Red Sox Chick/Toeing the Rubber

Because you always need a backup plan

Four Games

Photo taken by Jim Davis of the Boston Globe and used without permission.

Photo taken by Jim Davis of the Boston Globe and used without permission.

In October 2004, the day after the devastating 19-8 loss to the Yankees at Fenway, with the realization that the Yankees led the ALCS 3 games to none, I had to go to a birthday party.  It was my aunt’s birthday and my cousin was having it at her house and this was the aunt who housed me when my house burned down and I had no place to live and I couldn’t miss it just because I was totally depressed about the Red Sox.  So I went.

Once we got there, my parents and I (the only ones in the place who had planned on leaving the party early so we could watch Game 4…there was still hope there, faint, but still there) were bombarded with the insults of people who couldn’t believe we still cared and couldn’t believe we were going to “waste” our time.  Everyone had given up except my cousin’s boyfriend.  He worked at one of the bars around Fenway and was getting ready to go into work and he found my mother and I to be of the same mind as him.  He said, practically word for word, “If they can win tonight, the Yankees are in trouble.   We’ll have Pedro on the mound and then Schilling and then anything could happen in game 7!”.  He said it so many times before he left, that my mother and I were walking around saying to other people, “He’s right!  Anything could happen if they can win this game tonight!”  We got so excited that we left even earlier than we had planned on and went back to my parents’ house to prepare for game 4.

When the 2004 post-season was over and the dvds came out and we saw footage of Kevin Millar telling everyone who would listen “Don’t let us win tonight!”, I couldn’t get over it.  While Millar was going through Fenway spreading the good word, my cousin’s boyfriend was doing the same at my aunt’s party.  It was the perfect example of how well the fans and the players meshed that year.

Starting with that game 4, what followed that week is very hard to describe to anyone who didn’t live through it.  For me, it was a week of no-sleep, wearing the same clothes (I wore the outfit I watched game 4 in to work the next day and then didn’t change out of it for game 5.  For game 6, before it began I realized maybe I should put the same outfit on again and quickly changed.  Same for game 7), ignoring the office dress code and wearing Sox gear to work every day, and getting absolutely no work done because I spent all day reading Bill Simmons and talking about the ALCS with my office-mates (including my bosses!).  I remember being woozy for just about every game (between the no-sleep and the excitement) and I remember my heart racing for, essentially, the entire week.

I spent the first few moments of the post-game after they won the ALCS with two phones to my ears.  One was my cousin in New York calling to celebrate with us (she was born in NY and is a Red Sox fan) and the other was my sister, who had nursed me through most of game 7 via phone and wanted to celebrate too.  (Most notably, my sister gave me play by play of Pedro’s entire outing in game 7 while I paced the street outside the house.)  If I have one wish for every true baseball fan it’s that they get to experience something like what we did for that week in October.  The thing is, except for Cubs fans, I don’t think any other fan base will ever come close to having the experience.  Even then, when the Cubs finally do it, it won’t be quite the same.  And that’s what is tough to explain.

Tonight, ESPN attempts to show the rest of the world what we went through for those four games in their latest installment of their 30 for 30 series “Four Days in October“, which covers the time of games 4-7 in the 2004 ALCS.  There aren’t enough words to describe how I feel about this being made.  I hope it somehow conveys to everyone what we went through and it makes people understand why there will never be anything else like it in sports.  Hyperbolic sounding as that is, it’s the truth.

I’ve been asked if I would trade 2004 for the Red Sox having 27 “ring”.  No.  I absolutely would not.  And I wouldn’t trade it for 2003 either.  Everything worked out as it should and I’m grateful for being here for that 2004 ride.  I’m even more grateful that my parents were here for it.  As I’ve often said, now, everything else is just gravy.

8 o’clock on ESPN tonight (and at 11pm on ESPN2!) we get to relive what we felt for that week and that’s a wonderful gift.

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October 5, 2010 - Posted by | 2010 | , , , , ,

4 Comments »

  1. I’ve checked my DVR 3 times to make sure this program is set to record.
    2004 was the one year my entire year was filled with the Red Sox. It started with the Red Sox cruise, followed by going with my husband to fantasy camp, my first year as a season ticket holder for spring training and attending every game, and then the whole season of fantastic baseball. It went all the way to December when Ft. Myers had a 5 day celebration for the Sox.
    Every time I look at my Sox tattoo (gotten when the giddiness of the World Series win was still engulfing me), I am reminded of that magical year.

    Comment by Brenken | October 5, 2010 | Reply

  2. I got chillbumps reading this. Every story I read about it…I get em.
    Ive got my dvd set to record. Cos I already had plans and I need to watch this at MY speed I think.
    The thing about my experience was I had no other Sox fans here in Austin I knew but I had one good friend who knew how much I loved them…and she made me go out to a bar to watch Game 7. I’m so glad I did.
    But back to Game 4. I cant get that game out of my mind. It was magic. destiny.
    It’s funny how a baseball game can bring so many other things into your life. If the Sox hadn’t won that year, I don’t think I woulda felt the urge to get on RSFF to meet others, gone to Spring Training, or met anyone from SG either. So in essence, the Sox are responsible for my on line friendships with you all.
    Can’t get any better than that sort of Passion and Fandom.
    I wouldn’t trade 2004 for 27 rings ever.

    Comment by Tex19 | October 5, 2010 | Reply

  3. That week. The most exhausting and exhilarating ever. Sleep deprived and hungover, feeling your heart racing every time you thought this could be it, it could be done, we could take this and run. And everyone was in the same boat. No one was sleeping or working, the kids I was working with were just as tired and hyped up. The teachers were living on bad coffee and exhaustion led to laughter at every situation. “Win it for…,” and the bloody sock, and the sheer beauty of it all. What an experience! I can’t wait to see this video!

    Comment by Cindy | October 6, 2010 | Reply

  4. Glory. Glory, glory, glory. Glory.

    🙂

    Comment by Elaine Apthorp | October 8, 2010 | Reply


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