Baseball’s 2019 World Series is history. My team didn’t win. Now I’m contemplating the painful demise of my Houston Astros, the odds-on favorites of the experts. TV pundits figured they merely needed to show up with bat and glove, and the trophy would be theirs to have and to hold. The Washington Nationals were the oldest collection of players in the major leagues. They had been behind, score-wise, in all of the elimination games. Well, we might have had a premonition when they wiped out the Cardinals, but the Astros were the very best.
I had roots in Houston, having pitched there for the AA minor league affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals. Our “Buffaloes” won the Texas League playoffs and were rewarded with huge gold championship rings, lunches and dinners. We were given commemorative awards. Our players were proclaimed “Honorary Texans.” The fans loved us and we loved them back.
Yes, the Nationals were “old.” Old, like fine wine. Old as in experienced, skilled, resourceful. “Been there, done that” could be their mantra. Their survival techniques were base hits, fielding gems and clutch pitching. They began the World Series by beating the best pitcher in baseball, superstar Gerrit Cole. That was an ominous prelude.
The Washington players claim they love the city they represent. By every indication all who inhabit that town love the World Champions right back.
We honorary Texans will have to wait for next year. I mean, the Nationals players are getting older.