World Series Special: SF Vs. Dallas–I Mean, Arlington

As we await tonight’s first pitch from Tim Lincecum to Elvis Andrus, both The Dallas Morning News and The New York Times feature that ancient pre-World Series ritual in which journalists compare  and contrast the two teams’ cities in an effort to plumb the True Sociological Meaning and Essence of the locales.

The Morning News’ traditional in-your-face-off between metro columnists is here and here, while  the NY Times‘ front-pager–which predictably pits conservative Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert  vs. liberal SF Mayor Gavin Newsom– is here. (Apologies for the maddening pop-up political ads.)

Of course, all this Big D vs. The City stuff ignores a central fact which many around the country may not know:  The Texas Rangers don’t play in Dallas. Never have.  At least with the “Dallas” Cowboys, Dallas is part of the original name, and the Boyz did once play in Dallas’s Cotton Bowl, though they decamped to Irving more than 30 years ago and now play in that Mid-Cities funplex known as Arlington.

But the Strangers–sorry, that is oldthink; the Rangers–have been Arlingtonians all the way, and Arlington has long seen itself as an up-and-coming burg.  Writing for a Dallas magazine two decades ago, I referred to Arlington as a suburb of Dallas and received a hotly worded letter from Arlington’s mayor: “We are nobody’s suburb,” he snapped.

Okay, okay.  But who would read a “San Francisco vs. Arlington” piece?

As for the Series,  my heart still lies bleeding in Yankee Stadium,  there among the mourning ghosts of Monument Valley, but I do like (not yet love) the Rangers and I think they’ll win handily. Still, in the city vs. city breakdown, you have to give San Fran (never “Frisco”) some major points, and I’m not just talking about the absence of 110-degree summer days.

I’ve had wonderful times there–Coit Tower, Alcatraz, Golden Gate Park, Treasure Island, Sausalito,  the Muir Woods, the nearby wine country and my favorite area, North Beach, home to City Lights Books and the now-vanished Little City Bar and Grill, where Ann and I spent many a happy Happy Hour. And I can’t forget the  treasured Molinari, the deli of the gods, whose sopressata and Genovese would make a carnivore of Gandhi.

“Where little cable cars. . . climb halfway to the stars.” Too bad such a lovely place must go at least another year without a World Series title.


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