25 October 2004

Section 43, Row 41, Seat 10.

GosoxI watched three playoff games from that seat this year (I love you LB), culminating in last night's victory over the Cardinals. Heading into the park was weird: between the rain and the overwhelming police presence it was pretty quiet in the Fenway neighborhood. Lansdowne Street was a little rowdier with hundreds of fans standing in line at the day-of ticket window in the desperate hope they'd be able to get inside. Dad and I went straight to Gate C, however, since we already had our tickets.

We just made it to our seats in time to see the pre-game musical act, The Standells performing (what else?) Dirty Water. While it seemed a bit weird to play the song before the game, it was still pretty awesome, especially since we've adopted our own tradition of blaring it in our game-watching abode of choice. After they finished, the PA announcer built up the suspense around the artist who'd be performing the national anthem (when someone in the crowd yelled "It better not be the Cowsills!"). As it turned out, James Taylor was on hand to sing the loveliest rendition of The Star Spangled Banner I've ever heard. Instead of going the traditional "oom pah pah" route with the song, he just tickled his acoustic guitar and made it into a quiet contemplation of what America ought to be.

The game itself was cold. My ability to cheer on the Sox was hampered both by my ski gloves and my sore throat/head cold. The men's room beneath the bleachers looked more like a ski lodge than a baseball park, with everybody having to take off his mittens to pee. Mark Bellhorn has changed in less than a week from ultimate scapegoat (he was booed even more mercilessly than the Cowsills back in game 3 of the ALCS) to Mr. October (2 game winning homers in the course of 3 games and a huge 2 run double last night). Schilling has become a Bird-Orr level hero to the local crowd, with the fans going absolutely nuts when he trotted from the bullpen to the dugout.

By the end, I was a bit dazed, but happy.

No comments: