The Historical Meaning of Ducks vs. Black Sox


Well, as another season winds down, things are tight at the top of the division – Ducks and Black Sox battling it out for a pitcher-saving, injury-nurturing, frenzy-building bye. There is little I can say that you don’t already know. You’ve beaten this team; you’ve lost to this team. The chances are that if you’re reading this, you’ve probably never met me, but believe me, I too have beaten the BSox, I’ve lost to the BSox, I know how both feel. I’ve stolen five bases in one game against this team, had two Kenny “Powers” Rayl bombs hit off of me in one game, made catches I didn’t know I could, knocked in go-ahead runs, K’d with runners in scoring position then thrown my batting gloves into the woods at Moore Park.

I hope to God they still have that kid’s Dad as a “coach,” the guy that drinks Coronas (with the lime) while coaching third base with a Swisher Sweet dangling from his mouth. If you don’t know who I’m talking about, you should be able to picture a douche like that associated with them. One of the top five pleasures of my life has been eavesdropping on the tongue-lashing he gave the BSox after Matt Swetz pitched the game of his life to beat their asses 2-1.

I can think of perhaps five Ducks who had their only career hits off the Black Sox.

When they brought in that double-A Blue Jays kid like a week before the playoffs (probably no enforced roster deadline in ’05, but I mean, what the shit?) I wanted to face him just so I could get a hit off a kid who was a pro pitcher weeks before, and simultaneously break Kenny’s heart. I finally did get to face him the next year and I’m pretty sure that even with his talent he’s the only Black Sock I ever saw not care while he was on the field. I ripped him.

That same year I’d pitched against them to open the season and beat them for six innings before an unfortunate seventh that ended in a Ducks devastator. I believe if we had won that game, we’d have won the championship; instead we only won six games.

Black Sox games matter more than other games.

This is a team the Quack Pack have played for championships, but also in meaningless matchups. As long as I was a Duck there was never any difference. This is a team named for the worst scandal in the history of the game. If no one is bleeding by the end, you might as well have stayed home.

-Rob Swanger


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