My sports’ focus would become basketball, but damn, my first love was baseball. You know how you sometimes try to figure out your first memory? I do that in sports, alot. And it’s mostly about baseball.
I remember the Reds sweeping the Yankees in the World Series.That puts me at 12-years-old in the Fall of 1976. That’s how I get started on my memories. I remember Garfield Heard making that improbable shot in the three-overtime game — Suns vs. Celtics. Well, that was the spring/summer of ‘76, which puts me in my late 11s. I can recall what happened on Oct. 21, 1975.
That’s when my dad woke me up from sleeping and said: “Son, come down and watch the rest of this World Series game.” The Red Sox and Reds had gone into extra innings in Game 6 at Fenway Park, and it was a classic It was also past my bedtime as I had just turned 11. But even dad knew I’d want to see this. Though we had no allegiance to either team. The allegiance was to baseball.
Discombobulated, I went downstairs and curled up on the couch for extras. I wish I could tell you I remember Dick Drago holding the Reds scoreless in the ninth, 10th and 11th but I can’t. I can tell you I remember when Carlton Fisk hit that long fly ball down the left field line. The ball that may have been coaxed fair by Fisk’s waiving as he straddled down the first base line. Ball went over the monster, there would be a Game 7, and I would later realize that I’d watched live one of the greatest moments in baseball history.