When the Giants got into the World Series last fall against the Detroit Tigers, we ran a story about F-line PCC No. 1079, painted in tribute to Detroit, and noted that the Tigers had failed to win a world series during the Motor City’s PCC era. Would the specter of a Detroit PCC in Giantstown doom the Tigers? We all know how that turned out — a sweep for our team!
Now, the 49ers are in the Super Bowl against the Ravens of Baltimore, another ex-PCC city (from 1936 to 1963), honored in the F-line fleet by No. 1063. Could the PCC jinx recur?
It’s not so simple this time. A Baltimore NFL team DID win the NFL Championship during that city’s PCC era — twice, in 1958 (a legendary overtime win over the New York Giants) and 1959 (beating the Giants again).
But wait. That winning Baltimore NFL team wasn’t the Ravens; it was their predecessor, the Colts, who now play in Indianapolis (which never had PCCs, by the way). The Ravens, as football fans know, played in Cleveland as the Browns during that city’s PCC era. Muni has a PCC painted for Cleveland in its fleet, too (No. 1075). And yes, the Browns won multiple NFL Championships while PCCs ran there.
So, unless it turns out to be a jinx to simply HAVE a PCC representing our opponent’s city, it looks like the ‘Niners are on their own this Sunday.
Trivia: the last time BOTH cities in an NFL Championship Game were actively operating PCC streetcars was 1955 — Cleveland (still running the Shaker Heights line) and Los Angeles (which retired its double-ended Pacific Electric PCCs that year but was still running its narrow gauge single-enders under the banner of Los Angeles Transit Lines). If the New England Patriots (representing Boston) had beaten the Ravens in the AFC Championship Game, it would have happened again this year.
I see 1063 is back out on the street today. Hopefully no 49er fans will notice its’ presence.
John Engleman (from Raven-mad Baltimore)
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