It’s been a mediocre season at best for the Boston Red Sox and the only contest I saw from the stands was typically a loss. Yet April 15 was my best day at Fenway Park in four decades of attending games.
The Sox were clobbered by the Nationals 10 to 5, silence overwhelmed the usual noise of the crowd, and even with a scorecard it wasn’t always easy to tell one player from another. Superficially, it wasn’t the most triumphant experience for the hometown crowd.
Despite the generous birthday gift of my children that had me well-seated in the grandstand, I attended with trepidation after turning 60 the week before. Like any good Sox fan, I’m superstitious. The number 60 has an almost kabalistic significance corresponding at it does with Babe Ruth’s greatest season record—60 home runs hit for the 1927 Yankees. The southpaw was a Boston’s star pitcher until Sox ownership sent him to the arch rival New Yorkers after the 1919 season for a fistful of cash. It was baseball’s equivalent of original sin. It cursed the team, keeping them from a World Series crown between 1918 and 2004.