All New York matchup is my kind of series

Could it possibly happen?

Please, if there is any justice in the land, we just have to be heading for an all-New York World Series.

If this delicious matchup occurs, it will be the first time two New York teams have battled for the championship since the Yankees beat the old Brooklyn Dodgers in 1956. New York City, our greatest metropolis which is home to most of this nation's most extravagant hopes and dreams and plans and schemes, has to host the Series.

After all, does anyone out there really want a Seattle-St. Louis Series, save a few residents of these two burgs and mothers of the players?

New York City deserves this; we deserve this. NYC has a population of some 7.4 million - twice as big as No. 2 L.A. - and it knows all about big deals. Seattle has about 542,000 residents, rain in the forecast; St. Louis, 326,000 people, 60 percent fewer than in 1950. These two wide spots in the road know all about little deals. They should bid to host the Little League World Series.

Aw, come on you folks in Seattle and St. Louis, we're just funnin' you. We know you have paved streets and electricity and some black-and-white television. It's just that we don't want to see any more of you in the current baseball season. Go back to your bowling and umbrella sales. You understand. Remember in 1997 when Florida played Cleveland in the Series?

To have this heart-stopping and glittery confrontation of New York vs. New York, all that need happen is for the Yankees to whip Seattle in the American League Championship Series (tied 1-1 in best-of-seven series) and the Mets to stop St. Louis (the Mets lead 1-0) in the National League.

It's not that either of these New York teams will be confused with the towering 1927 Yankees.

Even though the 2000 Yankees are trying to become the first team to win three straight World Series since the Oakland A's did it 1972-74, there is suspicion they may be getting a tad long in the teeth. "Who said we're too old?" grouses pitcher Mike Stanton. "We're just old enough."

And the Mets failed to even win their division, trailing Atlanta. But, being from New York and thus believing all things are possible, the Mets advanced in the playoffs by thumping the San Francisco Giants. The Giants had the best record in Major League Baseball this season, 97-65.

Then we would have the contrasting managers - generally affable and usually easygoing Yankee boss Joe Torre who seems to be approaching genius stature against the generally prickly and usually irascible Mets boss Bobby Valentine who seems to be approaching terminal combativeness.

When something is as big as New York, it promotes excitement. There is nothing more exhilarating than when you're making it in New York and nothing more depressing than when you're not. It's a city of extremes.

A young writer from the West once held a door open for a fellow human in New York's Grand Central Station; by the time he stopped counting, 72 others had rushed through. Finally, the rube asserted himself and was almost run over by a man who exploded, "Wait your turn, you idiot."

It is the rapid pulse and the world-class vibrancy that makes New York. Many would never want to work there again but cherish the memories of having done so. It is a city of ambivalence. It's true: If you can make it there, you can make it anywhere.

There is no scale in New York. It's all huge. There are 38.4 million visitors every year which is why hotel rooms are filled 80 percent of the time. There is the world's largest Halloween parade, largest store (Macy's), largest Victorian glasshouse, oldest municipal golf course, and first performing-arts center (Lincoln).

The index finger on the Statue of Liberty is eight feet long. Seemingly everything in New York is first, best, oldest, tallest, richest, most. It is a city of superlatives. None of this is to say that most of you want to move to New York; you almost certainly don't. But it is to say that lights are far brighter in New York than anywhere else, even including St. Louis and Seattle. Emotions are more raw, opinions more extravagant, outrageousness more extreme. It's perfect for the World Series.

However, the 2-1/2 mile boardwalk at Brooklyn's South Beach is only the fourth longest in the world.

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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