Facing an ‘unofficial’ World Series, a family chooses sides between teams they don’t care about

Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist Frank Miller defined an official World Series as including the New York Yankees.

Miller worked for the big newspaper in Des Moines and his word was good enough for me.

Side note: One of my greatest regrets is not stealing a framed copy of one of a handful of cartoons Miller made about the Yankees that hung in the offices of the editorial board.

Gannett had marked it as an important “brand asset.”

That probably means the pinheads in marketing thought they could sell it for money to buy more tchotchkes to give away on their stupid bicycle ride.

There are probably three people who work at the news outlet now who know even who Frank Miller was and I’ll be no one in the building, even the regional imperial outlet store commander, knows where that cartoon is.

I would bet $1 that it was in a landfill. It’s hard to go viral with history, so why keep it around?

I digress.

The Yankees utter failure in the playoffs against the Houston Astros means America has again cheated an official World Series.

This, however, enlivens a fun game I play with Dad 2.0, the kindly east Des Moines printer who helped raise me after my first set of parents died.

Dad 2.0 doesn’t have a favorite baseball team. While in the Navy during the Vietnam War, he was stationed in San Francisco.

He went to see a game at the old Candlestick Park and still has the scorecard somewhere in the cavernous archives of Parents 2.0’s stately manor.

So, when major pro sporting championships come alone, we choose sides and trash-talk each other’s teams.

Mostly we make fun of the announcers and the commercials.

This year’s World Series features the Philadelphia Phillies against the Houston Astros.

I’ve seen a couple of games in Minute Maid Park. They have a train that runs across tracks beyond the outfield walls when an Astro hits a home run.

The Astros are so named because Houston is home to mission control for NASA Space Missions.

You know, the famous line from “Apollo 13:” “Houston, we have a problem.”

The Astros don’t do much with the astronaut motif and that’s a shame. I would be more inclined to root for them if they did.

I would be more inclined to root for the Astros if they’d stuck with their original name, the Houston Colt .45s.

I know, I know. A Colt .45 is a gun and anytime someone mentions a firearm, we’re supposed to wet ourselves.

I still think it’s a terrific team nickname.

I don’t think much of Houston. I’ve visited there several times.

It’s a city in Texas, which does it no favors.

Texas sniffs its own armpits and tells you how great they smell for my liking.

I’ve never been to Philadelphia. I’ve had cheesesteaks named after the town.

Parents 2.0 have had cheesesteak sandwiches in Philadelphia. They’ve seen the Liberty Bell and the statue from the “Rocky” movie.

Parents 2.0 are national travelers. I think the only state they haven’t been to is Alaska.

I keep nudging them to go. They might as well see it before the Russians take it back or it’s drowned in glacier water from global warming, whichever comes first.

Benjamin Franklin was a Philadelphia man. Franklin was America’s first newspaperman. He’s on the $100 bill.

At least that’s what I’m told.

I’m a teacher and a part-time newsman. I’ve only heard rumors of such denominations.

The downside to Philadelphia is they have the worst sports fans in America.

Phillies fans are known for throwing D-cell batteries at outfielders from opposing teams they don’t like.

Philadelphia Eagles fans once threw snowballs at Santa Claus.

That’s rough and rowdy for “The City of Brotherly Love.”

When it comes down to two cities I don’t care for, I make my selection based on graphic design.

The Phillies used a stylized “P” where the curve of the “P” wraps around a baseball.

It’s not as clever as the “M” and “B” on the Milwaukee Brewers’ uniforms that make a glove holding a baseball, but I like it.

From the 1970s until 1989, the Phillies also wore snappy pinstriped uniforms at home and powder blue on the road.

I’m pro powder blue.

And for the duration of the series, I’ll be pro Philadelphia.

Get ready, Dad 2.0, the smack talk is coming.

Middle school teacher Daniel P. Finney writes a column for the Marion County Express.

Daniel P. Finney wrote for newspapers for 27 years before being laid off in 2020. He teaches middle school English now. He writes columns and podcasts for ParagraphStacker.com, a free, reader-supported website. Please consider donating $10 a month to help him cover the expenses of this site.
Post: 1217 24th St., Apt. 36, Des Moines, 50311.
Zelle: newsmanone@gmail.com.

1 Comment

  1. littleoldlady72 says:

    I love reading your column/blog. Does that make it a “clog” or a “blum”? Tell your kindly parents that we started traveling in our late 60’s, and drove to the Arctic Circle in our 8 year old SUV. The highway to Alaska helped us on our bucket list to visit all the Canadian provinces and territories (except Nunavut). Northwest Territories puts the awe in awesome.


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