One of these days, I’ll go to the World Series. Fan, reporter — it really doesn’t matter. Just being in the stadium for a World Series game would be freakin’ awesome. I just pray that by then, they still give out tickets, so I’ll have a stub to remember the night by.
I’ve been to NHL All-Star Games and the Stanley Cup finals, covered NBA and WNBA All-Star Games and seen more MISL All-Star Games and championship finals than you can shake a “Free the Birds” sign at.
But never the World Series — though I got tantalizingly close in 1979.
I was in my sophomore year at UMBC, the Orioles were hosting the Pirates and tickets were scarce. The night before one of the games in Baltimore, a co-worker named Rai called and told me he had an extra — it was $20, a princely sum back in the day, and I was tapped out. I thanked him for thinking of me, hung up the phone and pouted. My mom, noticing I was not in a good mood, asked why. I told her. She offered to foot the $20, saint that she is/was/always will be.
Of course, this was in the days before email, cell phones, pagers and text messaging. When I called Rai back, all I got was a busy signal. He didn’t have any trouble unloading his extra, which was long gone by the time I did reach him.
One of these days, I’ll right that wrong. Heck, the Orioles might even make it easy on me. But until then, each October I think about that call, that $20 and how close I came to the fall classic.