I am baseball hung-over. Every inch of me hurts; I especially hurt in all of the muscles that are used to cheer. As stated previously in this blog, I’m loud; I’m in your face. No where is this more apparent than at a Red Sox game. But, this year was different, in that on October 30, 2013, I watched them win their 3rd World Series in my lifetime. This was the B-Strong Series, and the first I was able to watch with my beloved.
This game, played in 45 degree weather, on May 13, 2014, was lost by the Red Sox to the Twins in a game winning walk off home run. But see, when I see a game in person, all I want is a good game, and this was an amazing game. In the 2nd inning the Twins scored 5 to move ahead by 4. But, see in the 7th inning, the Red Sox rallied and tied the game. These are the objective facts of the game. This box score is what will be preserved for generations to come.
Here’s what REALLY happened. This is the very first game Joel and I have attended where we were both fully and completely employed. My mind did not wander into worrying about whether we could afford another hot cocoa; instead, we just bought another one. We sat closer to the Red Sox than I have ever been in my life: bottom section, row 9. When we climbed down to our seats instead of up, I could hardly breathe. I sat down, and there was no way I was getting up for anything.
The rule is that we must arrive at the parking garage one hour before the game. I must participate in the rituals of 1st pitches, introduction of the mascot, and the Star-Spangled Banner. During these rituals, Joel hunts and gathers our food and scorecard as I watch the final announcement of the game’s roster and batting order.
As the names were announced, I discovered that that night I would be closer to my heroes Dustin Pedroia, Shane Victorino, Mike Napoli, Jackie Bradley Jr., Will Middlebrooks, AND Big PAPI then ever before.
Confession time. Many people who meet me now can’t believe this, but I was a varsity cheerleader in high school. Yes, cheerleaders do meet the stereotype, and I feel into that stereotype, fully. Then in the middle of my junior year, I looked around and realized I was no longer one of these people. I quit cheerleading, and I quit high school. Minnesota has a program called Post Secondary Option: this is where you can go to college and have the high school pay for the whole thing, except room and board. So, my senior year, I was at college. I met Nicole, thereby, meeting the man who is the love of my life.
Anyway, I was good at cheerleading. Really good. I’m loud and this transfers over into my constant “whoo-hooing.” Not a single person sitting around us didn’t lean over and say something about how loud we were in some joking way. I also yelled the rally cry “Let’s Go Red Sox!” all alone at first, filled in with my compatriots. After our rally cry is when the Sox turned it all around and tied it up.
There are a thousand factors that causes one to win or lose a game. But you know what, I know, deep down, they heard me and kicked it up a notch. I mean, come on, can you think of another reason they tied it up at 6-6?
The game ended with a beautiful walk off home run by the Twins, and I stood and clapped for all of the players. It was a good game. A really good game. However, on our way home from the game, I told Joel, “Let’s just go home where there is a nice Red Sox only fan bubble.” We returned to a home filled with Red Sox pictures and memorabilia. Safe from the cruel loss, dreaming of the next game we would attend.