Karma's When I Feel Like It Blog

June 2, 2010

The Boston Red Sox, Baseball and Me

Filed under: Uncategorized — Karma @ 8:44 pm
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I hope the title of this post doesn’t turn some possible readers away, such as Yankees fans or those who don’t consider themselves followers of sports.  Its about more than the Sox, I promise!

This past Friday night, I attended a game at the beloved Fenway Park in Boston.

It was a horrible, embarrassing loss to bottom-feeders, the Kansas City Royals.  The experience got me thinking about my relationship with the Red Sox and how it has grown over the years.

As a child, I didn’t really pay much attention to sports.  My father was (and is) a big sports fan, so the Red Sox were always there in the background of my consciousness.  I wouldn’t call my dad a fanatic, but he would enjoy watching a game when they were available on Channel 38 from Boston – no fancy NESN (New England Sports Network, for those of you reading from out of the area) broadcasting virtually every game.  Sometimes my mom, sister and I would even decide to pick up a couple of Red Sox tickets for dad to go and see a game at Fenway. Tickets to those games were cheap and abundantly available in the 1980s.  I even remember the heartbreak of 1986, and the ball rolling through Bill Buckner’s legs, putting an end to the team’s World Series bid that year.

In the years that followed, as I went through college and then married and started a family of my own, the Red Sox were still there in the background.  The man I married is a rarity among men I believe; he doesn’t really follow sports!  Sure, he’ll watch a football game if he happens to be home on a Sunday in the fall, but it is really no big deal to him, so the Sox still hadn’t come to a forefront in this household.   It may sound sexist, but my children did not create a grand interest in sport either; my girls are dancers.  Sports are no big deal to them.  I would still glance at the paper from time to time to see how the Sox were doing.  Excitement about a title for the Sox seemed to be nowhere in sight.  The curse of 80+ years with no championship continued.

Then things started to change.  My sister got married in 2002 to a man who is a sports fanatic  really enjoys watching all kinds of sports.  A traditional guy in charge of his remote control in the house, sports are always on tv in their home. She began to chat with my mother and I about the Red Sox. In 2003, the Sox had something going.  A guy named Pedro was pitching the Sox to some victories and heating things up in the American League East.  Hopes were dashed in the American League Championships by that team from the Bronx. (They don’t deserve a link!)

2004 was quite the famous year.  I don’t have to say too much about it.  The 86 year drought ended. Call me a “bandwagon” fan, but that’s the year that I jumped in with both feet.  I became, as the movie “Fever Pitch”  proclaims, “the most pathetic creature on Earth, a Red Sox fan.”  Red Sox fever took over.  This is the Christmas card that I sent out that year:

The fact that this World Series victory not only ended “the curse” but came with a crushing collapse for the Yankees in the American League Championship, made it only that much sweeter for Sox fans everywhere.  We savored.

  Having something to follow and keep up with and feel a part of something special really helps a person get into a sport, I believe.  My sister watched, my mom started watching too, I watched.  I started watching regular season games on a fairly regular basis.  I started a new job in 2005 where I found people who enjoyed talking about the Red Sox.  I wanted to know more.  I watched games and I read: the newspaper, blogs, books.  I started to understand pitching rotations, in-field fly rules, ground rule doubles and ERA’s, terms that would have been foreign to my vocabulary a few years ago.  By 2007, I got really serious and decided it was time for me to go to Fenway!  I’ve lived in Massachusetts my entire life, yet I’d never been to a Red Sox game at Fenway Park.  I felt it was a right of passage that I had earned.  In April of 2007, I went to my first game:

I fell in love with the atmosphere!  The sounds, the smells, the sights, the Green Monster!

And I have continued going back ever since.  I’ve been lucky enough to get to go to a least a couple games each year since 2007.  Jennifer is usually the one who accompanies me (hubby is yet to jump on that bandwagon), and she was the one who came with me this past Friday night, despite being absolutely exhausted from a business trip.  This trip was an example of the persistance of Red Sox fans.  Our team is wallowing around 4th place in the American League East this year.  Teams start losing and typically “bandwagon” fans start jumping off.  I’m not.  I’m planning to enjoy a good summer of baseball.  I admit to being so disappointed Friday night that I did not feel like singing “Sweet Caroline” in the 8th inning for the first time ever (Jennifer called me a sour puss!), but I’m not giving up hope on the season.  I will persist!  The Red Sox don’t always make it easy on their fans, but I think its great to have this something of which to feel a part.  When Sox fans talk, we say things like,”So who are we playing tonight?”  or “Who’s pitching for us tonight?” and its understood.  We may not be members of the Boston Red Sox, but they are our team.