Monday, May 14, 2012

Tradition

This year, the Red Sox are making me cry. No, not because they have the worst pitching in the American League (and probably the entire league)...although that has definitely brought me close to tears. The reason for my tears is because of the tradition.

This year is the 100th anniversary of Fenway Park. It doesn't matter if you are a baseball fan or not. Just imagine, 100 years of players running the same base path, 100 years of hitters hitting balls over the Green Monster.

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Opening day, I cried watching Johnny Pesky, a 92 year old former player being helped out on the field where he was greeted by many players. He's a Boston sports legend even though he wasn't necessarily the best to have ever played. The respect he is shown when in the ballpark is so moving to me.

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On April 20th, the Red Sox celebrated the official 100th birthday of Fenway Park. During this ceremony, they brought out many former players, including many of the heroes of 2004 and 2007. Seeing them all fan out on the field according to position was beautiful. Watching the younger guys show their respect to the older players was really special.

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 Last week, the Red Sox celebrated the career of their Public Address Announcer, Carl Beane, who died in a car accident after having a heart attack while driving. They played his opening announcements from the 2004 and 2007 World Series and from the 100th anniversary celebration. They talked about how he had lived his dream in announcing for the Red Sox. It was so inspiring.

Some people don't understand or really appreciate sports. I get it. It seems crazy to get emotional over a game. But to me, baseball means so much more than just a game. My family is crazy about baseball. My dad's father pitched for my alma mater, UVM, back in the 1940's. He even got a chance to pitch batting practice for the St. Louis Cardinals on his honeymoon when they went to visit a friend/former teammate out there. And when I was younger, I would call him after each of my softball games to tell him how many hits I had. I will never forget getting to watch baseball games with him.

My grampa on the field in St. Louis (thanks, Uncle Brian!)
On my mom's side, baseball is also special. My aunt Marta always tells us that she learned many curse words in Spanish because my (other) grandfather would be yelling at the television while watching the game. My mom has been a huge Red Sox fan since she was little and got to go to a few games with her best friend Colleen and Colleen's dad. She even did this little drawing in 1967 and then included it in a scrap book she made for me when I graduated from High School.

Apparently my mom was into politics at the age of 12 or 13
Baseball has always been a part of my life. I have spent years crying over the Red Sox. I remember when I was in high school and I cried while watching my tiny tv that only had 3 channels in my bedroom, one night in October when the Red Sox lost to the Cleveland Indians and their season ended. I remember being in a bar in 2003 when Aaron F@*&#^g Boone hit a homerun and my roommate Devin got me a cab because even though he's a Yankees fan, he knew I couldn't be in that bar any longer. I remember sitting in my apartment in Manhattan one night in October in 2004 when the Red Sox finally won the World Series after 86 years. I screamed and jumped up and down and then sat back down and cried because I couldn't believe it.

Maybe I'm a huge cry baby. Maybe I'm just really into baseball. Maybe it's a combination of both. But there's something about tradition that always gets me.


3 comments:

thecoffeehouse said...

i love this. you are passionate. i love passionate. i played softball for years ... so i, also, am a huge baseball lover. did i tell you i love passionate?? you are awesome.

Annie said...

Erin - From one passionate baseball fan to another - I loved your last blog and totally get what you are talking about - tradition! I have so many childhood baseball memories as well. Also - as a Mets and Red Sox fan, I understand your emotional attachment to the game. I am married to a passionate Red Sox fan who is also a baseball aficionado and he loved your blog as well. This year may be one game at a time for the Red Sox and the Mets, but tradition has, and always will be, forever! Keep on writing. Annie

Empirically Erin said...

Thank you, Annie! I tried to reply to your comment but there is no email address to write back to. Hopefully you will see this here. How did you find my blog? I'm so happy you liked it. It's been nice being able to see so many female baseball fans!