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The Fat Lady Sings

October 20, 1985

A little after 3:30 last Wednesday afternoon the fat lady sang for the last time this season in Chavez Ravine, and it was all over. In six games the St. Louis Cardinals had defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers and won themselves--and quite deservedly, too--the right to represent the National League in the World Series. For the Dodgers and for millions of their fans it was an anguishing end to a season of unexpected achievement.

But hope is eternal and the 1986 baseball season is only half a year away, near enough surely to look ahead at what next year's Dodgers ought to have going for them. What they have are three guys each capable of hitting 30 home runs, if assorted distressed joints and the odd emergency appendectomy don't cut into their output. What they have are two and maybe even three pitchers with the stuff to win 20 games each. They've got a catcher who makes the Rock of Gibraltar look seismically unsteady, and they've got a young shortstop who in a couple of years will no doubt be demanding and getting an outrageous salary. And they have a farm system that could produce who knows what pleasurable surprises.

The 1985 Dodgers did well, confounding the pre-season consensus of the handicappers that had them finishing somewhere between third to fifth place, and their loss in October should in no way diminish their pride in all that went before. The mourning period in any case is now declared officially over. There's 1986 to look forward to. May it be a season of sunshine and triumph.

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