So it's come to this; the World Series is on hiatus. Who would have guessed that baseball in the final week of October might not be ideal, weather-wise? Most Phillies fans are walking on eggshells. Even though they still have a three-to-one lead in the Series, and a tie game with three-and-a-half innings to go, a lot of folks are taking the bizarre circumstances of Monday night as some sort of ill omen. Undoubtedly, they've had twenty-eight years to think about failures and close calls, and they're not looking forward to another forty-eight hours to be left alone with their thoughts.
If Joe Carter isn't foremost in the minds of Phillies fans, then they've done an exceptional job of tuning out the numerous references to and clips of the ex-Blue Jays outfielder leaping joyously around the bases after hitting the three-run home run that turned a 6-5 Phillies lead into World Series Championship for Toronto. He became just the second player ever to end the Fall Classic with a walk-off homer, and annoyed the hell out of me.
It was my first postseason as a fan, and it had brought nothing but disappointment. In the NLCS, the Phillies beat the Braves, who I'd taken a liking to while watching their seemingly endless parade of games on TBS. In the ALCS, the hated division rival Blue Jays, with their arrogant manager Cito Gaston, toppled the White Sox (I was 11 years old; nothing was cooler than those black caps and Frank Thomas). I settled when it came time to crown a World Champion. I didn't have any personal feelings of animosity toward Philadelphia, and the filthy scrounginess of John Kruk and company was a decent consolation prize. I was so disappointed when the Jays broke open Game One and took the Series lead that I actually cried (not one of my prouder moments).
By the time Game Six rolled around, with Toronto on the verge of winning it all, I had thankfully found something else to do. I was at a classmate's Halloween party, and I have only a vague memory of the game being on television in the girl's kitchen. I think I saw that historic home run, but I honestly can't be sure. I've seen the footage so many times in the last fifteen years, it's probably colored my memories of that night.