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"Red Sox Fan - Sticking by your team



Red Sox Fan - Sticking by your team that would tease you, flirt with you, and then break your heart at the last minute

It's a lot like a teenage boy worshiping the popular girl at school: he dreams, but he knows it's just a dream.

To be a Red Sox fan, though, meant sticking by your team that would tease you, flirt with you, and then break your heart at the last minute. So many times it seemed as if the teenage boy would finally get his kiss, only to be denied at the last possible moment. And he kept coming back....And it kept happening.








Red Sox Fan, Sticking by your team






It used to be, saying that one was a Red Sox fan meant something very particular. Specifically, it meant rooting for a team with a history of great futility- although it does bear noting that, through 1918, it was actually the most successful team in Major League history. After the 1919 season, however, Babe Ruth (the greatest baseball player of all time, a claim I will defend another time) was sold to the New York Yankees, and this shifted the power structure in baseball, the effects of which lasted for decades.



The Red Sox remained a very good team, though, for many of the subsequent years, most notably during the 1940s when Ted Williams and others graced the roster, but they were never quite good enough to capture the Series again. Generations of Red Sox fans were raised upon ever-receding tales of glory, where Babe Ruth led the team to world championships and the team was second-to-none. As the years went by these tales passed into the realm of myth.



There were four near-misses, in which the Red Sox lost the World Series in seven games to the best National League team of its respective decade. In 1946, Pesky held the ball. In 1967, the Impossible Dream proved to be the Unattainable Dream. In 1975, the Big Red Machine narrowly defeated the Sox, despite Fisk's dramatic homer. In 1986, Buckner played croquet. In the interim, the Yankees won fistfuls of Series and were rightfully regarded as the greatest baseball franchise of all time.



The National League, of course, had the Chicago Cubs- a team with an even longer history of failure- and there are legions of Cub fans that stick by their team just knowing they will be disappointed. It's a lot like a teenage boy worshiping the popular girl at school: he dreams, but he knows it's just a dream. To be a Red Sox fan, though, meant sticking by your team that would tease you, flirt with you, and then break your heart at the last minute. So many times it seemed as if the teenage boy would finally get his kiss, only to be denied at the last possible moment. And he kept coming back. And it kept happening.



To be a Red Sox fan meant to be a complete masochist. You hoped and dreamed, but in the back of your mind you knew it would be futility at the last possible minute, snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. If nothing else, though, it signified a kind of dogged persistence that one would willingly endure such pain.



But, lo and behold! In 2004, Red Sox fans "got the girl." Not only did they defeat the Yankees in the playoffs in the most improbable fashion- just like they had always been defeated before, and made all the more remarkable following an amazing, yet predictable collapse against them the previous year- but they won the World Series.



About the Author
Ralph Schatzki
Ralph Schatzki
A husband, father, singer, teacher, writer, and lawyer. He has performed many lead operatic roles in America and Southeast Asia. After practicing law in Connecticut he moved to Thailand where he taught high school math at an international school for several years. An avid Red Sox fan he has written many articles.
Well, Red Sox fans reacted in various ways: some, of course, celebrated wildly. Others, though, sat stunned, wondering what this meant to their identity as a Red Sox fan. It reminded me of what a dog might do if it actually caught the car it was chasing: what does he do with it? After all, it was one thing to play the proud martyr: quite another to taste the fruits of success. I confess to being one of these and I wondered what would happen next.



The immediate explosion of Red Sox hats disheartened me. I felt as if my intimate club of fellow-sufferers had been invaded by bandwagon-jumpers. For a long while I held close to my heart the martyrdom that I felt was my birthright, and I smirked inwardly at all these "Johnny-come-latelys."



Fortunately, I have now taken heart in finally realizing what this all means: The Red Sox have become the symbol for the attainment of ultimate success following the most difficult of journeys. No matter how hard the road, perseverance is finally rewarded. Now, I look at the "B" above someone's brow and know, even if he is not a long-time fan, he appreciates what it means to have been a long-suffering Red Sox supporter, and that he supports the underdog's perpetual fight against "NY," the favorite.




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