MLB…My Favorite Rivalries.

There are butterflies in your stomach. Your blood pressure rises. Your jaws clench. Your mouth engages before your brain does. The smack-talk starts flowing…and you have not had a single beer yet. There is only one thing that elicits this kind of a guttural, physiological response from a baseball fan, and that is when it comes down to a rivalry series. Let’s face it, nobody is about to get all hot-and-bothered over a 3-game set between the Houston Astros and the Toronto Blue Jays. Talk about an inter-league matchup where the stadium vendors might outnumber the fans…What I am talking about is the primitive, gut-wrenching, decades-long nemesis that your boys are going up against. Yeah, you know exactly what I am talking about. For purposes of clarity, I have left out inter-league rivalries, so you will not see Yankees-Mets or Cubs-White Sox. Here are a few of my favorite matchups. Please feel free to let me know about your favorites.
The New York Yankees versus the Boston Red Sox…In my opinion, this is the single most heated and storied rivalry in all of baseball, if not all of professional sports in North America. This matchup is on a par with the Chicago Bears versus the Green Bay Packers. When you think of baseball, almost universally the first thought that anyone has is about the Yankee-Red Sox history. Am I biased? I sure am! I am a die-hard Red Sox fan, and I consider the Yankees to have been accurately described when they were dubbed ‘The Evil Empire’. I could devote volumes to this rivalry, but I won’t. Not here, anyway.
The Chicago Cubs versus the St. Louis Cardinals… This is a classic National League rivalry that, sadly for Cubs fans, has been remarkably one-sided. These two teams really get after each other, and there is no love lost between them. There is a long history that spans decades. It has been a great rivalry. I have never been to Wrigley Field or Busch Stadium (I or II), but it is on my baseball stadium tour bucket list.
The Los Angeles Dodgers versus the San Francisco Giants…This started off in New York, When the Brooklyn Dodgers played in Ebbets Field in Brooklyn and the New York Giants played in the Polo Grounds in upper Manhattan. This rivalry is the only one to have existed on both the east and west coasts. Both the Giants and the Dodgers announced moves to California in the summer of 1957, and they took their rivalry with them. This is one of the rivalries that my late father used to talk to me about, along with the Boston-New York rivalry.
The Philadelphia Phillies versus the New York Mets…The Mets have only been in existence since 1962, so the rivalry is not based on age as much as it is based on geographical boundaries. Plus these teams really do not like each other. There have been fireworks aplenty when these two National League East rivals take the field. I grew up with this one, as we lived only about 20-minutes from old Shea Stadium in Flushing, NY, so I got to see the Phillies many times. And every time I went to Shea Stadium to see a game, it seemed like the boo-birds were just a little louder when the Phillies came to town. I have also seen this soap opera played out in Philadelphia at the Old Veterans Stadium, ad trust me, it wasn’t any better. In fact, the only thing that made the trip to Philadelphia palatable was the mandatory stop at either Geno’s or Pat’s for a cheesesteak (talk about a rivalry…Jeez!).
Well, these are a look at my 4 favorite rivalries. These are the games that are ‘must-see’ viewing for me when they come on TV. I will literally stop anything else that I have going on at the time to watch these games. I hope that you will share your favorite rivalry games with me.


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