"Go Phillies Go" bumper stickers were out and about. All that was needed, Walsh recalled, was "four or five measly wins."
I still try to imagine what it would have been like if the Twins had won just one of those last two games against the Red Sox in Boston in 1967. The only thing that would have made me happier, would be for the U.S. to get out of Viet Nam. Let's not forget that dark cloud of the 1960s and how the draft terrorized young men then, how we realized the war wasn't worth it. Baseball was escapist entertainment in troubled times. We can forget how troubled.
Dick or "Richie" Allen was the first African-American Phillies star. Collectors of baseball cards will remember he was from "Wampum, Pennsylvania." He was a controversial player in an age when edgy behavior and speech were frowned upon. He thrilled with home runs and overall power. He was assigned third base which he had never played before. He would later play first base.
Two non-fiction books have been inspired by the 1964 Philadelphia Phillies and their collapse. One has Allen's name in the title and gives a lot of attention to integration (of the races).
It's too bad a mere sport can have such a hold on us. The '94 strike cured a lot of that for me. But we never become detached from our childhood.