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by Harold Friend
Charlie Cret lived in Brooklyn his entire life. He was devastated when Walter O'Malley took his team away. All that was left was to root against the Yankees. Charlie, like most die hard Brooklyn Dodgers fans, refused to follow the fortunes of the team that was stolen from them, but some Brooklyn fans took great pleasure when the Dodgers won the 1959 World Series, and the hated Yankees finished third. Interestingly, Charlie was among them.
The White Sox and the Dodgers
I didn't watch much baseball after our team was taken from us, but I must admit that my emotions almost took over during the 1959 World Series. I watched the games, and while I tried to not care who won, I couldn't control the happiness I almost felt when the Dodgers beat the White Sox. I really wouldn't have been upset if the Sox had won, because I owed them for beating the Yankees, and the Los Angeles National League team was not the Brooklyn Dodgers.
Until inter-league play, most fans supported their team's league. I know it sounds strange to today's fans, but I rooted for the Giants in the 1951 World Series because the Giants were the National League, and they were playing the Yankees. I don't think there were too many Red Sox fans rooting for the Yankees in this past year's World Series, which to me, it is crazy. Many New Yorkers root for the Yankees and the Mets because both teams represent New York. That's not my value. You support your league.
The Dodgers Win
The Dodgers won the World Series handily in six games. It would have been better if they had beaten the Yankees instead of the White Sox, but to those of us who do not exactly love the Yankees, any day the Yankees lose the World Series is a happy day.
Which is Better?
Some fans think that it is better to win the pennant and lose the World Series than to lose the pennant and not get to the World Series. Not to the Yankees' and their fans. I understand that, because while it was so nice that the Yankees didn't get to the Series, it hurts more for them to get there and lose.
A Pivotal Doubleheader
There was one Yankees' game during the 1959 season that I had to watch. The Yankees were in Chicago for a Sunday doubleheader. They trailed the White Sox by 12 1/2 games, and needed a sweep to keep their slim pennant hopes alive. Baseball fans often seem insane to those who don't care about the game (you mean there are such individuals?).
I didn't watch the opener because I figured that if the Yankees lost, it would be all over and I wouldn't have to have the Yankees in my living room. Of course I knew that the Giants trailed Brooklyn by thirteen one half-games on Aug. 13, 1951, so it wouldn't really be over mathematically, but this was different It was Aug. 23, and the Yankees also trailed the Indians.
I turned on the television at about 4 o'clock and Mel Allen told me that Art Ditmar held the Sox to three hits as the Yankees beat Early Wynn for the first time all season, after Wynn had beaten them three times. I went into the kitchen, opened a can of C & C soda, and sat down on the couch. It was going to be 12-4 Bob Shaw facing 4-8 Ralph Terry.
The White Sox Win the Nightcap
The two right handers matched zeros until former Yankee Sherm Lollar led off the Chicago seventh with a home run. When the inning ended, the Yankees trailed by five runs. Bob Shaw shut them out on six hits, 5-0. It was such a good feeling.
No Five Consecutive Pennants
The Yankees' would not win five consecutive pennants for the second time in 11 years. Either the White Sox or Indians would win the pennant, and for the first time since 1954, there would be a World Series without the Yankees.
Of course, even if the Yankees won the pennant, this streak could not compare to the 1949-1953 streak because we beat the Yankees in the 1955 World Series, and our friends from Milwaukee, behind former Yankee Lew Burdette, beat them in 1957. I really looked forward to enjoying the rest of the season.
Who Cares Who Wins?
There is a certain, indescribable relaxation watching a baseball game you don't care who wins. I didn't care who won the pennants, although after what happened to my team after the 1957 season, I wanted the Braves to win the pennant.
The Yankees finished 15 games behind the White Sox, 15 games behind the Indians, and a mere three games ahead of the Tigers. Nellie Fox won the MVP and Early Wynn won the Cy Young Award when there was only one winner for both leagues. Sox catcher Sherm Lollar, second baseman Nellie Fox, and shortstop Luis Aparicio won Gold Gloves.
Despite my team no longer existing, for me and millions of others, 1959 was a pretty good year.
By JOHN DREBINGERSpecial to The New York Times.. (1959, August 24). Yanks and White Sox Divide Double-Header. New York Times (1857-Current file),p. 24. Retrieved January 12, 2010, from ProQuest Historical Newspapers The New York Times (1851 - 2006). (Document ID: 80599666).