My Earliest Sports Memories
Do you remember your first sports memory? Mine was the 1962 World Series between the New York Yankees and the San Fransisco Giants. I was eight years old at the time and like a lot of kids I became a Yankee fan, or should I say, a Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris fan. In those days we all had transistor radios and we would all congregate on the playground and listen to the World Series. I don’t remember a lot but all I knew was I wanted the Yankees to win. I do remember when Mickey Mantle, Roger Maris, Willie Mays or Willie McCovey would come to the plate there would be a hushed silence in our group, a testament to their greatness.
I remember thinking Willie Mays played for the Yankees and my great disappointment when my father told me he played for the Giants. I got over it pretty quickly and the fact the Yankees won the series helped. Sorry Willie. I did not see any of the games on TV but the fun of this memory was the playground, friends, and transistor radios. A far cry from how far media has come today but a good memory none the less.
My problem was being a Yankee fan at the end of their run. They played the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1963. I was in fourth grade and we had just moved to Colorado and where I lived there weren’t as many Yankee fans. The Phys Ed teacher was very popular and somehow, I don’t remember, he had ties to the Dodgers so most kids in my school were Dodger fans. We would play a game at recess called four square and when it was your turn to be in a square you were immeadiately asked the dreaded question, “Are you a Yankee fan or a Dodger fan?” If you admitted to being a Yankee fan they would gang up on you and game over. Consequently, I didn’t play much four square in those two weeks the series was played and to make matters worse the Yankees lost to Sandy Koufax and the Dodger four games to none.
In 1964 it was the Yankees and the St Louis Cardinals. I was ten years old and had a better understanding og the game of baseball. When I wasn’t listening to it on the radio I was watching it on TV on the weekend. Again, most were rooting for the Cardinals but it really didn’t dampen my spirits. This would be the last World Series the Yankees would be in until 1976. They went on to lose this series four games to three. It was hard to watch my hero Mickey Mantle sucumb to injuries and age. He was such a larger than life figure to a ten year old boy. He would soon be out of baseball and I would no longer be rooting for the Yankees.
As sports memories go you have to take the good memories with the bad. They are still memories that we all have. What was your first sports memory? I would love hear what it is. Until next time here’s to your sports memories.