For only the fifth time in my forty years of fandom, the Red Sox are heading into the World Series. Here’s some thoughts a couple of hours before the first pitch.
Ceremonial first pitch tonight by my all-time favorite player Carl Yastrzemski, joined on the field by many of his 1967 “Impossible Dream” teammates. I caught the fever in 1967 while visiting my grandmother on Cape Cod during summer vacation. My father bought me a Sox Yearbook at the local grocery and then I followed the games down to the last day of the season. I remember that the TV broke into the telecast of Gentle Ben to announce that the Red Sox had won the A.L. pennant. My mom wondered why I was so excited and my father, a Giants fan since his youth, knew that I was lost to the “junior circuit”.
When the Sox went down 3-1 against the Indians, I changed my hat from the bright red Sox cap unveiled during this spring training and put on the white with blue bill model that I wore after the Sox went down 3-0 to the Yankees in 2004. So this hat is now riding an 11 game post-season winning streak.
I tend to wear my Sox caps obsessively. The responses to my cap in the middle of Yankee country have been interesting. My favorite happened this summer when we took a tour of the state capitol building in Albany. The guard at the metal detector stopped me and said I had to go to the back of the line. When I asked why, he said: “Because you’re a Boston fan.”
I’m living in a different house than the one I watched the 2004 World Championship unfold. My new house has the TV on the second floor, so my wife and doggies can more safely hide from my hand-wringing, pacing and occasional shouts of either joy or anger. Last time they had to huddle in the back room of our ranch house, the dogs shaking and hiding under beds, tables and desks.