The Boston Red Sox. There’s almost no team in the history of pro sports that’s more divisive. Once upon a time they were my favorite team. Dad took me to games as a kid. Once a year. One of my fondest memories of childhood was going into Boston with my dad for a “take your brat to work day” He took a half day off and we left his office around noon, and when I asked what the plan was he said “The Red Sox are playing an afternoon game. Let’s go to that!” I was blown away. I remember we were able to walk right up to the box office and buy two tickets not far behind home plate. Man, those were the days.
Every year Dad would take m e to at least one game. Maybe a few times we got to go to a 2nd game. On the rare occasion one of the rich people my family knew had a paid that they couldn’t use. Which back oil the 70s and 80s, was a real rarity. Even the people who we knew that were “rich” were only rich in comparison to us.
I can’t figure out what’s going on with the economy nowadays. I certainly never felt poor growing up. We didn’t have a ton of money, but we never missed meals. My dad was frugal, but I didn’t think he was cheap. We never ended up with the hot new things. We didn’t have fancy TVs or refrigerators, or redone kitchens. I remember being so jealous when I would go over to another friend’s house and see that they had a new fridge that was one of the brand new side by side models. Or when they had a fridge that dispensed water and ice from the door. THIS IS JUST LIKE A MOVIE I would think to myself. Years later, when I bought my first crib, I went out and bought a refrigerator that was BOTH side-by-side AND dispensed ice and water. Like a king in his castle I often thought to myself as I was filling up a glass of water. Didn’t even matter to me that it was just top water. The fact that it came OUT OF THE FRIDGE made me feel like a complete baller. Just makes me wonder how everybody seems to be rich nowadays. Everything is luxury. How the fuck is everyone affording all these luxury hotels, and condos, and never-ending airplane rides. A big part of the way I pay for my lifestyle is that I don’t have any kids, and don’t plan to. So Im not saving. For anyone’s college. Or buying diapers. Or wooing about private schools. And iPhones. And… Jesus man, why would anyone on earth choose to have children. Especially with the climate crises we are now facing.
Yeah sure, go drive a Prius. And take shorter showers, and carry around a re-useable water bottle. That’s so cute that you think you’re saving the environment. When are people going to realize that we need to stop reproducing at such a rapid rate. Something’s got to happen to reverse the population explosion. If it doesn’t, then no amount of Priuses are going to help us. So, would everybody, PLEASE, for the sake of the planet, stop having more and more stupid kids. Mother Nature thanks you in advance.
Anyways, where was I? Oh right, the Boston Red Sox. Man, I was taught as a kid that the team was EVERYTHING. And about how we had to support them. Especially because they had a Polish guy on the team. Carl Yastrzemski. Who, oddly enough, goggle just told me is still alive. He felt old back when I was watching in the late 70s. He must look like Mr Burns now. The horror.
And we couldn’t stop hearing about Ted Williams, “the greatest ball player of all time!” Is what my entire extended family used to tell me. I guess they had all unilaterally decided to block out Babe Ruth after the owner of the red Sox sold him to the Yankees in what was the single dumbest move inn the history of pro sports, up until that time. This was way before the Dolans bought the Knicks and the Rangers, obviously.
Ted Williams was always held up as a super icon. As a guy who should have been the all time hits leader, but because he was drafted during WWII he ended up missing 5 seasons inn what would have ben his prime, and did it all to serve his country. That was all well and good, but to a 7 year old, that just sounded stupid. “Why would the Marines have taken such a good ball player?” I asked more than a few times. Nobody ever enjoyed that portion of my curiosity.
But I still had this blind loyalty to the Red Sox. At that point in time, they hand’t won a world series since 1918. A fact that New Yorker’s at Yankee Stadium never let them forget. Every time the Red Sox would visit the entire stadium would break out into chants of “NINE-TEEN EIGHT-TEEN” But I was still taught that “You Gotta Believe!” Or some such crap, about how you couldn’t turn your back on the hometown team. None of this ever made any sense to me. I would continually ask “But why can’t we just root for a good team?!” Yet another aspect of my curiosity that was not at all popular.
But through it all, I blindly followed what my family taught me. After Bucky Dent hit that home run in 1978 to put the Red Sox world series dreams to sleep, I kept believing. The following bunch of years were all huge disappointments, but I kept believing, of doing what I was told. Of blindly following orders, even if they were orders that were being set by example, I still didn’t feel right abut it. But I kept on cheering the losers.
It was 1979, after all, when Tom Petty released the classic “Even The Losers Get Lucky Sometime” I must have heard that and applied it to the Red Sox, trying to believe that If only I believed that it would finally come true. But before long, that whole fantasy came crashing down in spectacular fashion. The 1986 World Series.
To Be Continued…