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2022 World Series Begins Tonight

October 28, 2022

Tonight, certainly for the first time in a long time and perhaps ever, the World Series begins on a Friday. It matches the Houston Astros, still the only team to play in the World Series representing both the National and American Leagues and the Philadelphia Phillies.

It is a redux of arguably the greatest post-season entity of all (late in game 5, in what is a treasured memory, my father who had seen baseball for say 55 years at that point (he got 13 more, Joe Carter’s World Series ending homer vs the Phils his last and to me after that, with the wild card presence and eventual other c-ap, baseball has taken a precipitous drop. Yet this is W.S. time and I I am looking forward to it. I might even watch it, albeit with the sound off), the 1980 NLCS won by the Phils in an extra inning, decisive 5th game.

Neither franchise has experienced much World Series success as the Phillies are (2-5), the ‘Stros (1-3) in such entities. In World Series games, the Phils are (14-23), the 23 losses evoking their modern baseball record losing streak of 23 consecutive games, 61 years ago in 1961, while the Astros are (9-15).

None of the seven previous Phillies’ World Series have gone 7 games while half of Houston’s 4 have gone to a decisive 7th (a Houston title in ’17 and a loss in ’19). The 7 Phils World Series have averaged 5.28 games in length while Houston’s 4 have averaged exactly 6.

The teams were swept in World Series play 55 years apart. The Phillies were swept by the Yankees, that 1950 title was the second of what was to be a still record and long to be such, 5 straight crowns for the Yankees. Conversely the White Sox title bearing sweep of the Astros in 2005 gave the South Side Chicago team its first title in 88 years. (only the same city Cubs’ 108 year title drought was longer).

Houston (Astros) are (0-4) in World Series opening games while the Phillies are (4-3). The game 1 winner has failed to title in 4 of the combined 11 World Series of the two teams (the Phils won the 1915, 1983 and 2009 openers, the 1915 opening game behind the great Grover Cleveland Alexander, but lost the World Series. The Astros lost the 2017 World Series opener at L.A. vs the Dodgers but won game 7 there and the title.)

There are 3 links to Ronald Wilson Reagan involving Phillies’ World Series play that come to mind and likely only my mind.

“Dutch,” as Reagan was called, among other names (I can think of a few) played Grover Alexander the aforementioned 1915 W.S. opening game winner in a movie called “The Winning Team” opposite Doris Day and gave a nice performance.

The Phillies finally won the title in 1980 less than a month before Reagan was elected U.S. President.

In 1983, Reagan came on camera, before top 8 and after the delay, Garry Maddox, who had the decisive hit and caught the last out in the classic 1980 NLCS, homered on Scott MacGregor’s first pitch, accounting for the game’s final run in the Phils’ (2-1) win.

However, as was the case in 1915, the Phillies lost the last 4 games of the series. In ’09, the Phils won the opener at the Yankees but lost the next 3 games and the series in 6 games.

 

Bake McBride - St. Louis Cardinals.jpg

Bake McBride (is this the year “Bake” (Astros manager Dusty Baker, his team nearly a 2:1 favorite finally wins a title as a manager?) had a key home run in game 1/1980 World Series, the only time either the Phils or Astros won both the W.S. opening game and the series.

 

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