The Red Sox have had this horrible habit the last couple of years of following up an awesome run-scoring performance with a really terrible one. I am a firm believer in the whole law of averages thing, so anytime I see a 10+ run game I know there are going to be some poor scoring games to balance it out, but the Red Sox are impressive in consistently balancing it out the game immediately following it. At this point, however, I was still naïve and optimistic, so I had good feelings going into the third game.
If you read my last post, you might be wondering who the young boy in the pictures with us is. His name is Jake, and he’s my boss/friend Derek’s son. When I was originally planning the trip, Derek and Jake were going to come too, but Derek had some stuff pop up for work, and so we offered to take Jake so he didn’t miss out. He’s a Red Sox fan who spent several years growing up in Minnesota- he had to go! Jake was a little wary of us at first I think, but eventually warmed up, especially on Friday night. It had been a long day and him and Joel were a little slap happy I think, so they had a grand old time getting settled in at Melissa’s and eating chicken strips.
The fun continued the next day- Saturday’s game was an afternoon game, and they were geared up for another day of baseball!
I often get asked, especially when I'm traveling, how someone from Montana becomes a Red Sox fan. I will talk about my fascination with US history when I was little and how I was enamored with the city of Boston, the fact that they were good but cursed when I was first becoming interested in the MLB circa 2003 (similar to my dad's team at the time, the Cubs), or how I went out there for school and got to see them play every once in a while. All that's true of why I like the Red Sox, but when I think about why I love the Red Sox, it has a lot to do with one player- David Ortiz. Of the Red Sox greats, he was the one most relevant to my generation- he came up clutch in the biggest moments and helped a franchise known for their postseason failures win THREE World Series titles. His personality was easy for me to love and relate to: easy-going and happy-go-lucky until he wasn't. He was without a doubt a leader in the clubhouse and his at-bats were a must watch for me. And as if all of that wasn't enough, one of my favorite moments as a sports fan involved him- I went alone (crazy) to the first game at Fenway after the Boston bomber was caught and saw both his infamous speech ("This is our f*cking city") and the win that followed, which included a couple of clutch hits from Mr. Clutch himself. It sounds corny, but I knew during that game that that team was special, and they proved me right by going on to win the World Series that year.
When Ortiz announced that he was retiring following the 2016 season, I knew I had to make it a priority to see my favorite player play as much as possible in his final season. This isn't exactly an easy task living in Montana, but I lucked out and had a business trip that allowed me to see him early in the season in Houston, and Joel and I figured a road trip to Minneapolis during the Red Sox stop there in May wasn't too difficult. We'd driven the 8 hours to Denver several times; what's another 4 hours each way?
Just a couple of sports fans touring the world, one stadium at a time.