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Seven And Eight Regarding Three Or More Consecutive Pennants

August 23, 2016

“Seven and Eight” is not a mixed alcoholic beverage/brand (Seven and Seven is) and I come to praise #7 (Mickey Mantle), but he did drink and often, as he apologized for, was “less than courteous,” when doing so.

He also was an all-time great player and though esteemed, even at times, superb writer, Bob Lipsyte called Bob Costas’ touching and brilliant eulogy for Mantle, ” a bit churlish,” I believe as Costas cited, Mantle had a great “final inning” as a human being.

Of course, he was also a great player on some great New York Yankees teams, that thrice won as many as three consecutive American League Pennants.

The Yankees actually won as many as four consecutive pennants, three times in an incredible period in which they won 14 pennants in 16 seasons (Al Lopez managing two different teams, was the only manager to stop them in that 16 year period).

Mantle’s first season was 1951, the year in which the Yankees won their straight pennant, en route to not only five straight pennants, but as many World Series triumphs.

The “Bronx Bombers” won four straight pennants from (1955-1958) and then five consecutive A.L. titles from (1960-1964).

The “seven and eight” reference and subsequent tangent to Mantle’s greatness, drinking, Costas’ eulogy and Lipsyte’s (whose obituary for the great Muhammad Ali showed too much bitterness and far too little gratitude for the fortune Ali’s 1964 victory afforded him/Mr. Lipsyte), comment is due to almost but not quite a certain symmetry, regarding three or more consecutive baseball pennants.

The Yankees have won as many as 3 straight pennants seven times, while all other teams have combined to accomplish the same great feat,  also seven times.

 

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The above is really not all that cryptic. See as human beings, whether “a man” or woman, we all are less than perfect, in varying degrees.

This is so regarding Ali, Mantle, Costas, Lipsyte, Liston and especially me, so often a dispenser of criticism.

Another thing common to all humans is that we will die.

Hopefully, before doing so, we, at least realize, our shortcomings and do some good deeds.

For the record, amidst at least some controversy, Muhammad Ali, (until then known as Cassius Marcellus Clay, named in honor of a man, who was an abolitionist, but please do not forget Ali in  changing his name, was well within his rights), gained a coveted boxing title vs Sonny Liston, in February 1964.

A young reporter, Robert “Bob” Lipsyte was fortunate to have represented the New York Times at that event.

Likely with his talent as a writer, Lipsyte would have ascended, but closer to certain; his actual ascent was aided immeasurably by Ali’s victory vs Sonny Liston, at that point in time.

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