The time has come, the Walrus said, to speak of other things: Of cleats and bats and stolen bases, of curve balls and rings. The Giants and Royals will square off in a battle between two wild card teams that few, if any, baseball pundits would have expected. That's what makes it so exciting. Underdogs, essentially, slugging out for the championship of the World.
Around my house, we're trying to rejigger our rooting expectations. Do we go with the Bay Area team, in spite of the fact that they seem to be making a habit of winning a World Series every other year? Or maybe we continue to pull for the Royals, who have gone nearly thirty years without a trip to the big dance? The team from Kansas City would also be the schadenfreude choice, as they were the ones who sent our Oakland Athletics home with a bang and a whimper.
Then there's the whole Kansas connection. Once upon a very long time ago, my father's father left his home in Salina, Kansas, explaining to his wife that he was off to Chicago to watch the Cubs play the Detroit Tigers in the last World Series that featured Chicago's North Side team. The Cubbies were my grandfather's team. My grandmother didn't care. She let him know that if he left, he would be coming home to an empty house. He went to the game. My grandmother moved her children to Boulder, Colorado where my father eventually met my mother and started his own family. That's where I came in.
If not for the World Series, there would be no me. That's why I wondered aloud to my son, after the Giants won their now seemingly obligatory National League pennant, how much it would cost to go see a game in this year's Fall Classic. He and I have seen our share of baseball together. We have the distinction of never having attended an Oakland A's loss. At times we have considered the potential of buying season tickets, just to test that streak, but now the number of baseball seasons we will spend together is dwindling. Why not make one last big show of our love for baseball? This was the musing I left my son with as we went to bed last Thursday night.
As Friday wore on, my mind filled with workaday concerns. Until just after three o'clock, when I received a text from my son: "Cool son thing - I checked out WS tickets. $600-$15,000." I wrote him back: "Well, there's always TV." Just like there's always baseball. Forever.