All I remember was someone in my parents’ living room—hell, it might have even been me—just muttering, “They lost” before we all slinked off in silence to mope ourselves to sleep. I went to an all-boys Catholic school, and I’m telling you it seemed like no one even spoke in the halls the next day. We were all stunned. The entire city of Pittsburgh seemed to mourn for a while, and it took two decades after that for the Pirates even to have a winning season. It was that bad.


“You know that wasn’t on purpose,” Cabrera said after I finally told him the truth about who I was, and why I wanted to talk to him. “Because I didn’t know that you were a Pirate fan. You could be a Braves fan and be happy right now,” he added. I didn’t laugh. But I did tell him how surreal it was to actually speak to him after all these years.

At the end of our conversation, Cabrera had a little story to relate to me.

“Barry Bonds, he don’t like me,” he said. “He don’t want to talk to me no more.”

Why was that? I asked.

The next season would be the last of Cabrera’s brief big-league career, though he did play several more seasons in the minors. That year, he and Bonds crossed paths in San Francisco when the Braves were out there to play the Giants. Bonds had signed with the Giants and would spend the rest of his career there. Bonds would of course achieve many things, but he never did win a World Series. And in 1993, anyway, even after he moved on from the Pirates, Bonds was still openly seething over Game 7 of the ’92 NLCS.


“He was like, ‘Hey, don’t talk to me, I hate you,’” Cabrera remembered.

We both laughed at that.