Yeah, that happened. It wasn’t like it was unexpected, the Boston Red Sox were the best team in baseball for most of the summer and despite their faults were the favorites to win it all. But stranger things have happened in sports, and it’s not like the Red Sox weren’t one strike away from winning it all before having a championship ripped from their hands by a misplayed ground ball.
So when Chris Sale struck out Manny Machado in the bottom of the ninth at Dodgers Stadium we got to hear Joe Buck yell out the words we’ve now heard for a fourth time, “Red Sox win the World Series”, and the celebration began. But as I remembered just moments after the 2004 win over the St Louis Cardinals, and have reminded myself after each win since…
…my father never heard those words spoken.
He passed in the mid-1990s, never once seeing his beloved Red Sox win the World Series. And he’s not alone. In the 86 years between World Series victories generations of Red Sox fans never got to see their boys win it all. Just think, in 18 years we’ve seen four World Series titles. Between the end of World War Two and 2003 the Red Sox only played in the World Series four times.
As I did in 2004, 2007, and 2013, I read aloud the article about the Red Sox win that was in the Worcester Telegram. The first time was in Paxton at the cemetery, the last three I sat in a chair in my office, next to his obituary which is sitting on a shelf nearby. I don’t know why I do that, it just seems like the right thing to do.
Unlike the other three times I didn’t actually buy the newspaper, instead reading it off my computer screen. He loved reading the Worcester Telegram and The Evening Gazette, and said it all started going downhill for them when they merged into one newspaper. I’m sure he’d get a kick out of me giving the T&G heck for all the mistakes they make.
I just shake my head at the videos of the young fans, some wearing their 2013 World Series memorabilia, digging through piles of the new World Series t-shirts and hats so they can show that they’re big fans of the team.
It’s easy to be a fan when your team is winning. It’s a good bet these fans have no idea about people like Bob Gibson, Bucky Dent, or Johnny Bench, or any of the other players that stood in the way of Red Sox championships. They’ve never suffered their team losing because of a pop-fly home run, or the ball rolling through an infielder’s legs, or any of the other bad bounces that use to always keep the Red Sox from winning.
So while you’re celebrating the Red Sox fourth recent World Series win, over the next few days remember that lots of Red Sox fans, many much more devout followers of the team than you’ll ever be, didn’t get to celebrate the Red Sox winning the World Series.
Not even once.