Whether a Mets fan, a Royals fan, or a disheartened Cubs fan — let’s face it. No one is completely immune to the lure of the October jamboree.
When the Series is on, pretty much everything stops.
America’s Fall Tonic
by Bozeman Bulger
The Saturday Evening Post, October 3, 1931—This October tonic, sipped for a week or 10 days, helps to locate old friends and create new ones, loosens the vocal cords, and causes excessive though pleasant loss of sleep.
The greater the business depression, the better this tonic seems to taste. Your American sports lover, or just plain American, may tighten up on some expenditures, but when it comes to settling his baseball championship and seeing it well done, he simply cuts the strap on his bank roll and lets go. Even those who cannot attend to the matter in person suffer bites from the germ. They huddle around radio sets, telegraph offices, and bulletin boards.
In the World War, soldiers in far-off France were able to forgo immediate interest in battles while taking a sip of the Series by telegraph and airplane bulletins. High-ranking generals who provided this tonic are said to have enjoyed a liberal sip themselves.
Family’s important, and romance is great—but right now there’s a game on.
World Series Poison
by Stanley Frank
The Saturday Evening Post, October 3, 1942—Considering the caliber of players involved, the World Series has produced a great deal of shockingly bad baseball. Ridiculous boners are committed in World Series competition for a thoroughly understandable reason. The players are under enormous pressure. The greatest stars blow apart at the seams. There is something terrifying in the realization that every move is a focal point for second guessing, that every gesture is under critical scrutiny. How severe is this pressure?
“Greater than the fan will ever know or a ballplayer will ever admit,” the Yankees’ [manager] Joe McCarthy declares. “Every man responds differently to the World Series and there’s no way of telling in advance how he will react. He doesn’t know, himself. It’s like being held up by a guy with a gun for the first time. No man knows what he’ll do until he goes through the experience.
“The simple truth is that no ballplayer takes the World Series in stride. You hear — I’ve told it to teams myself — that the World Series is just another ball game. That’s nonsense. There is nothing in baseball to compare with the tension of the World Series and nothing can prepare a man for it. Some stars curl up under the pressure and others are stimulated.”
What risks will a young boy take to get a good view of the game?
Catch and Release
For a few years during WWII, civic duty trumped self-interest. Fans lucky enough to catch a ball were encouraged to throw it back, so it could be given to those in the armed services.
Field of Vision
Sometimes it’s worth fighting for a reasonable line of sight.