Baseball stories age well.
The famous bases-loaded showdown between Satchel Paige and Josh Gibson in the 1942 Negro League World Series has taken many forms:
Paige may have “intentionally” walked two batters to load ‘em up for Gibson. And he may have said “I’m gonna throw smoke at your yoke,” and “I’m gonna throw a pea at your knee.”
The trainer may have come to the mound with a big cup of bubbling bicarbonate to settle Paige’s stomach.
The one sure thing is that Paige blew a fastball past Gibson to end the inning.
There is less mystery surrounding last night’s bases-loaded showdown between Mariano Rivera and David Ortiz, but it was still a classic.
“I tried to make it interesting,” Rivera said. “That wasn’t my intention at all. It just happens.”
A one-run lead with the bases full and Ortiz at the plate is often a recipe for disaster, but Rivera finished the game with a cutter that was popped to short centerfield.
“That’s my best pitch,” said Rivera. “That’s his powerhouse and we went strength verses strength.”
There’s no better baseball story than that.