When Carleton Fisk was notified of his acceptance into the Baseball Hall of Fame, I searched for and found the ticket stub to the BIG GAME.
This was far from the best seat in the park but anyone who frequents Fenway knows
that the bleachers give a better view than upper
grandstand or most seats in any
other major league ballpark.
This was one of the most exciting baseball games ever played. Sports TV
to replay the game and writers are to this day including it in their columns.
Who can forget the home run by Bernie
Carbo and Carleton Fisk waving his arms
at his home run to make it stay fair or the great catch by Dewey Evans in Right Field?
sank when Denny Doyle was thrown out. Those hearts pounded when Pete Rose got on base
and when Joe Morgan came to bat.
There are memories
other than the action on the field. I still feel bad for the young father
who brought his toddler son to the game and had to bring
him to the bathroom just before the Carbo homerun.
Mercifully, when they returned the kid fell asleep. If that son has a toddler of
his own today, I would hope
he would wait a few years until he can find his own way to the bathroom before bringing him.
My son, Mike,
was a junior at Providence College when he accompanied me to the game. If he had to go, he held it
in until between innings just like
his Dad and everybody else.
After the game, we sat in our seats with a numbness that is hard to describe. The nearest I can get to
it is the
feeling you might have if you just found out you won the lottery. We didn't think about all the people at home and
watching the game on TV, therefore we weren't prepared for the onslaught of all those fans who came to
Kenmore Square to celebrate.
There was so much camaraderie; I expected to see a large ball slowly descending
from the Citgo sign.
It was difficult getting out of
bed the next morning. It was about 3:00 A.M. before we got home and I have no idea
what time it was before I fell asleep.
My first class
was 7:30 A.M. We couldn't focus on Chemistry so what else to do but talk about the game.
I know now what it is like to think you won
the lottery one day and the next day someone informs you it was a mistake.
We got that news when Bill Lee threw the famous "eefus"
pitch to Tony Perez in Game 7.We won the battle but lost the war.
Red Sox fans have suffered much heartbreak over the years. It started
when Pesky held the ball in Game 7
of the World Series against the Cardinals in 1946.
It went on from there to 1948. The Sox and Indians
finished in a tie for the Pennant. This was before the championship
was decided by a series of playoff games. This outcome was to be
decided by a single game to be played in Fenway.
Tickets went on sale and three of us, along with just about everybody else in college,
cut class that day and hoped
for a ticket to the game. We were lucky and got good seats.
Everyone was anxiously awaiting Joe McCarthy's
decision on who would be the pitcher.
When the pitcher was announced " PITCHING FOR BOSTON, NUMBER----GALEHOUSE, the stands erupted.
JOE! JOE NO! Denny Galehouse was not the choice of the fans. He had a less than mediocre year,
he was overweight and he had been in
baseball for too many years.
The next season started with a large measure of hope, as usual. It was 1949 and we had a team that
beat the Yankees. Every morning was spent reading Box Scores in the newspapers and watching our Sox flip between
the lead and second
place. It was the last weekend of the season. Our guys were in first place two games ahead
of the Yankees with three games left. They
were scheduled to go to Yankee stadium to play the last series with
the knowledge that all they had to do was win one game. Enough
This brings us to 1986 and the ground ball going between Buckner's legs.
There are four former Red Sox players who have had their
numbers retired. The numbers are displayed at Fenway Park
and those of us who are aware gaze at them and are reminded about a fact
that we would like to forget.
The numbers belong to Ted Williams, Joe Cronin, Bobby Doerr and Carl Yaztrzemski. They are displayed
in that order
9 4 1 8. September 4, 1918 was close to the last time the Red Sox won a world series.