Friday, May 22, 2009

ON SPORTS ~ Good Company...


Good Company:

where previously Molly put her teaching background to good use explaining the game of baseball to foreigners

Before parting ways with my Roomies in college there was graduation to get through of course. Boston University had all kinds of activities to offer its graduating students during graduation weekend. And so of course I jumped at the group tickets in the bleachers for a Red Sox game at Fenway. My parents, my brother, and my two Roomies were supposed to go. Neither of my Roomies were able to attend the game so my ex-boyfriend and my future husband got the tickets instead. It was a beautiful day at the park, which is not always the case in Boston before Memorial Day. It was quite hot that entire weekend. In fact, my mother and I thought having a perfect view of the backside of Ellis Burks in Center helped heat things up a bit as well. Back then the players didn’t wear their pants all baggy like they do now. My Mom isn’t a real big baseball fan. I think she roots for the Red Sox for the sake of my brother and I because she knows how much we love our teams.

So, to keep herself entertained on this very hot day in the bleachers with very little interest in the game being played, she amused herself by watching all the hi-jinks of the Bleacher Creatures. With great interest she studied and pointed out the fights about to break out, the ejections, and the ejected that tried their best in their inebriated state to sneak back in. As long as they weren’t sitting in striking distance of us I think she rooted for them to succeed in their attempts to get past the ushers and security – they were the underdogs to her.

And then there was the inevitable Wave that is always started by a rambunctious fan or two in the bleachers urging his or her fellow fans to stand up and sit down sequentially, with arms raised and voices cheering to show unity of support to the home town team. There is great disdain of the Box Seat patrons who always seem to kill the Wave when it works it's way around to them. Too good for the Wave are they? We’ll show them! And so goes the relentless pursuit of the goal to have the Wave make it all the way around the park back to where it started with the Bleacher Creatures. There is of course The Wall in left field, which at that time didn’t have fans in expensive seats on top to keep it going. Just a simple screen to catch the home runs that didn’t have enough height to fly over it and onto the parking garage roof across the street. But when the Wave hit the edge of the left field seats it just skipped over The Wall and landed back at the edge of the center field bleachers where it belonged – mission accomplished!

Upon graduation I left Boston in pursuit of my career in teaching while living at home in CT temping in the insurance hub of the universe in Hartford. There were no takers in the education field from all the resumés and interviews I suffered through. I realized quickly that substitutes make a lot less money than I was earning as an office temp so the teaching career got put on hold. I spent a year in CT – commuting back and forth to Boston on the weekends to visit my friends.

During that summer my Mets fan friends provided me a treat to a Cards/Mets game at Shea Stadium in New York. This was the first time I had seen a live National League game and the only time I have ever seen my childhood favorite Cards in person. As ugly as Shea was I still got that same feeling I get when I walk into any park alive with baseball – the excitement and anticipation, the unbridled hope and possibilities that not only could your team win but you might bear witness to a very special baseball moment like a no hitter, or cycle, or triple play. I didn’t get to witness any such special moment but I did get to peer at the tiny players beneath me from the tip-top of Shea with my Mets fan friends. It was a tremendously fun evening with foes in the city to the south. I thank them for the opportunity to see my Cards play ball live.

After a year my beloved cat had become miserable in CT so I used that as a reason to move back to Boston. Wouldn’t you know that the one summer I missed after graduation was the only time my co-ed softball team won the Championship? The Sox didn’t, but one memory that I hold dear to my heart from that Sox season upon my return was the last home game of the season I attended with a girlfriend of mine using her Dad’s season tickets. The seats were under the overhang of the second level on the first base side which came in handy on an overcast, drizzly day. The Sox weren’t going to the playoffs. But it was Tony Peňa’s last game as a Sox catcher. This was special to me because of his contributions as a catcher for both of my favorite teams. At the end of the afternoon in bottom of the 9th inning the most beautiful rainbow emerged over Fenway as the drizzle stopped. The Fenway announcer pointed out in between hitters to all in attendance that Nature was giving the fans and the team a big Thank You to the season – and to Tony.

next week, FANATIC, where Molly's love of beer makes for an entertaining work outing to Fenway...


Sandy Nawrot said...

I'm still waiting for the love story!!!!

Daisy said...

Ohh the love story? I would love to read that too!

Btw, you have been tagged!