By Christine E. of Boston Red Thoughts
The Boston Red Sox have always been a part of my life, and I have many fond memories of my beloved ball club, despite the fact that I live in Northeastern Pennsylvania, which is about 6 hours from the hallowed ground of Fenway Park.
When I was a very young girl, I used to listen to my maternal grandfather tell stories about The Scranton Red Sox of the Eastern League, who played in the field next to my grandmother’s house in Dunmore, PA from 1939 to 1943 and again from 1946 to 1951.
Joe Mooney, Director of Grounds Emeritus, and the longtime groundskeeper of the Holy Land (aka Fenway Park) lived and grew up across the street from the same grandmother.
When I was 13, my parents took me and my sister to Fenway Park, which is where my own love of the Boston Red Sox was born. We sat on the 1st base side, and that day I saw Mike Torrez, Dewey Evans, Rich Gedman, and Jim Ed play in that beautiful ballpark (which wasn’t even remotely crowded in 1982). And it was such a safe time in the world that my parents actually allowed me and my 11 year old sister to roam the park on our own…
While I never lost my love for the Olde Towne Team, it would be 20 years before I got back to Fenway Park. But when I walked to our grandstand seats in 2002, all of the old memories came rushing back. And in that moment I was oh so grateful that whatever powers that be who were pushing that a new park be built, never got their wish…THIS was the same park, with the same seats my Grandfather sat in, and, someday, my daughter will as well.
But I would have to say the BEST memory I have is the day I met Johnny Pesky in 2005. Me and my boyfriend were taking in a game, and we heard that Johnny Pesky was on Autograph Row. And there was NO way I was missing that. The Elder Statesman of the Boston Red Sox, who was part of “The Teammates”–Bobby Doer, Dom DiMaggio and Ted Williams–who were best friends on the field and off. And the man who would probably die with a fungo bat in his hand, teaching young players, by word and deed, the honor it is to play for the Boston Red Sox.
So we stood in line, waiting to meet this true living legend, and when it was our turn, I asked him if I could get a picture and he immediately agreed. What struck me most about our brief time together is he made me feel like he has ALL the time in the world to chat, asking me questions about where I was from (he said he remembered the area well), and how long I was a Red Sox fan. He also made me feel like I was the only person there and we were just having a friendly chat among friends.
I know I got less than 5 minutes with the man, but when I walked away with my picture with him, and my autographed black and white, I knew there was not a kinder or classier man in all of baseball–and that I was so honored to have met him and spent some time with him. THESE are the players that our children should look up to, not the ones who do not conduct themselves with dignity, or dishonor the game…
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#Blogathon Guest Post
This post was contributed by a guest for our #Blogathon. You can find more information about the author within the actual post. We'd like to thank everyone who contributed in our effort to raise money for The V Foundation.