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I was seven in 1968 and this was the first season I followed from start to finish- I remember being ‘sick’ during the weekday games of the World Series in October- so I could watch those games.

I hear old timers talk about how great it was in the old days- and how today’s game doesn’t match up. In my opinion the players of today are as good if not better than ever. The game has changed over the years- and the world has changed. Those who make the claim ‘they played for the love of the game” 50 years ago are full of baloney. They have always played for the money.

One way the game has changed for the better over 50 years ago. Look at the standings below- back then it was two leagues as it is today but only one team in each league- the pennant winners advanced to the World Series. There was no playoffs. On August 1, 1968 there was still two months to go in the season and a lot of meaningless games. Look at the American League- Detroit led by 7 games over Baltimore, 8 over Cleveland and 10 over Boston. The pennant race wasn’t over- a 7 game lead in two months can be lost but Baltimore or Cleveland would have had to have played great ball and Detroit would have had to stumble for there to be a pennant race. The rest of the league was out of it. The National League? It was over- the last two months would be meaningless games- except for players statistics and pride the rest of the way- St. Louis had a 14 1/2 game lead over second place Cincinnati.

I was seven and a Pirate fan they were 51-54 but I didn’t know any better. I listened to the games on the radio and was happy with every win- unhappy with every loss but enjoying the experience of following baseball and going to some games- and seeing  my heroes- Willie Stargell and Roberto Clemente. There were great players back then as there are today- but I don’t think the game was necessarily better. I was younger and it was new to me- so more exciting–but more exciting because I was young. The game today is as great as it ever has been.


Tm W L W-L% GB RS RA pythW-L%
DET 65 39 .625 426 330 .615
BAL 57 45 .559 7.0 365 310 .574
CLE 58 48 .547 8.0 360 319 .555
BOS 54 48 .529 10.0 388 414 .470
OAK 53 51 .510 12.0 354 343 .514
NYY 48 52 .480 15.0 332 349 .477
MIN 48 54 .471 16.0 369 342 .535
CAL 48 56 .462 17.0 324 396 .409
CHW 45 55 .450 18.0 299 304 .492
WSA 36 64 .360 27.0 322 432 .369




Tm W L W-L% GB RS RA pythW-L%
STL 70 36 .660 402 288 .648
CIN 53 48 .525 14.5 434 417 .518
ATL 55 51 .519 15.0 326 338 .483
CHC 54 52 .509 16.0 387 396 .489
SFG 52 52 .500 17.0 358 354 .505
PIT 51 54 .486 18.5 376 347 .537
PHI 48 55 .466 20.5 348 381 .459
NYM 49 58 .458 21.5 315 313 .503
LAD 47 58 .448 22.5 271 316 .430
HOU 45 60 .429 24.5 318 385 .413


  1. Two leagues with no divisions and no playoffs might not have been a good thing, but to me MLB is oversaturated now. My “good ‘ol days were the 70’s and 80’s before expansion and three divisions in each league (and pretty much everything else that changed). There never should’ve been baseball in Florida or Arizona other than spring training. Yeah, Atlanta and Cinci in the West made no sense either, but I’d go back to that arrangement in a heartbeat. And for the love of God, if there’s an infield shift on, learn how to slap the ball to the opposite side!

    • My research has shown me- the good old days for most fans where when they were young- growing up. Think about the 70’s- 80’s- I loved it then I was young- but but– artificial turf- cookie cutter ballparks- an awful things… the game has always been changing- in 2058 50 some year olds will probably be talking about how the good old days were- back in the 2010’s and 2020’s…

    • The Florida expansion was a mistake- I don’t think anywhere else has been. They need to move those teams but- what do you do about Miami- they build a new ballpark- no one goes to games but the ballpark is new. I heard that this season for games so far the ballpark has been 24% full. 3/4ths empty. That is a problem- and I don’t think if they had a good team it would be all that much better. I think Montreal should get one of the teams- uncertain on who gets the other…

    • And, aren’t they building a new stadium in Tampa? They already know it won’t draw fans except when the Yankees are in town. The cookie cutter stadiums and astro turf were bad, but I’ve gotta say it was fun watching the track meets in St. Louis when Whitey was the manager.

  2. Manfred mentioned Nashville as possible…but I’m not holding my breath. They compare to Cincinnati though but I just don’t see it.
    If I were king of the MLB for one day…the thing I would do… would piss a lot of people off but interleague play would either be gone or just one local series a year… That was one of the things that made the World Series special because the two teams would be new to each other…
    What do you think about the DH? I personally don’t mind two different rules for each league. I don’t want the National league to adopt it.

    • I am a baseball fan but being a Pirate fan always more of a National League fan. Always more knowledgeable about the NL- and I like the way the DH rule is now- each league its own rules- but I think the DH is coming…. and I think most fans would be happy to see interleague play go. To quote Elvis- it was a fine idea at the time but it was a brilliant mistake.

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