With the World Series on tap this week, I started thinking about my first memories of the Fall Classic again and shared many of those thoughts in this column for Red Label Sports.

By Ed Odeven

I was born in the New York City borough where Yankee Stadium is located. And that seemed to be a good reason to become a New York Yankees fan.

The Bronx Bombers first grabbed my attention in bits and pieces of stories told by my older relatives (some of whom had seen Babe Ruth play decades earlier), starting in the late 1970s, and also through osmosis from the sights and sounds of mass media and from random people in New York’s tri-state area.

A first-grader during the 1981 Major League Baseball season, I now look back at those formative days as playing a foundational role in my development as a baseball fan.

In fact, the 1981 MLB season ー specifically the incomprehensible reality of a players’ strike, which somehow delayed my first-ever trip to a big-league ballpark by two years (see below), and the World Series in October ー marked the start of my habitual routine of paying attention to the pro game.

The Fall Classic, which was held 40 years ago this month, also was the first sports event I distinctly remember watching for several days.

I can’t patch together a narrative thread or a detailed play-by-play rundown of the six games between the Yankees and the Dodgers, but I remember both of my grandfathers mentioning the games, but not what they said about them.

Were they commenting on the final scores? Or specific plays? Or just giving me and others updates every couple days?

I didn’t retain those memories.

What I do remember is that they were interested in what was happening. They were talking about it, watching games and news highlights and reading about them (newspapers were always scattered about).

That left a lasting impression on me.


The full column is posted here.