Saturday, November 2, 2013

Of two minds when it comes to Red Sox championships

#FeartheBeard Red Sox beard.
In keeping with a Gemini personality, I’m of two minds when it comes to Red Sox World Series championships.

I can’t decide, if I were to choose, which is most significant to me: 2004 or 2013. I don’t put 2007 into the mix because, after 2004, even as wonderful as it was, it was more of an afterthought, almost a foregone conclusion.

But there is drama and personal significance to both 2004 and 2013.

The 2004  championship, while coming with a four-game sweep of the St. Louis Cardinals, was the break of a 86-year curse of lost opportunities, lost championships, including the crushing loss in 1986 to the New York Mets.

The ‘04 championship was preceded by an improbable run against the New York Yankees in the American League Championship Series (ACLS), with the Sox winning four straight to get into the Series against the Cards.

The 2013 championship was won with game 6 at Fenway Park, the first championship won at home since 1918. The entire series was an improbable run - the team that finished in last place in the 2012 season spent most of the 2013 season in first place. It was about first-year manager John Farrell, and the beards, and the solidarity behind the city of Boston wracked in April by the marathon bombings.

Baseball and championships encompass generations. What happens in the moment reverberates into the past and pushes out into the future.

My father was a lifelong Red Sox fan, but lived in 66 years without seeing a World Series champion. His urn bears the Sox baseball cap he wore. The 2004 win was as much a win for departed fans as it was for the fans who lived to see it.

In 60 years, I’ve seen three championships, my children have seen three.

Technology gave me the opportunity to share the 2013 series with my son David, with me in Durham, N.H., and David in Brooklyn, N.Y. We watched the game together one night by way of FaceTime on our iPhones. The other nights we texted back and forth, commenting on the good, the bad, the ugly and the great.

We were on the phone together when Koji struck out Matt Carpenter for the final out.

A favorite is impossible. It’s like my son and my daughter: I don’t have a favorite, I love them both equally.

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