when the Orioles won the World Series and I wasn’t feeling too, too bad for Mike Schmidt or Steve Carlton. I figured, hey, they’d won in 1980. Let’s go home and have that parade that we didn’t get to finish from 1979. But to be honest, that 1979 team will always mean more to me. I guess that’s the difference between being 10 and being 14.
But my Pop rolled out the carpet for the Phillies-Orioles’ World Series.
I had just gotten a new camera, a Pentax 150 that I had bought from the nice lady at the J.C. Penney at Eastpoint Mall. And I was taking it with me to Game 1.
My Pop actually bought extra tickets for the Memorial Stadium games in the hope of finding a Philadelphia fan who had done the same thing. We put an ad in The News American and we found our match. We met a guy out on Ellerslie Avenue in left field under a tree and swapped our pairs for Games 6 and 7 in exchange for four sweet seats for Game 4.
The next day, my Pop read in the paper that Veterans Stadium still had tickets left for the other games. He made my stepbrother drive him up to the stadium that morning and when I got home from school, we had a stack of roof tickets in the 700-level, rightfield nose bleeder seats for Game 5 — right to the right of the giant Liberty Bell light in centerfield.
That Game 1 night was just awesome. Memorial Stadium was at her finest that night for me. I had my camera and I took what seemed like a zillion pictures from the Phillies on-deck camera well (like I said I was more interested in them than the Orioles at that point — they were “exotic” and played in the more “honorable” and “mature” National League).
The Orioles lost Game 1 in that John Denny-Scott McGregor pitching duel, 2-1. Joe Morgan and Garry Maddux hit bombs that sealed the Phils’ win. Even though I sat during the entire pre-game introductions near the Phillies’ dugout and camera well snapping a zillion pictures, we actually sat in left field for that game.
The Birds rallied in Game 2, with a 4-1 win behind Mike Boddicker’s three-hit effort (man was he a stud in the 1983 or what?). We sat in right field for that one.
The next game of the World Series brought on a tough decision — but a choice between two GOOD things.
It was my birthday, Friday, Oct. 14, and the first high school dance of the year was that night, and well, I was turning 15. It was so huge, even John Denver was on the dugout singing “Thank God I’m a Country Boy!”
And for the first time in my life, I actually moved baseball to the backseat. No one was winning the World title on this particular Friday — it was only Game 3 — so I made a nice compromise. Go to the dance, celebrate the birthday but get near a TV at the dance. The game was on over near the steps and we got to have a little “social” dance time without much of a problem and Benny Ayala and Jim Palmer took care of business and the Birds were up 2-1. I got home in time to see the last