Monday, November 26, 2007
Red Sox Nation Celebrates a Championship
There are gravestones in New England which have as their epitaphs-- 'he didn't live long enough to see the Red Sox win the World Series'. Until 2004, there were few who could even vaguely recall the last World Series championship-- that one won in 1918 with the help of some pitcher named Babe Ruth. It has been said of late that now that the Red Sox have won twice in a four year span, that the basic fatalism (some would call it Calvinism) of the region has taken a serious hit. New Englanders hardly know what to do with themselves in view of the Red Sox, the Patriots, and the resurgent Celtics, not to mention Boston College. It is indeed interesting how the psyche of a region becomes so linked to the fortunes of a favorite team, and that is especially so when one is thinking about the long on again, off again courtship between the Red Sox and New England, which more recently has become a consummated marriage that involves delirious bliss just now.
Some of you have wanted to know what some of my other passions in life are (other than my faith and Biblical studies) and certainly the Red Sox are one of them, ever since I went to Boston to go to seminary in the early 70s, and married a New England gal. Though I am from N.C., my favorite big city is Boston (second choices, Charlotte or Chapel Hill). This summer I got to go back and had a great seat in dear Fenway to see 'the olde towne team'. You will notice the pictures posted here. I even took the tour of the Park and stood on top of the Green Monster watching Manny Ramirez shag some fly balls off the wall. 1975 was when I plighted my troth to this team. That season was incredible, and the World Series was even better-- if Luis Tiant could just have pitched one more game. The 1986 World Series was more difficult to swallow. Watching a young Roger Clemens sitting praying in the dugout in Game 6 for three final outs in Shea Stadium which never came (due in part to a certain ball going through Bill Buckner's legs-- but he made far more good plays than bad that season). Nothing however could ever compare to the last four games the Red Sox played in 2004 vs. the Yankees to take the pennant, when they came back from the dead and won the pennant at Yankee Stadium--- sweet! Curt Shilling and his bloody sock will always be embedded in my brain, as will his giving all the glory to the Lord thereafter. No wonder several million showed up for the parade after the 2004 Series.
So, enjoy the pictures, and here's another litttle bit of who I am. If you are wondering why I also pull for the Braves, you must remember: 1) I'm so old that the Braves were still in Boston when I was born; 2) the Braves were the only team in the south when I was growing up, and I sure did love Major League Baseball-- still do :) It's the most American of all games, the national past time, and certainly a game that has consumed a lot of my past time as well.