Aug 2, 2009

Most Memorable Sports Moment #3

Reverse the Curse - Red Sox Win World Series

No doubt - one of the greatest moments of my sports fanhood was October 27, 2004. On that day, the Boston Red Sox ended 86 years of frustration and failure. It was the culmination of a great season in which they dominated the St. Louis Cardinals in the World Series.

Some have asked me how I became a Red Sox fan. Admittedly, I am not from Boston, I have not followed them all my life, and as excited as I was to see them win, I had nothing on the long-suffering Bostonites who lived and died with this team their whole lives. I grew up in central Mississippi. We loved baseball where I am from - especially MS State Baseball. However, there is no central team close by to which we give our allegiances. The closest team would probably be the Atlanta Braves. However, I grew up just prior to the TBS expansion that would put the Braves in each household in the South as the only baseball choice. Plus, honestly in the 70's, the Braves were horrible.

When I was entering my love for baseball, the dominant team was the Cincinnati Reds. I loved the Big Red Machine of Pete Rose, Joe Morgan, Dave Concepcion, George Foster, and Ken Griffey Sr. They were my first love. I also liked the Detroit Tigers since half of my family is from the Michigan area. However, one thing was consistent is that I have always HATED the New York Yankees. I have never liked them at all, never wished for them to win a game. I deeply respect the historical contributions of the Babe, Gherig, Dimaggio, and Mantle. I love the way that Jeter and Mariano Rivera approach the game. I just hate the Yankees. I could list 100 reasons I hate the Yankees, but that would be the subject of another blog. I will summarize it with a couple: 1. They are the best team money can buy, year after year. They have consistently weakened competetive balance by outspending everyone simply because they have the resources to. I don't think it's wrong. They are perfectly right to do so, I just despise it. 2. Every Yankee fan I know is totally obnoxious because they have been so successful. Success breeds arrogance and Yankees fans are by far the most arrogant.

By the time of the late 90's, I was a man without a team. The Yankees stated another area of dominance in the late 90's and I searched for a team that could take them down. Enter, The Boston Red Sox. I knew of some great players like Mo Vaughn, John Valentin, and Wade Boggs played for them. I became intrigued when they signed Pedro Martinez who became the most dominant pitcher of his time. So I began to keep up with box scores and standings. In 2003, I felt the agony of a Red Sox fan when Aaron Boone homered off Wakefield. I followed each and every game in 2004. The comeback in the ALCS (which we'll discuss later) was an epic moment for me.

So when the Red Sox started the World Series in Boston, I had the feeling it was inevitable that they would win but also knew that feeling had been there before. In game 1, the Sox slugged the ball all over the park. By game 4 when Folke came in, my brother and I were on the phone giggling like 3rd grade school girls. It was awesome! (even for a hick from MS)