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What an unusual postseason it was. The Yankees looked inept against the ferocious Tigers and the Tigers in turn looked toothless against the San Francisco Giants as they were swept in the World Series.
For the first time, Israel will participate in the qualifying round of the World Baseball Classic. That's the good news. The bad news concerns the dates they'll be playing in Florida. Earlier in the year it was thought the early rounds would start in other countries before moving to Florida in November. Assuming Israel would still be in the WBC games, the Florida site would be Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter.
I was lucky enough to have met and interviewed many Hall of Famers including Joe DiMaggio, Hank Greenberg, Ted Williams and Stan Musial. I also had the chance to meet and gab with many of the stars from the old Negro Leagues who went on to play in the major leagues after Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier – Hank Aaron, Ernie Banks, Larry Doby, Monte Irvin and Satchel Paige. But I never had the chance to meet Jackie Robinson.
Seventy-eight degrees and sunny. That's what it was that Thursday afternoon in November when I arrived in Tampa, site of the Yankees Fantasy Camp. That's what it was that Thursday afternoon in November when I arrived in Tampa, site of the Yankees Fantasy Camp. After checking into the Sheraton Suites where the campers were staying for the Monday through Saturday camp, I shuttled to George M. Steinbrenner Field (where the Yanks play during spring training and also the home of the Tampa Yankees, three levels below the major leagues), to join the camp in progress.
A local Orthodox attendance record was set at Detroit's Comerica Park on Sunday Chol Hamoed Pesach as an estimated 500 frum fans were in the stands. They saw a good game as the Tigers downed the White Sox 3-0 on a beautiful sunny day. Seven families from my shul returned with suntans and they reported many shuls were represented in all sections of the downtown ballpark, about a 20-minute ride from my dugout.
Forget the results. The 2009 World Series featured the two best teams in baseball. In the old days, the Series always had the best team in the American League against the best team in the National League. But with the advent of two rounds of league playoffs, a good but not great team that has a hot week or two can find itself in the World Series.
When Gaylord Perry made it to the major leagues with the San Francisco Giants in 1962, manager Alvin Dark told him that while he had the makings of being a good pitcher, he would be a terrible hitter. In fact, Dark told Perry that man would walk on the moon before Perry would ever hit a home run.
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