There's more diversity and money now

For many of you, I know, 1968 seems like ancient history. When I was growing up in the 1970s, World War II seemed like forever ago, and 1968 seemed like something I missed by just a few years. So it's strange for me to realize that 1968 seems like forever ago to a significant percentage of ESPN.com's "users" (sorry for the quotation marks, but I've never achieved more than a rudimentary level of comfort with that term). And with the Tigers facing off against the Cardinals in a World Series for the first time in nearly 40 years, I thought it might be interesting to see how things have changed.

Things were a lot different in 1968. For one thing, U.S. armed forces were embroiled in a non-declared war, seemingly without end, on the other side of the world. … OK, maybe things haven't changed so much there. Let's stick with baseball.

In 1968, the St. Louis Cardinals played in Busch Stadium, which had opened two years earlier and would remain the Cardinals' home for exactly 40 seasons. The Tigers played in Tiger Stadium, which opened in 1912 -- the same day as Fenway Park -- and originally was named Navin Field (after owner Frank Navin), renamed Briggs Stadium in 1938 (after owner Spike Briggs), and finally renamed Tiger Stadium in 1961 (after owner William J. Tiger). To me it seems that the Tigers just vacated their wonderful home just a few years ago, but they actually played their last game there in 1999; this season marked their seventh in Comerica Park. And of course this season was the Cardinals' first season in their new Busch Stadium, a baseball-only venue that generates immense amounts of money with its luxury suites, specialized concessions, and commercial signage.