Keenan Singleton Audrey Warren
America's most cherished pastime begins today as the "Boys of Summer"
trot onto the "Field of Dreams" to search for the next "Mr. October."
The New York Yankees and the Arizona Diamondbacks, two teams who took
different paths to the baseball classic, occupy center stage as they begin
the planet's most
spectacular extravaganza, the 98th World Series in Phoenix, Ariz.
Those celebrated "Damn Yankees" are favored to win an unprecedented
27th world championship at the expense of a four-year-old expansion team
that ignored the lessons of
the past to vault into the World Series faster than any expansion team
in the history of baseball.
The World Series is pure Americana. Its roots sink deep into America's
past and psyche. Every kid who's ever picked up a baseball and fired a
fastball past a batter has dreamed
of playing in a World Series.
The World Series is the legend of Babe Ruth calling his homerun into
the center field bleachers in front of a packed house at Yankee Stadium.
It's the magnificent blast by the Pittsburgh Pirates' Bill Mazeroski,
"the shot heard round the world."
Mazeroski clubbed a one-ball, no-strike leadoff homerun in the bottom
of the ninth against New York Yankee ace Ralph Terry that won game seven
of the 1960 World Series,
10-9, and made the Pirates the unlikely champions of the world.
The Yankees' 26 world titles are the most championships won by any team
in any professional sport. The Arizona Diamondbacks have been in existence
a mere four years.
This World Series offers the best of all worlds: the venerable dynasty
whose post-season exploits are legendary against the obnoxious new kid
on the block.
Those "damn Yankees" are the sentimental favorites to win their fifth
world title in the past six years because of the events of Sept. 11.
The Daily Cougar can't argue with the choice, even though it would be
nice to see a team other than the Yankees win under normal circumstances.
The World Series offers Americans the opportunity to take a respite
from the horrors of the day. It's a chance to reflect upon a time not so
long ago when the biggest conflicts that
covered the front pages and filled the airwaves all across this magnificent
land were about which team would claim the title "Champion of the World."