I grew up in Southwest Ohio during the Big Red Machine’s heyday but I hated the Reds because they routinely beat up on my favorite team, the Phillies. Being a Phillies fan in the 1970s was tough. They were incredibly talented at the absolute wrong time. They were just good enough to keep your hopes up and then they could crush your soul in October.
Then came 1980. I’ll never forget sitting at the edge of my bed when Tug McGraw struck out Willie Wilson to end the 1980 World Series. I was wearing one of those plastic batting helmets with a Phillies pennant in each hand (yes I was/am a total geek). It was the culmination of a fantastic year.
I was in 8th grade, I kissed a girl at the Harvest Supper dance, my team won it all and I was elected class president. Unfortunately things didn’t work out for me and that young lady. Our torrid two-week love affair ended after she fell for an older man. Yet despite that, I still love everything about the ’80s.