When I was a boy, baseball was the first sport to grab my imagination.
I would watch Kirk Gibson's heroic home run off Dennis Eckersley in Game 1 of the 1988 World Series over and over again on a VHS my parents bought me and listen to the call of broadcaster Vin Scully. High fly ball into right field, she ... is ... gone!
A year later, I sat in front of the TV, rapt as Game 3 of the 1989 World Series was delayed due to an earthquake in San Francisco. My grandfather, Lamar Stall, one of the biggest baseball fans you'll ever meet, was at the game -- he was also at the Gibson game -- and we wondered if he was OK. When that World Series ended, I cried because that meant no more baseball until the next April. I was 7.
Three years later, my love for the game had only grown. So, on Oct. 14, 1992, when my grandfather came over to watch Game 7 of the National League Championship Series between the Pirates and the Atlanta Braves and told me that he was taking me to Games 1 and 2 of the World Series, I was in disbelief at my good fortune. That meant we would be heading from Shreveport, La., to either Pittsburgh or Atlanta. Now, we just had to sit and watch it all play out.
As the game wore on, it seemed more and more we would be heading for Three Rivers Stadium. Of course, when Francisco Cabrera's single scored David Justice and Sid Bream, we were on to Atlanta, and I think I remember running around my house in delirium after one of the great comebacks in baseball history.
Twenty years later, when I moved to Pittsburgh, I wanted to catch up with the players from that team and see how much, if it all, their heartbreak had stuck with them.
We'd love to know your memories, too. In the name of catharsis, we have a forum ready if you want to open up those old wounds. Leave your comments below. You must use a Facebook account to leave comments on the PG website.pirates