Denny McLain, Bob Gibson, and Mickey Lolich were the stars of my first and most vivid World Series. My eighth grade American Studies teacher at Millard Lefler Junior High believed strongly that baseball was both Our National Pasttime and a barometer of racial equality. It was our duty as citizens to observe the World Series, just as it was our duty to vote and serve on a jury. Mr. Stith required our class, just after lunch, to watch and listen to the '68 games. Back then the World Series games were played in the afternoon. I didn't like Mr. Stith, but I've always been grateful for this World Series experience.
In the 1968 World Series between the Tigers and Cardinals, there were seven complete games. Mickey Lolich and Bob Gibson pitched three each, and Denny McLain the other. Gibson was a favorite in Nebraska, having been born in Omaha. McLain ended up in prison. Lolich had a donut shop. I don't have a clue what happened to the cute but nerdy kid named Dougie who sat behind me in Mr. Stith's class.