Hands up if you agree with me that life was somehow simpler and more enjoyable when we were 9 years old. In my case, the year was 1956, a year before Leave It To Beaver first appeared on the single channel you could find on our black and white TV.
Speaking of TV, these days October has to the craziest month for watching sports on the box, with football, baseball AND hockey. Thank heaven for my wonderful smart TV and its magical PVR.
It was definitely a lot simpler in ’56. Baseball’s post season consisted of one best of seven affair called the World Series, and they played all the games in the afternoon. I vaguely remember Thanksgiving Monday that year. I came in from playing outdoors in the falling leaves, and my Dad – the baseball nut from Balgonie – was going on and on about the ‘perfect game’ that had just ended in New York.
The man who pitched it was Don Larsen, and I found out many years later, by reading something called Wikipedia, that Larsen was not originally scheduled to pitch that day and had been partying late the night before. Can someone tell me why Don Larsen, who is still alive at 88, is not in the Baseball Hall of Fame at Cooperstown?
There were a couple of Canadian football games that same day, but since there was only one channel we didn’t get to see either of them. You could listen to a game on the radio. The dear old CBC carried a handful of games on TV back then, and they paid the teams a total of more than $100,000 for the rights! Imagine.
My team, the Blue Bombers, were in the middle of a Grey Cup drought that had lasted 15 years, but they had this amazing kid in their backfield named Gerry James. When the football season ended in November, Gerry headed off to Toronto and played hockey for the Leafs. That doesn’t happen any more.
The world has certainly changed.