but only one can win. The series starts tonight in that lyrical little bandbox on Yawkey Way that has played host to the game for over 100 years. History awaits the winner.