Shades of Ed Armbrister in the 2013 World Series
Reading the “Give me Liberty, or give me Death!” speech by Patrick Henry is always inspiring to me. And one of the lines of that speech seems strangely applicable to last night’s conclusion of Game 3 of the World Series. (You won’t find this sort of commentary anywhere else, dear readers.)
The line from Henry’s speech reads “I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided, and that is the lamp of experience.” The experience of obstruction being called, or not called, goes back, at least in my lifetime, to Game 3 (ironically enough) of the 1975 World Series.
Cincinnati’s Big Red Machine and the Boston Red Sox hooked up in a titanic struggle that year. If you’re too young to remember it, or you weren’t even born yet, I’m sorry that you missed it. It was the first World Series that I ever watched, and the middle-aged man I am today still remembers what the seven-year-old boy I once was witnessed.
In game three of that series, which was also played in the National League’s ballpark, Ed Armbrister was sent in to bunt Cesar Geronimo over to second base in the bottom of the tenth inning of a 5-5 game. Armbrister bunted the ball, as he had been sent in to do, and appeared to get in the way of Red Sox catcher Carlton Fisk. Fisk fielded the ball and tried to make a play at second, but his throw was high and as a result, Geronimo wound up at third base.
You can watch the play here.
There was no interference called against Armbrister, despite the Red Sox’ protests. The game didn’t end on this play, as last night’s game did, but it led to the Red Sox losing, as Joe Morgan hit a sacrifice fly that brought Geronimo home. Boston then found itself in a 2-1 hole in that series, just as it is today.
It’s safe to say there won’t be any Game six heroics by Fisk and Bernie Carbo this time around. Ed Armbrister is now running his own baseball league in his native land of the Bahamas, and I’m sure he thinks about that one bunt in 1975 from time to time. It was, until last night, perhaps the most famous interference-related call in the history of the game (it was a non-call, really, but you get the point).
Getting back to Patrick Henry for a moment, he also claimed that “I know of no way of judging of the future but by the past.”
And if the past is indeed a guide to the future, we’re still in for one hell of a Series. Four more games won’t be enough, but that’s all were going to get, so let’s be sure to enjoy them.