I was a boy once, watching men named Mickey, Moose, Rocky, Willie, Yogi, Boog, Pee Wee. They earned extra money by endorsing Gillette Razors, Lifebuoy Soap, Wonder Bread, and Camel Cigarettes, unfiltered. (I kid you not). The players were all about winning the World Series because it meant more money. If you lived in Brooklyn, some of the players lived in your neighborhood.
Now it is reversed. I watch these boys, younger than my own sons. Their names are Giancarlo, Masahiro, Aaron, Justin, Didi, Yandy. Now they endorse shoes. They get royalties from the sale of replica jerseys. They make more money in a season than what some players earned in a career,
It seems that nothing has changed, except there are computers everywhere and radar. If you go to the ballpark, you have to take out a mortgage to buy a hot dog.
The World Series was like Christmas, so important the principal would announce the score on the Public Address system. They played the World Series games in the afternoon. The fans would talk about the game, not the commercials.
Now, we are games away from the World Series with three rounds of playoffs before the Big Event. Baseball is little more than an intrusion, a houseguest who has stayed too long.
But the game still has some unvarnished brilliance by the great grandchildren of giants.