Fenway Park is 100 years old!
So, as we gear up for the start of the baseball season, here is my official Best Memory of Fenway:
It was 2003. Eight innings into yet-another nail-biter of a series between the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees, there came a guttural wail from the stands at Fenway Park.
“For the love of God . . .”
It was one lone voice; a man—whose sound was remarkably reminiscent of the late Chris Farley at his most passionately unhinged—was seated close enough to the announcer’s booth that his agony was picked up and broadcast in New York.
“For the love of God . . .” he cried, again and again, as one Bosox batter after another swung and missed, and looming before him was a ninth inning full of Mariano Rivera at his peak.
Watching at home, my son and I heard a hated rival’s naked pain, and we hooted in what might be called cruel appreciation.
Baseball fans understand each other’s afflictions. We could laugh in that moment, because our team was winning, but we recognized all too well the sound of anguish emanating from Beantown; we had felt it enough, in the Bronx. When the umpire called “strike three” at the third out, the single voice dissolved into a bellow of incoherent angst and three hundred miles away we knew the man had slumped into his chair with his head in his hand, and his heart full of hate; not for the Yankees—that was a given—but for his own team, and for the game of baseball, itself, of which the late commissioner A. Bartlett Giammati once wrote, “it breaks your heart. It is designed to break your heart.”
You can read the rest, here. The comments are pretty funny.
Another blast from the past: Standing on the Mound: The Virtues of Baseball