For only the second time in Major League History, a World Series game will be played on October 31. The only other time it happened was 2001 – when the Yankees and Arizona Diamondbacks faced off in the Bronx for Game 4 of their series. Blame the late start to the 2009 season (April 6) and what feels like the longest postseason ever (because of all the days off between games) but the 2009 series is going to Game 3 in Philly on Halloween.
Coincidentally enough, the last time a game was played on Halloween the Yankees were involved and Derek Jeter earned his title of Mr. November. The Oct. 31, 2001 game went late into the early morning of Nov.1 and Jeter’s late game heroics (opposite field solo home run in the 10th) tied the series at 2-2.
MLB.com went around interviewing Yankee and Phillies players as to their feelings about this combo day. “I’d normally be home waiting for kids to knock on the door,” Yankees backup catcher Jose Molina said, “but this time, I’ll be here. I’ll take this a million times before being home waiting for kids to knock on the door.”
The best story of all comes from Phil Coke, via mlb.com:
“I used to like trick-or-treating as a boy. Up until the age of 9 or 10,” Coke said. “And then this person scared the crap out of me so bad. He went crazy in his front yard. He had all these little hiding spots that, in the daytime if you’d see it, it’s like, ‘OK, that’s not a big deal.’ He had path lights going up to his door. Well, he had them turned off, and the little section of hedges, there were all these spots in there that you could hide in.
“He had these strobe lights going off … spider webs by the door … this creepy music in the background … and he had a fog machine and everything, so the fog was rolling down the front steps.
“And he pops out of the hedges!”
At this point, Coke was doing everything but pointing a flashlight up from the floor onto his face as he continued to tell the scariest story of this World Series.
“He has a skeleton kind of garb, and it glows, when the light catches it right, it really stands out,” Coke continued. “Oh my god — that guy scared me so bad. I couldn’t go trick-or-treating after a certain period of time ever again. “He tried to come in and apologize to me, and I was all messed up. It was bad. He got me good. I was 9 or 10. It was a very traumatic experience. It was probably 8 o’clock at night, so it wasn’t really late, but he got me. Boy, did he get me.”
A funny twist to this story is that two of Coke’s teammates, Johnny Damon and pitcher Chad Gaudin, are two of those guys who like to jump out of the bushes and scare kids.
“I like to get out with the kids and every now and then hide behind the bushes and scare the kids who actually think it’s going to be an enjoyable treat coming to my house for Halloween,” Damon said.
I have to say that having Halloween the same night as a World Series game is an extra, and fun, twist. There will be some goofs in the stands all dressed up and people in bars watching the game all dressed up. Just don’t confuse the Philly Phantatic with a guy dressed for Halloween!