When the World (Series) Was Ours

World Series - 01


Poor AN. What to do, with baseball still two days away?

It could be worse. It could be 1989. (Well, the waiting part, I mean).

The A's clinched their second straight American League pennant on October 8. The next day, the San Francisco Giants wrapped up the National League title. The World Series was set to begin on October 14. Which meant four-plus days of nothingness.

Unless, of course, you were from this area.

My initial reaction when it became clear that the A's would have to share baseball's biggest stage with them was, "eww." My second reaction was, "What better way to win the Series?" I mean, let's face it, after all the A's had been through in 1989, nothing was going to stop them. (Not even Mother Nature, it turned out).

The Bay Area media was in an orgasmic fervor. What to call this thing? Bay Bridge Series? BART Series? We'd have a different name for her after it was all over.

Predictably there were numerous stories on the contrast in styles, not only between the teams, but the cities in which they played:

"The problem I have with the A's", wrote Bill Mandel of the San Francisco Examiner, "runs deeper than San Francisco vs. Oakland, National League vs. American League, designated hitter vs. baseball, softball uniforms vs. Major League uniforms. The major contrast between the Giants and the A's is tradition vs. modernity, hope vs. cynicism, confidence vs. bragging. In sum, the way we think things used to be vs. the way we know things are. If the A's made a movie, we could call it ‘Outlaw Biker Ballplayers from Hell'. The Giants are ‘Rocky'."

Examiner reporter Scott Winokur:

"The A's, like Oakland itself, are authentic. They've paid their dues and earned their day in the sun. Give it to them now. They deserve this final victory. Oakland and the East Bay need it. There's a great deal that's good in Oakland, but it's a constant struggle. Oakland isn't pretentious. It isn't gazing in the mirror saying, ‘Aren't I wonderful'? San Francisco's going to do that one of these years and find out it's got a lot in common with Dorian Gray."

Even politicians got into the act. San Francisco's Art Agnos declined to take part in the annual mayor-to-mayor wager with Oakland's Lionel Wilson, saying Oakland didn't have anything he particularly wanted.

And so it went.

Any memories to share from that week of waiting? Or baseball thoughts in general? It's your show, AN. Have at it.

Tomorrow: Scrapbook Memories brings you Game 1 of the 1989 World Series.

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