The Fall Classic

October 29, 2009
1913 World Series program

1913 World Series program

With the World Series upon us again, it’s a good time to reflect on the place of baseball. Start with this collection of World Series programs from the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

Another point worth pondering is baseball’s position as America’s No. 2 sport. “The national pastime,” as it’s so often referred to, has deep and rich roots in American culture. But the fact is, football overtook it in popularity some time ago — maybe it was in the ’60s, maybe it was in the ’70s. Or maybe it was on Dec. 28, 1958, when Johnny Unitas led the Baltimore Colts to a win in the first sudden-death NFL title game. Here’s an interesting essay that looks at the relative popularity of baseball and football over the years.

I’ve undergone an interesting shift myself. A lifelong Twins fan, I’ve always been a loyal American League rooter in the World Series. Didn’t matter who it was, I always pulled for the A.L. team. In recent years, though, I’ve started to pick and choose a little more. This year, for example, I’m definitely pulling for the Phillies.

My prediction: Phils in six.