Even our teachers were aware of what we were going through, and many of them were sympathetic to us. So, during the breaks when we would be going from one classroom to another, they would tell us what the scores were. What a relief it was to have that information!
Professional football was in existence, but all of the games were played on Sunday afternoons and while we would like to know the scores were, those games were not as compelling as like baseball. There was a lot of interest in college basketball, and only a mild bit of interest in the NBA.
Everyone in my circle of friends knew everything about baseball. Looking back, we talked in code but didn’t realize that was what we were doing. When someone said “Jackie” or “Mickey” or “Willie” all of us knew who they were talking about. Since we read about them each day in the newspapers, he also knew how many home runs each of them and hit, the batting averages, and as for the pitchers, we knew all of their won-loss records. We did not realize that we were learning the stuff, it just came with the territory.
It was easier to be in love with your favorite players, since most of them spent their entire careers with one team. So, even if they never won a championship, they became our favorites, since that was all that we had. We did not know what we were missing.
As this column is being written, we are waiting for the fi nal playoff game between the Nationals and the Dodgers. This Series is currently tied at 2-2. But wait, there is more. The Chargers will be playing in Pittsburgh on Sunday. Also, please do not forget that the Rams will be playing the 49ers in San Francisco, as well.
Unbelievably, with all of the television coverage available to sports teams, the UCLA Bruins and the USC Trojans have all but disappeared in a way, that may be a good thing, since we are already having more excitement than we can handle.
Checking into my memory bank, I recall that that Jackie Robinson, Jim Brown, and Magic Johnson were usually at their best when the games were on the line. Those great athletes could fi nd ways to overcome most obstacles. It has been my privilege to watch them do what they do. I do hope that all of you have had the good fortune to see them, or movies of them in action.