Monday, December 31, 2007

2007: A look back

It's almost New Year's Day. A whole new year, a blank page upon which to write. But before that, one has to reflect on the year past. And 2007 was a great year for me - full of travel, fun, friends (old and new), adventures. I could do a huge post on that stuff, but instead, here are my favorite Red Sox related moments of the year:

1. Well, of course, the Red Sox are World Champions! The Red Sox are World Champions! The Red Sox are World Champions! I will never tire of saying that. Many people have said that this victory was different than 2004, that perhaps it didn't mean "as much" as the first. That's not true for me. Yes, 2004 was sweet, a culmination of a lifetime of waiting. Yet, because of being so far from New England, I didn't feel a part of it - well, really, I wasn't a part of it until the end. 2007 was much more meaningful for me, because I was with them every step of the way. From the first pitcher reporting to Fort Myers in February, through the Opening Days in Texas and Fenway, the All-Star Game and Break, agonies of Gagne, burgeoning love of Beckett, through Papelbon's victory dance, through those agonizing games in Cleveland, up until the joy at Coors Field - I was there right with them. And it was awesome.

2. Beckett. 'Nuff said.

3. Buchholz's no-hitter. It was on a Saturday night, I was sitting home, hoping Clay would do well. As the innings progressed, and the scarf I was knitting lengthened, it became apparent that something special was happening. One of my friends called at the top of the 9th, and I literally hung up on her when she started to say the words "no---" I didn't want anything to mess up of the magic of the moment. Fun!! Another great moment was Schilling's near no-hitter in Oakland - that was really magical.

4. The next few are things I was present for, from my two road trips. There was a rain delay of an hour or so during one of the games in Atlanta. As we were waiting it out, trying to stay dry, they began showing some MLB highlight shows. When they showed highlights of the '04 World Series, Turner Field grew silent and then cheering broke out. Everyone was rooting once again for the Sox. Very cool.

5. Seeing some of the game's best closers in action. Seeing Papelbon is always a treat - goosebumps, really. But I also saw Trevor Hoffman close out a game in San Diego, although they didn't do up the Trevor Time bit, which was disappointing. But I did experience the scene when JJ Putz was introduced in Seattle. A darkened field, flashes of lightning and the chants of JJ, JJ, JJ. Even though it signaled a loss for us, it was impressive.

6. Witnessing Eric Gagne first appearance in a Red Sox uniform at Fenway. We had such high hopes for him, were sure he was our ticket to the World Series. He came into the game, and struck out the first two batters. The park was electric. Then he gave up a double, a run-scoring single...and suddenly we were witnessing what became the story for the rest of the season. But for those brief moments, euphoria.

7. I went to three games at Fenway vs. the Orioles at the end of July. After the second game, as I was trying to climb over a bleacher seat, I had a little injury - cut open my leg. I had to get the medical personnel to come get me and take me to the clinic that Beth Israel Hospital runs. They're all super nice there (not my first visit, I'm afraid!) - they got me all patched up. By the time I was ready to go, the Park was empty. I heard music wafting through the air, and could hear announcer Carl Beane saying something on the loudspeaker. So I walked up the ramp and looked out on the field. The next day was the tribute to Bobby Doerr - and they were rehearsing. As I watched, four young men in period uniforms walked slowly across the field to center field, and through the garage door. A shiver went up and down my spine - the cloudless, moonlit sky, the lights on the field, the empty stands - just me and the ghosts of all the former players. Oh, and of course the security people who hustled me out!

8. My other favorite part of this year's Red Sox experience has been making new friends online through Surviving Grady. It's a funny, nutty group - and they make watching the game into an incredible experience. Their insightful commentary, and their not-so-insightful comments, change the game-watching experience from a solitary one into a group activity. And even more fun is meeting them in person. The gang who attended the San Diego games were hysterical - and it was so cool to put a face to the name. After that, every time I read a post from Horsham or Tex or Sox on the Beach or Mrs MLB or KDB (whom we met in Seattle), I "hear" their post in their voices. It's very cool! I'm so excited that there seems to be another fun group amassing for a weekend series in Baltimore in May - and I'm already making my plans to attend. It will be legen - wait for it! - dary!



Blogger Tex said...

you BEAT ME!!! I was trying to figure out what to write for my last day of the year...well I guess I'll come up with my own list.

and btw you have 3 Texans in your list :) and I LOVE how you put #2 :)

2:27 PM  
Blogger beckperson said...

Beth, Here's hoping we get together in Cincinnati (we will be there, whether we get game tickets is another story) and/or Baltimore and/or Boston in 2008.

It was great sharing the season with you, too. I wore my good luck scarf all through the WS and who knows? I might actually wear it when it snows for the millionth time in Massachusetts!

Happy New Year, my friend!!!

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