Monday, October 26, 2009

The Return of the Whiz Kids

Fifty–nine years is a long time to wait for revenge, but baseball fans in Philadelphia have had to wait that long for a chance to even the score with the New York Yankees.

It was in 1950 that the Phillies, known as the "Whiz Kids," were swept by the Yankees in the World Series. That was the only time the two teams met with the world championship on the line.

They meet again in the Fall Classic starting Wednesday in New York.

The Phillies earned their nickname because of the youth of their squad. The average age of the Phillies was 26. They were the youngest team ever to win the National League pennant.

I don't know how the average age of this year's team compares to the 1950 team. But does it matter? The lesson of the Whiz Kids seems to be that age and experience are not bad things.

Not many of the Whiz Kids are still around, but I presume that the surviving members — pitchers Robin Roberts, Curt Simmons and Bob Miller, catcher Stan Lopata and outfielder Jackie Mayo — will be invited to at least one of the games in Philadelphia.

All are in their 80s, though, and health concerns may prevent some or all of them from being there.

But 59 years is a long time to wait for redemption — and those guys might not get another chance.

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