Day 180: October 5, 1991

Philadelphia, PA

Park # 177

What I Remember

There is something almost noble about way that major league baseball teams play out the string. No other sport has either the number of teams that have been eliminated from contention near the end of the season nor the extended time spent in that limbo. Today, 10 of the 30 clubs make it to the postseason, two of them very briefly, but 20 do not and most of those are eliminated long before the calendar turns to October.

In 1991 only four of the 26 teams participated in the post season and only six had a chance going into the final week. For teams like the Mets and Phillies, who we saw in a battle for third-place bragging rights on the penultimate day of the season, the only real motivator was personal pride. That manifested itself into a close competitive game on that Saturday afternoon.

There isn’t a lot to say about the Vet. I have some happy memories there. I saw some great concerts, I even saw the Orioles win Game 3 in the 1983 World series there. But the park was a big astroturf-bedecked cookie cutter just off the highway in the shadow of the Philly airport – I doubt if it ever made anyone forget Shibe Park. Still, we found Funnel Cake and Cheesesteaks and saw the Phillie Phanatic in action.

The Game

Philadelphia Phillies 1 New York Mets 0

The Box

A Note about this Site

This site is intended to be a companion to the upcoming book In League with America. Although some games were particularly notable and will appear in the book, most of the results of the 199 games we saw over the course of the 1991 season will not. Our journey was never really intended to be about the games themselves, it was about the places we saw and the people we met along the way.

However, there is now an historic nature to the results from this season. All of the players we saw then, even in the minors, have long since retired. Some of the players we saw at Class A are now members of the Baseball Hall of Fame. These pages, then, will function as kind of a digital appendix with a brief recollection of each day, the result of the game(s) we saw that day and a map of our daily drive.

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