Saturday, March 11, 2006
Where were you on that night? It's the tagline to a new movie with a screenplay by Don Delillo about Game Six of the World Series, Mets vs. Red Sox in what turned out to be a game that until 2004 was the closest the Sox came to winning the World Series in almost 80 years. In fact, I doubt this film could have been shown in New England if Sox had not won in 2004. No Sox fan alive wants to see the ball rolling between the wrongfully maligned Bill Buckner's legs on a big screen. The film is currently in limited release and I have not seen any reviews yet. I am curious not only because of the subject but also to see what Delillo has done. The Pafko at the Wall section of Underworld is as poetic a portrayal of a famous (or infamous depending on your team) ball game as baseball gets. Almost as beautiful as Updike's essays on the 1967 Red Sox or Ted Williams last game. Although I am a big fan of Delillo earlier works, I was not able to get through his book Cosmopolis and the previous one, The Body Artist left me mostly confused. So I suppose I am rooting for a return to form like that bastard Clemens after he left the Sox. But I digress.
Where was I? I have drawn a complete blank as to what I did that night. I was in San Francisco ostensibly doing Korean homework, probably at a bar called the Black Fox. I don't think they even had a TV set. I do know that I was not really following baseball much at all after the 1981 strike. I became a Sox fan after moving to southeastern Connecticut (You were either a Sox fan or a Yankee fan but anyone rooting for the Yankees east of Bridgeport was considered a band wagon fan and subject to well deserved abuse) and I had also been a Bill Buckner fan since being told he was the most famous alumni of our little Vallejo school, Napa Valley Elementary. (Well most famous to 8 year old boys at least. There could have been Nobel Laureates that attended and we would have been clueless unless they were pictured on a Topp's bubble gum card.)
Anyway, I was always more crushed by the Red Sox losing the one game playoff to the Yankees in 1978 then I was the '86 series. At the time of World Series I was in the Army, distracted by the attractions of San Francisco , struggling to do well in Korean so I would not get reassigned as a petroleum supply specialist in the Sinai. (This happened to some classmates.) So I really wasn't paying too much attention to baseball. In1978 the Sox had blown a huge lead in the standings but I still had hope. In 1986 after Game Six, I knew there was none. Not until the 2004 ALCS against the Yankees. "Our losses were repaired." I still wish I could remember where I was. Someone had recentlu given me a copy of Endzone so perhaps I was reading Delillo for the first time. Probably not.