It’s a rainy Monday and my mind is definitely not on work today. I’m still busy reminiscing over the events that transpired at Fenway Park this past Friday. The events that shot April 20, 2012 up to the top of my list of most memorable sports moments for me (at least that I’ve witnessed live.) For the life of me I couldn’t figure out how the Red Sox organization would pull off the introduction of some 200+ past players and still start the game on time. But they did it, and did it in star-studded style.
Baseball has always been a very emotional sport for me. I’ve been a fan as long as I can remember — thanks to my dad, grandfather and even my great grandmother (who loved her Sox!) I don’t remember a time when I didn’t love this team. I’ve endured so many ups and downs over my 35+ years of following them — for most of those years, I suffered mainly through the ‘downs’. The ‘ups’ came later. When the Red Sox finally won the World Series in 2004 after an 86 year drought, I cried.
I knew from the time I secured tickets for this historic game that I would be a blubbering mess. And stupid me, I forgot my tissues. I spent a good portion of the celebration wiping tears from my eyes with the sleeve of my shirt. And just when I would get myself under control, another past player would appear and the waterworks would start again. But nothing made me out-loud sob like when Jason Varitek and Tim Wakefield (with David Ortiz) wheeled out a 92-year-old Johnny Pesky and a 94-year-old Bobby Doerr to the middle of the field. I’m too young to have seen them play, heck my dad is too young to have seen them play, but there is just something about Johnny’s relationship with organization that gets me every time I see him.
5 6 Loves from Friday, April 20th:
1. Yaz. Enough said.
2. Seeing some of my favs from my childhood – Jim Rice, Dwight Evans, Jerry Remy, Carlton Fisk – to name a few.
3. The return of Bill Buckner to cheers! And of course, Terry Francona’s return to the biggest cheers. I miss him a lot right now!
4. The roar of the crowd each time a favorite walked onto the field. Fenway seemed to be almost buzzing with excitement, like nothing could ruin the day….
5. The throwback uniforms. Although having no numbers on them made it a bit difficult to keep track.
6. Getting to meet Becca in person!!
My Top 5 Dislikes from Friday, April 20th:
1. The obvious missing players. Where or where was Rick Burleson?? I know some had an excuse, like Fred Lynn. But Mike Greenwell, Ellis Burks, John Valentin, Bob Stanley… where were they?
2. A ceremonial first pitch that made me want to gag. Caroline Kennedy, Mayor Tom Menino and Thomas Fitzgerald threw out the balls to Jim Rice, Carl Yastrzemski and Pudge Fisk from their seats. Lame.
3. Not learning until after the game that the Budweiser Deck was filled with a bunch of old players. CRAP!
4. Warm grape juice. I’m going to tell you a secret… I barely took a sip. *bleck*
5. Losing the game. That sucked.
Despite the loss, it’s a day I won’t soon forget. I’m so thankful that my father-in-law invited me to meet him in Boston for this unforgettable event. (Happy Birthday to me — a few months early!)