Saturday, April 24, 2010

Being a citizen of this Nation

The other day on Twitter, amidst tweets centering around the current score of the Red Sox game and fans feelings on what Scoots or Pedey did, I happened to see a retweet from someone I follow that simply read, "My friend Ellen has died of ALS. Please pray for her husband and children. They have all been through so much, I'll miss her." ALS rang a bell in my head as Lou Gherig's disease, especially as I was listening to the baseball game at the time but what really stood out was the fact that the profile that opened up when I clicked on it was one decked out with a background of Red Sox jerseys. I knew I had never met this lady, never even knew she existed until I saw her tweet having been passed on to me through another follower, but I typed out a message expressing my condolences, even though we had never met. She replied, thanking me and letting me know that she followed me, to which I replied that any Red Sox fan was a friend of mine. That helped to strike in something I had always known before, Red Sox Nation is like one big family. Fans can reach out to one another from across the country, even country to country even. The common bond of cheering for our Boys from Boston helps us all to have an extended family that had been around since the start of Red Sox baseball. We'll come to the support of one another, just as fiercely and steadfast as our love for any Red Sox team.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Why I am a Red Sox fan

It's a question I get asked a lot actually, how I became a Red Sox fan living all the way down here in the West Texas town of El Paso. The answer is quite simply, Nomar Garciaparra. Even though I have always been a baseball fan, it never really came full circle for me until I was about 10 or 11, around 1999. I had never disliked the Red Sox, but I had always just kind of followed my grandpa's coattails when it came to rooting for a team, in his case the Dodgers. When I decided to kind of branch out and find my own team, I took notice of a guy with an unusual name and an even more unusual batting routine. From then on I was a lost cause. Any spare moment I had was devoted to Nomar and his Red Sox. Any book I read was on baseball. Any paper I wrote was on baseball. Any conversation I had was dominated by one subject; our great American Pastime. Even though my grandpa spoke primarily Spanish and I speak primarily English (with a little bit of Spanish and an even smaller amount of German might I add), we were able to carry on conversations stemming from the game that has been bringing families together for years. It was a way to get past the language barrier and come together on one common ground.

As I said earlier, from the moment I fell in love with those Boston boys I was gone. Any kind of project immediately belonged to the Red Sox. They completely took over my heart, but I can't say that I gave much of a fight. Slowly, my room began to look less like a casual fan's room and more like one who is addicted. My parents have always said that I go into something hard and passionate and this transformation into a Red Sox fan wasn't any different. That was 10 years ago and 10 years later I haven't changed a bit. My dorm room is covered in Red Sox memorabilia, from the old weathered cap, to the blanket on my bed, to the calendars and posters, to the plethora of shirts and jackets in my closet. My pickup truck, adoringly named Sherlock, is covered in Red Sox stickers, with more coming this summer. And my beloved Nokia and Itouch are decked out with the latest Boston screensavers. Yes...I am a fan and yes I am obsessed.

But why am I a fan? Why have these boys stolen my heart and kept it for 10 years? Why have I never wavered from my stance as a proud member of Red Sox Nation?

The honest that I can't really answer that. There's just so much to love about them and I could never see myself wearing any other team's colors. What's not to love about seeing Pedey out there every game, giving his all? What's not to love about seeing that Green Monster? What's not to love about singing "Sweet Caroline" or hearing the intro to "Dirty Water?"

I know ever since the Red Sox started making more appearances in the post-season, and especially after 2004, Red Sox Nation has grown exponentially. I know that if Boston goes another few years without a championship we will also say goodbye to those citizens. But I, like so many others, have been there for the hurt. The pain of Aaron F'ing Boone breaking hearts, the painful trails of tears left on our cheeks as we watched dreams of "The Curse" being broken follow that ball out of the park. The pain of having to watch the Yankees celebrate and the whispers of "86." New fans got a taste of it this season as we watched our boys go down against the Angels, a team that hadn't really been more that a small speed bump in our quest for that Fall class in recent years. But something that I really came to understand this season was that I would rather feel that sick to my stomach after a hard loss feeling that comes with the roller coaster ride that is baseball season everyday as a Red Sox fan for the rest of my life than to feel that elation that comes with a World Championship as anything else.

So my name is Analycia, I am a Texan, I love Texas, but damn it I am a member of Red Sox Nation and I will never change that. I want to pass it on to my children and my grandchildren. I want them to know the joy that comes from being a Red Sox fan but I want them to understand the pain that can come from it too. I want to be buried in my Red Sox jersey. I want "Dirty Water" to be played at my funeral.

I am going to be with this team until the day I die, and even after.

Neglected little blog

Oh wow it's been forever since I've used this. I always think about it while I'm listening to the Red Sox game or checking on scores, or even when I open up Firefox on my computer but I never actually get around to doing anything on it. I should start though, maybe vent out some of my frustration from baseball on here and not so much on my roommate...I can imagine she'll be thrilled by that.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Reflections on the season gone too young

So as I sat in my living room, tweeting furiously with fellow citizens of Red Sox Nation, I witnessed what I never thought could happen. The Red Sox, with their backs against the wall rallied behind their young pitcher and were leading 5-2 in the top of the 8th, with Papelbon coming in, tasked with getting the last four outs to keep our boys fighting. All it took was a few balls, an intentional walk and a perfect pitch over the plate to put the Halos on top in the top of the 9th. And to break the hearts of Red Sox Nation.

I suppose it's because it seemed old hat that we'd beat the Angels in the ALDS, maybe we let our guard down. Didn't bring our bats, didn't give them enough credit, underestimated the fight hiding in this Anaheim team still reeling from the loss of teammate Nick Adenheart. Who knows? All I know now is that I have a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach, tear stains on my cheeks, a heart that's broken, but a love for the Red Sox that will always remain. Something that I know I have in common with every other member of Red Sox Nation out there today.

I'd like to take this time to thank the Red Sox for the awesome season they gave their fans. Even though no one in the organization will probably see this, I think it needs to be said. Thank you for the late game rallies, the early game blowouts, the shutout innings pitched, the double plays turned, the bases stolen, the pickoffs completed. Thank you for giving fans a reason to smile, when the chips were down. Thank you for giving fans the chance to say "I was there." Thank you for every smile you gave that camera, for every autograph you signed, for every time you showed your fans how much you appreciate us. Thank you for playing with your hearts on your sleeve. Thank you for never giving up the love of the game.

This season is a season that I would never have given up for anything. It didn't end the way I wanted it to, but things rarely end up the way we want. But this season, I got the chance to realize a dream come true. I got to see a game played in Fenway Park, something that I never anticipated happening. I had always wanted to, but I never thought I would and so soon. I realized that night that no seat in Fenway is a bad seat. I found true meaning to the Bon Jovi lyric, "no matter where you're from, tonight you're from right here" that night. It was awesome, words can't describe it. And I have the Red Sox to thank for that. And Red Sox Nation, for unknowingly and unselfishly opening their arms and allowing me to cheer as one of the "usuals."

So here goes a winter that I had hoped would start later in the year, but it's more time to rest up and get ready for an intense year of Red Sox baseball next year! Like I said earlier, I wouldn't give up this year for anything. I wouldn't give up the friends I've made, the games I've seen, the tears I've cried, the cheers I've cheered. I will never give up on the Red Sox, I will never root for anyone else, I will never boo a Red Sox player, I will never turn away a fellow Red Sox fan, and I will never forget what it means to be in Red Sox Nation.

Thank you
Nicky Green
Jonny Lester
Danny Bard
and to everyone else I may have forgotten to mention

And although I may be alone in this, I would like to thank John Smoltz and Julio Lugo for what they gave our team this season as well.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Getting closer to the post season!

So in roughly about three weeks or so, the MLB Post Season starts. I never know how to feel about it, in a way I'm excited to see the Fall Classic play out, but just like any good baseball fan I hate to see the end of the season and I'm stuck with trying to find something to do until March to fill my baseball need. The Red Sox with their win tonight, lowered their magic number to 5, so that's always a good thing. And Jason Bay's obviously feeling better from his flu symptoms, thank God. Not only for the Red Sox but for him and his family. And of course the Yankees already clinched their spot in the playoffs with the Ranger loss the other night, but that's something I just don't want to focus on tonight. Tonight is about buckling down to get ready for the post season. I haven't seen any clever commercials this year for the 2009 Post Season. Don't get me wrong, I've seen the TBS spots with Bon Jovi, but they just don't feel the same as they have in years past. My favorites were probably the ones with Dane Cook in '07, and that's not just my bias because the Red Sox won that year. I think they were really impressive and intense, and really got the fans riled up. But nothing like the "Beyond Baseball" commercials from the beginning of this season, those were enough to bring tears to my eyes. And that normally doesn't happen much, except with baseball, which I guess would be fitting.

This will be short blog, mainly because I have an early class tomorrow and I'm afraid that if I stay up any later I'll miss it. And quite frankly I'm trying to save my skips for the mornings after those ALDS and ALCS and World Series Games that can take hours! So in the words of Dane Cook, always remember "there's only one Post Season, there's only one Fall Classic, there's only one October!"

Thursday, September 17, 2009

The start....

I wasn't born into a baseball family, my dad played it when he was little, but never really grew up into it. I'm from Texas, where high school and college football reigns supreme and baseball just kind of sits in second place. Don't get me wrong, baseball is important, UT Longhorn baseball is a force to be reckoned with and Rangers and Astros baseball have their respective fan bases, but it's nothing like it is in other areas of the US.

I guess you could say it started with my grandpa. He was a huge baseball fan, a Dodgers fan to be precise but that didn't stop him from watching any baseball game that was on, live or in person. I figure that's where this passion and obsession started. For as long as I can remember I've never found something that can make me feel as good as 9 men on a field, playing 9 innnings of hard fought battle, for one simple prize; the chance to act like a little boy again.

There's just something about the smell of fresh cut grass, the feel of gravel beneath your cleats, the sound of the crack of a bat, the sound of the ball hitting the glove that just calms me down and puts me at ease. I live for the start of Spring Training and Opening Day, and a little piece of me dies every fall at the end of the Fall Classic. The winter months are the hardest for me, I find myself watching old replays of games that happened in years past. My books are about baseball, video games are about baseball, anything and everything baseball interests me to no end.

But there's hard moments too. Like watching your favorite player get traded to another team. The heartbreak you feel when the 9th inning rally just isn't enough. Or the heart wrenching feeling that comes over you when you watch your favorite player go through his slump. Baseball's taught me that life isn't always fair, that the good guys don't always win and that so much can change in the span of a pitch. It's taught me not to give up, to keep my faith in someone.

I started this blog because I want to tell my stories about baseball and the way it has affected me thus far, and hopefully to inspire others to do the same. Baseball is something that in my experience can bring all kinds of people together and I hope that by doing this, baseball fans everywhere can unite. Feel free to send in your baseball stories, I will be happy to read them and reply. More to come tomorrow!