October 21, 2007

The Boston Red Sox will forever be the team that clinches my heart and makes it soar. I felt a tingle before the game as I started thinking about the faith I have in the Sox. I flashed back to the ups and downs I’ve experienced this season. With the MLB Game day audio subscription, I missed maybe six games all season. I thought about the two amazing games I’d seen in Oakland back in June. I thought about why I love the Red Sox. The general themes can be summed up: play like a team, have heart, have more heart, and my occasional general frustations with Francona.

These thoughts took me through the day and I was anxious for the game to start— butterflies and all. I’m 34 years old— and I was wired like a kid on red-coloured Kool-Aid. I became sappy when Kevin Millar threw out the first pitch. So good to see him again walking down into the dugout. Here’s a snippet from the MLB piece about his appearance:

“Great city,” Millar said. “Great place. … It doesn’t matter what happens to the [2004 World Series-winning] team, and just that whole group we had for three years. It was a blast. So no matter what team you play for, no matter what time or frame you’re in, this is always a part of your life, and a part of your heart,” he added. “That’s why I’m here today.”

Read rest of the article here.

I wonder— does something happen to a player when they become a Red Sox? I think it changes them… transforms them, at least I’d like to believe it does. As a team, you found the heart and drive; you pulled off a comeback, down three games to one. And I love every single one of you. Now we’re off to the World Series and I need to tell you: If you’d lost last night, I wouldn’t be disappointed. I wouldn’t rant and rave (as I’d done between Game 4 and 5) because for the last two nights, you showed up and played with a lot of heart.  

After the game, WKRO interviewed Youkilis and he said something that struck a chord. “We stuck together, pulling for each other, that’s how it is, you just play for each other.”

Doyou hear the common thread?

I know in this modern era, baseball is about money, stats, standings, etc. I, however, will continue to believe with child-like adoration in the game and marvel at the men who play it. I’d like to repost something from earlier this summer, as it sums up my feelings tonight as I watched the Sox play tonight and now, celebrate at Fenway. From my post, “Baseball under June skies“…

“…The Red Sox play as a team—win or lose. For me, every baseball season in RedSox Nation is a beautiful, wonderful thing. Sure, I’m hoping the Sox do keep their standing at the top of the AL East, but if they don’t, I’ll love ‘em anyway. Why? Because being a Sox fan, you learn to have faith, kick back and believe, through the droughts and into the windfalls. To be a RedSox fan, you have got to have heart—and a strong heart at that. I will remain faithful not because I think they are going to pull “it” off this season, but because of all the seasons they’ve already given me. And so, I look forward to the next game— kicked back in an Adirondack chair, legs up, knitting, sucking down iced Americanos, listening to the best game ever played by the best club to ever play the game….”

The week of the 2004 WS, I’d just gotten the keys to Wildlands and had spent days painting the rooms and listening to the series on the radio. For the last game’s final inning, I was on my way to the airport to pick up a friend who was going to help me unpack the house. My mind was focused on the game when he called to ask where I was AND to say the airline had lost his luggage.  “I’m sure they’ll find it. I’ll be there soon.” I parked and listened to the last out before going into the airport. I greeted him with a running hug and laughing. He said was flustered. “Why are you laughing? THEY LOST MY LUGGAGE.” I couldn’t stop laughing. “It’s OK, MATTY, THE SOX WON THE SERIES!!!!” His response? “Well, that’s great, crazy girl. They going to give me clothes to wear tomorrow?!” I remember hugging him, spinning around and around in terminal B— so incredibly happy.

It was a magical fall and I swore I’d never be disappointed in another Sox season as long as I lived. I forgot that between Game 4 and 5 and I’m sorry. I’ll be driving Wednesday night down to SLO and listening to the game on the radio. Sox, you’ll keep me company as you do throughout the season. See you Wednesday night!

With that, I’ll leave you with a Dustin Pedroia quote “I hit it good and the wind was kind of blowing it out to center, and it kind of pushed it,” said Pedroia. “So I was like, ‘Geez, don’t hit the top of the fence.’ Once it went out, I was so excited and had so much adrenaline going on, I don’t even remember running around the bases, to tell you the truth. I just got around there. It was the biggest at-bat of my life, and I’ll never forget it.”  Read the rest here.

Pics from tonight’s game