Today is a historic day in Boston history. Thirteen years ago tonight, under a lunar eclipse in St. Louis, Missouri, the Boston Red Sox won their first World Series in eighty-six years. If you’ve been reading this blog since the beginning, following me on Twitter, or reading my columns on WTP Sports, you know that I’m an obsessive, intense, proud Red Sox super-fan. But what you don’t know, what I’m going to admit to you today, on the 13th anniversary of the 2004 World Series victory, is that on this night, during perhaps the most incredible game in our franchise’s history, I was asleep.
Yup. You read that correctly. Slept right through the lunar eclipse, Damon’s homer, DLowe becoming the only pitcher in MLB history to pitch the clinching game in three consecutive postseason series, Foulke making that last out, and Joe Buck shouting, “BACK TO FOULKE, Red Sox fans have longed to hear it: the Boston Red Sox are Champions of the World!” And yes, typing out that quote, I just burst into tears; I cry every time I hear him saying it in my head. I hope I always will.
Now, in my parents’ defense, I was eleven years old, I had school in the morning, and I wasn’t yet the Red Sox fan I am now. I grew up mere blocks from Fenway, the daughter of two people who spent most of their youths living in Brookline and Newton, and I went to games every summer in my mom’s law firm’s seats. I spent Sabbaths playing Strat-o-Matic with my father and reading my dad’s biographies of Ted Williams, our coffee table book about Fenway, and countless baseball books. I even did a book report on Jackie Robinson. I loved going to Fenway and I already liked baseball a lot – it was the only sport I liked – but was I who I am today? Of course not. I grew into this person, in part because of that night in 2004.
The 2004 Red Sox will forever be my favorite team. I’m not going to get into stats or moments or David Ortiz because I’ve done it all on here before. But the 2004 team, their vibe, their antics, their individual skills and collective talent: everything about the 2004 season was spectacular and special. When it comes to fate and higher powers, I’m not sure what I believe, but when I think about the 2004 Red Sox, I know there’s something out there that makes impossible dreams come true.
So on October 28th, 2004, when my dad came in to wake me up for school, he was holding the newspaper. I still remember him opening my door and just smiling. “They Did It!,” he shouted. And I saw that it was the Boston Globe in his arms, the front page proclaiming the word YES! in large letters, and I felt this rush of immeasurable happiness. I knew that all over the state, all over the country, maybe even the world, peoples’ dreams had come true. Old men and women who never thought they’d live to see this day, parents who’d lived their entire childhoods thinking miracles didn’t happen, kids in Connecticut who had to go to school with smarmy little Yankees-fan brats after 2003, all of my friends at school, we all were part of this incredible moment, united for a simple, yet immensely powerful reason.
I’ve been a Red Sox fan my entire life. It’s one of the things I’m proudest of, and my passion for them is one of my best qualities. The 2004 team and their victory both inspired and shaped that. I watched them lose games during the ALCS, and I watched them come back. I watched parts of the World Series as a little girl, and I’ve watched the full games and the World Series DVD countless times since then.
So yes, on one of the most magical, important, momentous night’s in Red Sox Nation’s history, I was in bed, sound asleep, oblivious to the joy around me. Does it mean I love my parents a little less? Maybe. Does it mean I don’t love my team? I can’t answer ‘no’ emphatically enough. If my writing hasn’t convinced you how much I love the Red Sox, well, I don’t really give a fuck (sorry, Mom). I know how much I love them, and it’s so much that I can’t even quantify it.
So, Mom and Daddy, I forgive you for sending me to bed. Nobody’s perfect. But if they ever figure out time travel, you know when I’m going first.
Here’s to 2004, forever my favorite moment in human history – even if I was asleep.