My Relationship with the Red Sox: 45 Years and Going Strong

Ortiz and Salti

Who would have thought that one of the longest-standing relationships in my life would be with the Red Sox – those boys of summer who, for decades, came oh-so-close to winning it all?

My first memories of the Red Sox date back to 1967 when my parents were building our house. With the frame complete and flooring in place, a television set took center stage so that we could track the progress of The Impossible Dream season. My heroes that summer included:

  • Jim Lonborg
  • Mike Andrews
  • George Scott
  • Reggie Smith
  • Carl Yastrzemski
  • Dick Williams

Soon enough, they were replaced by Fisk, Lynn, and Rice. I wore my Red Sox heart on my sleeve with a t-shirt that proclaimed: Pitchers Pay the Price When They Face Jim Rice.

Each and every April no matter the make-up of the team, there would be a loss that struck my father as particularly disastrous prompting the annual declaration, “That’s it: the season’s over!” Of course, he’d continue to follow the Sox, only to have his heart broken year after year as that World Series win remained outside the grasp of the Sox. When 2004 brought that sweet victory, my brother placed a 2004 World Champions Banner at my father’s gravesite – I’m sure he loved it!

Last weekend, experiencing a game at Fenway Park in first-row seats transformed my husband and me into 10-year-old kids. We saw every Sox player on deck as they prepared to face Atlanta’s pitching staff:

  • Pedroia, the serious one
  • Saltalamacchia, apparently unaware anyone else was in the park
  • Middlebrooks, undaunted by the pressure of taking the spot of a seasoned veteran
  • Ortiz, looking like a kid himself while the pitchers seemed intimidated by his mere presence

Rainbow at FenwayPerhaps more exciting than the game itself, each of the two young boys sitting next to us scored a ball from the field – high fives for all! The game began with a rainbow and ended with a Red Sox win. Fans went crazy, staying until the final out – even though the win left our Sox tied for last place. Somewhere I think I heard my father saying, “Wait ‘til next year!”

About Deb

Deb Nelson, principal of deb nelson consulting, is a creative storyteller. She designs and implements communication plans that leverage strategic partnerships and provide innovative solutions for her clients. You can find her on twitter at @nelliedeb.

Comments

  1. Oh Deb, Give it up! They will tear your heart out and stomp on it. It is always a mysterious adventure no matter who goes to the mound. And now the media has begun the obituary for Valentine. It never ceases to amaze me that the manager must bite the dust for the incompetence of multi-millionaires that refuse to be managed and that go crying to ownership like little kids.

    A few years before he died my father in law, who had been a lifetime fan of Boston said: “George, the Red Sox are no longer my team; from now on I am a fan of the Braves”. From that day forward, he never again watched, cheered, or supported the Bosox. I think that he was much happier.

    George

    • Too late – my heart has been torn out! I must say that I’ve tuned out the recent shenanigans (thanks in large part to being able to watch the Olympics). Seriously, though, next year will be a great year for those Sox!!

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