And nothing was the same ever again.
Here is a beautiful essay by my brother Brendan about the family tradition of the Red Sox, as embodied by my crazy godfather, Uncle Jimmy.
My stomach still clenches in anxiety when I watch Foulke toss that ball to first. He tosses it to Mientkiewicz in an overly gentle – almost gingerly – fashion, not wanting to over-throw, every muscle of his body screaming in taut tension, “Do not screw this up, do not screw this up….” It was a little gentle bloop of a throw. And then all hell broke loose. Almost a century of multi-generational disappointment vanished. People lost their ever-loving minds. I called my mother at one point during the final inning because I could not bear to be apart from my family and she hung up on me. My mother has probably never hung up on anyone in her whole life, let alone one of her children. But that’s how anxious and obsessed she was: Splitting focus was too nervewracking. And I thought, not, “Jeez my feelings are hurt” but “Wow, that was stupid of me to call right now.”
I was watching in a Red Sox bar in Hoboken, deep in enemy territory. I had been going there for a straight week-and-a-half, to watch those long … long … LONG games … and thought: “I can’t keep this up much longer. I’ve been drunk for 6 days and getting 4 hours of sleep a night because these games are ending at 1 in the morning.” This was my first post the next day. It says it all. Let’s not forget too that there was a lunar eclipse on October 27. The bar where I watched the game had a skylight in the center of the roof. So as the game progressed, we would glance up through the skylight and watch the eclipse. If you put this in a screenplay, it would be rejected as too obvious.
Joe Castiglione’s call of that play on WWI in Boston:
Swing and a ground ball stabbed by Foulke! He has it, he underhands to first – and the Boston Red Sox are the World Champions! For the first time in 86 years, the Red Sox have won baseball’s world championship! Can you believe it?
No. In some ways, I still can’t. I wish my Uncle Jimmy had lived to see that day.