In anticipation of the upcoming Spring Training and subsequent season, I thought it would be fun to do a series of posts in honor of last season(in no particular order of chronology). Not all of these memories will be Red Sox related, so fear not ye weaklings who sneer at my geographically dislocated fanhood.
The above photo comes from a game at Fenway Park between the Red Sox and Yankees on April 22nd, 2007. In the 3rd inning, the Sox were down 3-0 and the Yanks had a rookie, Chase Wright, on the mound. I was bartending that night at Shultzy's in the U-District. About 5 Sox fans had bellied up to the bar for some brew and eats, most of whom are graduate students at the Univdersity of Washington. When the count went to 2-1 on Manny Ramirez, one of the guys called his shot and, sure enough with all Fenway/Sox mystique, Manny blasted one over the Monster. Cheers rang loud and looks of synchronous amazement zipped back and forth between us. A silent magic seemed to have crept into the room, but only for those of us at and behind the bar(I do believe we were slightly annoying that night to all other patrons and servers). Next up was J.D. Drew. Another one of the guys called out, "Homer, right here!" The crack of the bat was reassuring and as the ball flew into the bullpen, we cried out some amalgamation of yeah! holy shit! and right on! Are collective feeling now must have been something akin to a dugout when the starter is in the 5th inning of a no-hitter. Do not speak a word of that which we all know; and the magic surged light a light bulb in an electrical storm. Not a second after Mike Lowell stepped into the batters box, another one of the guys, going forward on his elbows as if to fly over the bar at the TV, hollered, "How 'bout back-to-back-to-back?!!!?" More of a command than a question. When that command was heeded with a massive shot onto Lansdowne Street past the Monster, our increasing cheers took on the tenor of a god, pleased by the willingness of its subjects to do its bidding(from afar and without direct contact...divine intervention through collective faith).
Upon Lowell's home run trot, I, the bartender, called out for a celebratory round of shots. As I began to pour them(one for me as well, of course!), Jason Varitek, the Captain, stepped to the plate. In mid-pour, I uttered, "Well, the Dodgers did it last season, let's just go for 4 straight, back-to-back-to-back-to-back!"
Tekky sent the first pitch he saw into the stratosphere and us into madness. We were even so loud that one of the servers came up to me and said some bullshit about how we should quiet down.
That is one of those moments where/when you feel directly connected to the game, not just for our cosmic ability to call 4 straight home runs by four different people, but for the sheer joyful pandemonium and awe. That realm of emotional connection and elation that may forever remain impossible to verbalize; it is a psychic communication.
The Sox went on to win the game(and later the whole shebang-a-bang) and I continued to blabber about my brush with the magic of the ether for two weeks straight. The only thing that would have been any better? Take a guess...