How About those Boston Red Sox?

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I am a baseball fan. I have been one ever since growing up in a housing unit owned by the Pittsburgh Coal Co. which operated the Warden Mine where my father worked as a coal miner in Western Pennsylvania.

We often attended major league baseball games at Forbes Field in Pittsburgh, PA. where the Pirates played. I watched a lot of games at Forbes Field, but I don't think any of them was as dramatic as the 18-inning marathon between the Red Sox and Dodgers in game three of the 2018 World Series.

Every real baseball fan...

...is familiar with 'Casey At The Bat' and some of the other great baseball stories written by such legendary sports writers as Ring Lardner, Jim Murray and Bud Furillo.

Somebody should write a tribute to this game which set a record as the longest game in World Series history.

Baseball Seasons are Long

A team needs to play 160 games before the contenders for the World Series are determined. Over the season, some games are boring, some are okay, and some are exciting.

I started my journalistic career...

...as sports editor of a daily newspaper in Tucumcari, N.M. I would have given my right arm for the privilege of writing about that 18-inning game for a major newspaper. It was that good.

Baseball players are professional athletes. They have their moments but it must get old to repeat their performances time after time in pursuit of their sport.

Television Cameras Don't Lie

You can see it in the faces of the players when the camera does a closeup on players after a strikeout or home run. Baseball fans get excited when their team does well. But in too many cases, the faces of those players reflect boredom.

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There was no boredom in that 18-inning game!

More than a dozen pitchers hurled their hearts out to win that game. I remember one of the Dodger pitchers, a Korean, who closed his eyes when he delivered a fast ball to strike out a Boston player.

He felt what millions of Dodger fans around the world felt at that moment:

He wanted to win.

As I watched the game in the privacy of our condominium in Charleston, S.C., I thought of my Uncle Ott. He was a big fan of the Pirates. He took me and my brothers to many Pirate games at Forbes Field.

It irritated Uncle Ott when my brothers and I took our eyes off the players to engage in childish actions that took our interest off the game. It even bothered him when we looked at the scoreboard rather than at the players. When he caught us doing that, we were in for a tongue-lashing that we remembered all the way home.

The tension

in an 18-inning game is incredible. As the innings passed, I found myself wishing I were in Las Vegas and that I had plunked $1,000 on the Dodgers to win. I was that confident they would prevail.

In the last of the 18th inning, it happened:

A Dodger player met an incoming fastball with a powerful swing that connected. The ball soared over the infield climbing, climbing and the thousands of fans packing the stadium shot to the feet cheering, stomping, waving their arms wildly because they knew the game had been won.

I was limp with exhaustion. I smiled. No matter which way the World Series went, the Dodgers had proven their stuff. All I could think of was, just wait til next year.

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