Thursday, January 01, 2009

My Red Sox year

Yeah! Happy 2009! In many ways, I'm glad to leave 2008 behind. But as always, I choose to focus on the positives of the year. Here are some of my favorite Red Sox-related moments of the past year:

1. My three Red Sox road trips. I got to visit three Major League parks this year: Baltimore, Cincinnati, and Tampa Bay. All part of my travel goal to visit every park - preferably, to see the Sox play in each. I love sitting in a different part of the stadium for each game - having the different perspectives on the games. I love doing the ballpark tour - the fan girl in me loves sitting in the dugout, visiting the press box, seeing all the behind-the-scenes activities. I love connecting with all the other Sox fans who have followed the team on the road - Sox fans get a reputation for obnoxiousness, but I rarely witness such displays on the road. As a matter of fact, in Tampa, the fans that were most disgusting were the apparently former Yankee fans who had adopted the Rays this year. And at the risk of sounding stalkerish, I love sitting in the team hotel's bar and watching the guys come and go. I never bother them - never ask for an autograph or sneak a photo - I just enjoy being near them. (Okay, I'll wave back when Okajima waves at me first, and I'll talk to Manny's hairdresser when given the chance!)

And I'm already making plans for 2009: Washington and Atlanta are definite, and I'm pretty sure Detroit will appear on my schedule.

2. Meeting Bill Lee - and discussing the works of Salvador Dali! Very Cool!

3. My three Manny moments. I was lucky enough to see him hit his 500th home run in Baltimore - what a fantastic moment. The Oriole fans were so appreciative of his accomplishment, and the greeting he got coming back on the field in the next inning was spine tingling and goose bump inducing. On the other end of the spectrum, I also got to see Manny play his last game in a Red Sox uniform. Looking back, I can't believe how wildly my feelings for him had swung in the opposite direction by that day in late July. It was almost a relief to read the next day he was bound for LA. And in between those two moments was my trip to Tampa Bay - we rode on an elevator with Manny and Papelbon. I was nearly struck dumb - he has such charisma. Plus he was guarded by a couple of bodyguards.

4. I got to attend my first Yankees - Red Sox game. And thanks to my sister Meg, we had a fantastic perch in the Pavilion Seats. What a great way to see the game - without having to be too close to Jeter.

5. I nearly saw a no-hitter in person in July, when the Angels' John Lackey took one into the 9th at Fenway. But then our MVP Dustin Pedroia came to bat - and immediately got a single, which Youk followed up with a homerun. I had such mixed feelings when DP got his hit - glad that we hadn't been the victims of the no hitter, but disappointed not to have witnessed history.

6. The Red Sox missing a return to the World Series by one game. Disappointing - although it was hard to be too devastated after their thrilling comeback in game five of the ALCS.

7. My FaceBook friend, Curt Schilling.

8. The Baseball Project cd. Simply my favorite cd of the year - some great tunes.

9. My insane, fun, outrageous, thoughtful, endearing buddies from Surviving Grady. It is so cool to meet them in various major league outposts, to share the ups and downs of the Red Sox season with them both online and in person. I'm looking forward to a couple of meet-ups in 2009, including what looks like an epic "palooza" in May.

Just a few of my favorite moments. To be relived through my thousands of photos and my scorebook. Until this season!!

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