KANSAS CITY — The first World Series Jason Frasor remembers watching growing up in Oak Forest, Ill. was in 1986.
He saw the New York Mets play the Boston Red Sox on TV as a nine-year-old. The Mets rallied late to win Game 6 on a Billy Buckner error and won Game 7.
Frasor watched after practice and games with the Southern Illinois Salukis after standing on the same mound Dave Stieb had as a collegian.
He viewed Series games after pitching summers at class-A Oneonta, class-A West Michigan and class-A Lakeland in the Detroit Tigers system and at class-A Vero Beach and double-A Jacksonville in the Los Angeles Dodgers chain.
Now, following nine Octobers as a member of the Blue Jays, plus another year as a Texas Rangers, he is in the World Series as a member of the Kansas City Royals bullpen.
He has many October wins as ace Madison Bumgarner (two), who starts Game 1 of the 110th World Series for the San Francisco Giants against the Royals at Kauffman Stadium Tuesday night.
“I’m surprised how comfortable I feel on the mound, finally pitching in October,” said Frasor Monday afternoon. “The difficult part is the first five innings of each game, trying to figure out what’s going to happen, when I might be called on to warm up.”
Frasor appeared in 647 career games (a franchise record 505 with the Jays) before entering the wild-card game against the Oakland A’s in the 12th inning. He allowed a run-scoring single to Alberto Callaspo, struck out Derrek Norris looking and popped up Nick Punto. When the Royals scored two in the bottom of the 12th, Frasor was the winner.
He had two scoreless outings (1 1/3 innings) against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and pitched a scoreless sixth in Game 3 against Baltimore for his second win.
“Two days off after Baltimore would have been fine,” said Frasor. “I don’t know about this six days off.”
That’s what happens when your fans bring brooms to games and you sweep each opponent.
3-for-5? If the Giants win it will be their third in previous five seasons, the first since the New York Yankees (1998-2000).
“That would be a huge accomplishment,” said Bumgarner. “You think more about when you’re retired, sitting at home looking back on your career.
“It’s been a pretty special run we’ve been on, like I said, we’ve got bigger goals in mind. Obviously, that’s where you want to be every year, and we’ve got a good group of guys to do it with.”
Moving the mountain: Rather than having media enter post-season clubhouses on the workout day, plans changed in 2009 when the two groups gathered in the Great Hall at Yankee Stadium. The Royals and Giants players took turns meeting the press inside the Royal Hall of Fame in left field, a wonderful display of history and artifacts.
Upon entering you’re greeted by newspaper headlines dating back to K.C.’s first teams carved into the ashwood panels. Some of our faves:
“An Interesting Game of Base Ball Between the Kansas City Unions and Chicago Unions.”
“Monarchs Show Easterners How to Play Ball As They Trounce Greys 9 to 3 in New York.”
“It Was Kansas City’s Day Both of Her Ball Clubs Prove Winners; The Cowboys shut out Louisville and the Blues Tighten their Grips on 3rd Place; Games at Other Cities; The World’s Pacing Record Falls.”
“Monarchs Wrest Negro WS Diadem From Homestead Greys; Paine Overcomes 5-2 Deficit Allowed by Jack Matchett; Satchell Also Held
Foe Hitless for Five Full Innings and a Half.”
“By George, 3,000 Hits.”
Brett wore No. 5, Howser was a perfect 10 and White wore No. 20.
So, who wears No. 40?
Reliever Kelvin Herrera, who had a 1.54 ERA and has pitched 8 1/3 scoreless in the post-season combing for 69 strikeouts in 78 1/3 innings this year.
Keep working on the resume.
US Geography: Looking like a shaggy mutt I went for a hair cut on Saturday. The barber shop in County Club Plaza was booked, so they sent me around the corner to a salon (don’t tell Tammy at Iona barber shop in Mississauga.
I sat listening as three women gave their views about the Royals and their chances.
Finally, a woman said “I’m so upset, I’m away on business and won’t see the first two games.”
“Where will you going?” a woman in another chair asked
“Regina, Sass-kaa-TOON, they probably don’t even have TVs up there,” she said.
Have always made it my policy never to retort when someone has scissors at ear level, but am guessing Jamie and Gregg will bring the game to all of Saskatchewan.
– Follow Bob Elliott on Twitter @elliottbaseball