I grew up before baseball really had playoffs. The two league champions (pennant winners, we called them back then) met in a best-of-seven World Series and that was that. Now there are two rounds in each league (and the leagues are bigger, of course; just eight teams per league back then). Anyway, we're down to the semifinals this year and they look like good fun.
In the National League it's the St. Louis Cardinals and the Los Angeles (Brooklyn in the old days) Dodgers and it looks like a fine tussle. Some distinguished ghosts will be watching: for the Cardinals, Stan Musial, maybe the best player ever; his outfield mate Enos Slaughter; Marty Marion, a peerless shortstop, well, I could go on. For the Dodgers? Just the ghosts that helped integrate the sport would be enough--Jackie Robinson, Roy Campanella, Don Newcombe--if you're old enough, you remember them..
In the American League we have the Boston Red Sox and the Detroit Tigers. One name is enough to stir memories--Ted Williams, the Splendid Splinter--the last man to bat over .400 for a full major league season.
Well, I'll stop. Why this column? Well, it's October and I sure enjoyed typing out all those names.