Fifty-six years later and the wound remains.
My beloved hometown Philadelphia Phillies were rocking and rolling to a sure National League pennant. I was a 9-year-old kid listening to every game on my transistor radio or watching the occasional telecast.
I did miss some games that summer because of Camp William Penn in the Pocono Mountains. As I’ve already recounted in his column some time ago, I caught double pneumonia at camp when my tent collapsed during a thunderstorm. I spent the last days of the two-week camp in the infirmary. My mom later said I looked like the walking dead when I got off the bus at home because I’d lost so much weight.
I spent the last days of the season bedridden recovering from my near death experience. But I had my Phillies. My heroes had built a 6½ game lead with 12 games to play. Surely they would win, right?
Wrong. The Phillies proceeded to lose 10 straight games. Going into the last day of the season, the St. Louis Cardinals and Cincinnati Reds were tied for first and the Phillies were one game back. The Phillies hoped to force the first three-way tie in major league history by beating the Reds and hoping the Mets would beat the Cardinals. The Phillies did their part by defeating the Reds, 10-0, but the Cardinals overcame an early 3-2 deficit and beat the Mets, 11-5, to win the pennant. St. Louis went on to beat the New York Yankees in the World Series.
I was devastated. I had nightmares about it. The memory still haunts this 65-year-old Philly guy. Maybe someday I’ll get over it.
On a serious note, our country is dealing with much more pressing things right now. Please pray for US. God bless.