Doug’s Diggings: Sports fans learn early — no magic in ‘next year’As of this writing, the Milwaukee Brewers are playing the St. Louis Cardinals in the baseball playoffs. The winner of the NLCS will advance to the World Series to play either the Texas Rangers or Detroit Tigers.
By: Doug Stohlberg, Hudson Star-Observer
As of this writing, the Milwaukee Brewers are playing the St. Louis Cardinals in the baseball playoffs. The winner of the NLCS will advance to the World Series to play either the Texas Rangers or Detroit Tigers.
I bring up the Brewers because I vividly remember the 1982 World Series and the loss to the Cardinals. (The Brewers were in the American League back in 1982.) What I remember most is watching game 7 in the basement of my home and the Brewers were up 3-1 in the top of the sixth inning. Unfortunately they gave up three runs in the bottom of the sixth; the Cards added two more in the bottom of the eighth and the Brewers lost 6-3.
Just about the time the game ended, my wife came down and I told her the Brewers lost. Her answer was, “Well, there’s always next year.”
The cruel lesson we learn early in sports is that there is not always a “next year.” Teams have to jump on the opportunities when they present themselves. The World Series of 1982 is now 29 years in my rearview mirror! The “next year” never came for the Brewers — at least not yet. Maybe this will be the year.
My Milwaukee baseball memories go back to the late 1950s when the Milwaukee Braves won the World Series in 1957. I was 9 years old at the time and assumed there would be plenty of “next years.” The Braves made it to the series again in 1958 — but lost. They almost made in 1959 — tied for the NL title and lost a best-of-three playoff to the Dodgers. In 1960, I had no reason to think the Braves wouldn’t be back in the series again that year.
Not only did the Milwaukee Braves not get back, but they ended up moving out of Milwaukee after the 1965 season. When the Brewers came to Milwaukee from Seattle (Pilots) in 1970, they had some tough early years, but then had some good teams, especially in the early 1980s. Those teams were capped by the 1982 World Series appearance. I remember thinking that it was a long time between World Series appearance for Milwaukee, 1958 and 1982 — 24 years. Although the gap from 1982 to 2011 doesn’t seem as long — that’s what age will do — I have to remember it’s 29 years!
So hopefully the Brewers will make the most of the current opportunity — I’m not sure I’ve got another 29 years to wait!
The Green Bay Packers took advantage of their Super Bowl appearance last year and won it all. As spectacular as the Packers are this season, there is no guarantee that they will get back to the Super Bowl. We hope they do, but strange things can happen — just ask your Viking friends about that great team “next year.”
Speaking of World Series appearances, it doesn’t seem that long ago that the Twins won the series in both 1987 and 1991. Simple math tells the story, however, 20 years without a series appearance.
The moral of the story is, don’t believe your friends, spouse, relatives and friends when they tell you, “wait till next year!”
My wife and I took a ride to Duluth Saturday and one of our stops was the Split Rock Lighthouse State Park. We took a hike in the park and went to the top of Day Hill. The hike was beautiful. On top of the hill there was a grand view of Split Rock Lighthouse and great views of Lake Superior and the surrounding hills and trees. The hike itself is only about a mile-and-a-half round trip.
For those who go to the North Shore regularly, you are probably familiar with the legend of Day Hill. I found it interesting. On top of the hill is a huge fireplace built of out rock and stone. Legend has it that Duluth businessman Frank Day built the fireplace in the early 1900s and hoped it would be the first step in building his dream house for him and his future wife.
He wanted to share his dream house with his lovely lady friend. According to the legend, the plan came to a crashing halt when his girlfriend called off the wedding. Frank Day abandoned the site and never built his dream house.
As for our day trip, we went up on the Wisconsin side and back on the Minnesota side. We had dinner that evening at Grandma’s in Duluth’s Canal Street area. The summer-like weather made for a great day to be outdoors.