Time heals all wounds. This much, I know. We have a tendency to scrub our memories clean, leaving a foggy & romantic view of the past that isn’t exactly accurate. Watch how quickly any “steroids are cheating” truther shoves aside the inconvenient truth of greenies or amphetamines in baseball.
The Golden Age was golden, perfect and shiny as it reflects a simpler time in the world in which everybody gets along and everything was just as it should be. Except, of course, that it wasn’t.
The San Francisco Chronicle re-posted an article from 1962 on their website this weekend and it is amazing. Reading like a discarded chapter from L.A. Confidential, it recounts a conversation between Charles McCabe and a known gambler and degenerate known only as “Manny the Noodle”.
The Noodle, playing the 1962 role of the 99%, details how “the Money” wants the Dodgers and Yankees to meet in the World Series because
ESPN is always trying to shove the same big market teams down our throat that’s just what The Money does. The Noodle doesn’t mince words when describe the invisible hand of the market.
“So baseball is different from everything else? Honest or something? Money wins every time, kid. You ride with the money or you’re dead.
Yeah, seee. These wiseguys are all about the lettuce, seeee. And how does The Money conspire to ensure the two biggest markets meet in the Fall Classic? Do they add additional Wild Card games or limit the way small market clubs can spend in the draft?
Nope. They drug Willie Mays, the best player on the only team standing between the Dodgers and the National League crown, of course!
It’s an amazing story, one that stands a zero percent chance of running in any newspaper today. Which is good because it is almost assuredly not true. Not only is it so outlandish that I cannot bring myself to believe it but the Giants ended up winning the NL pennant in 1962. Meaning all the best laid plans of men willing to stage an extravagant drugging of the best player in baseball didn’t realize it takes more than one player to change the course of a baseball season. It might take as many as eight, I hear.
It sure makes for good reading, I tells ya. Clicking through this link to the original (reprinted) story is certainly worth the 5 minutes it takes to read. And you’ll be talking all cool to the dames at work for the rest of the afternoon, too. Everybody wins then you drink at your desk. The Sixties, baby. They were the best of times1.
1 – Does not apply to any non-straight, non-white males or women of any kind.