Indulge me while I enjoy the moment. Last night, the Boston Red Sox won the Fall Classic and are Major League Baseball's World Champs. What great guys! They worked hard and deserved to win. After the anguish of the Marathon Bombing, this is such a joy.
I missed the first inning of last night’s game because I had to go to a meeting. But at the meeting, a neighbor and friend of ours who was there said that she and her husband watch every single game and were going to stay up until the end last night, win or lose. We made an agreement that if the Sox won, we would go out and shout it out to the neighborhood. That we did! Sorry if you were asleep in bed and we woke you. Well, I’m only kinda sorry. You should have been up watching the Red Sox.
I have loved baseball all my life. I grew up a Cincinnati Reds fan because we lived in southern Ohio. I loved the Big Red Machine! But I moved to Cleveland in the late seventies and spent a few hapless years going to the games in that behemoth of a ballpark Municipal Stadium. Though the Indians were pretty bad at that time, we had some great times there and one cold and drizzly night in the middle of May, 1981, Greg and I were present when Indians pitcher Len Barker pitched a perfect game. A baseball lover’s thrill!
For the last 30 years or so, I have been a member of Red Sox Nation. And these days, whether they are good or bad, I love the Red Sox, though I’ll always have a soft spot in my heart for the Reds and the Indians.
But mostly, I just love baseball. I love the symmetry of it. I love ballparks and the fact that though the infield measurements are the same in every park, each park is unique and quirky and beautiful in its own way. I should know. I’ve been to twenty-six of them, not counting a few minor league parks. I love the smell of ballparks and the thrill I get when I walk from the concourse into the burst of green of the field. I love opening my scorebook and keeping track of every pitch when I’m at the ballpark and I love turning on the TV, settling down at night and waiting for the first pitch when we watch the game at home. I love talking about the game the next day. I love that baseball is the only major American team sport that isn’t timed.
I love that even though my team may be down by seven (or more) runs late in the game or coming off an abysmal year when they ended up in last place, there is always that hope that they might come back and win, because the game is never ever over until the last out.
I love that the Red Sox won the World Series in 2013.