Below is another article in a series of blog entries I’m writing as a candidate for president of Red Sox Nation.
My eight year-old son is a believer. In his short life, he has attended some of the greatest regular season Red Sox games of them all. He was at Fenway for the Varitek-ARod fight followed by the Mueller walk-off vs. Mariano Rivera in 2004; he was there for the Mark Loretta walk-off home run vs. Seattle on Patriots Day in 2006; and he was there for the incredible six-run, ninth inning rally vs. Baltimore on Mother’s Day earlier this spring (Sox won, 6-5).
He was also there for the 14-0 loss to the Braves in May. It was at this game that I realized he has become a FULLY EXPECTANT BELIEVER in the Red Sox.
The weather was horrible. By the end of the 7th inning, with the Braves leading 11-0 and a steady downpour soaking Fenway, only a few thousand fans remained in the stands. My son was shivering so I asked him if he wanted to head home. “No way, Daddy!” he said, insulted. “Daddy, we’re going to come back and win this game.” Then he commanded, “Put on your rally cap!” So I turned my cap inside out. And so did all the people sitting near us.
In the 8th inning, completely drenched, he turned to me again and said with absolute seriousness, “Daddy, the Red Sox are winning this game.” I replied, “I know they are.” In the top of the ninth, the Braves scored three more runs, and before the Sox came up in the bottom of the ninth, he said, “That’s actually good, Daddy, because now the comeback will have three more runs and that will be more exciting.” “You’re right,” I replied. “LET’S GO RED SOX!” he continued to yell through the raindrops. The Sox went one-two-three in the ninth, and the worst Sox game of the year (from a spectator’s perspective) was over. My son was pensive as we walked out of Fenway.
On the drive home, he was quiet and I thought he was asleep until he said, “Daddy, I know this sounds strange, but I’m going to say it anyway. I really think it’s…. funny that the Red Sox didn’t win. I mean, I really really thought they were going to come back. Even with two outs in the ninth inning, I just knew they were going to win.” Then, he fell asleep. His earnest faith gave me goosebumps.
How lucky am I to be this boy’s father, and to be raising him a few miles from Fenway? How lucky is Red Sox Nation to have this kid as a citizen?
This boy is a treasure, 6 years later. And the FAITH is what makes life sweet.