Many of baseball fans I know have grown up and relished the great baseball rivalries of the last fifty years or more. As a native San Franciscan, who could forget the rivalries involving the Giants and the Dodgers—Northern vs. Southern California? Indeed, today’s latest incarnations of the Giants and Dodgers still evoke a sense of tradition and nostalgia for the good old days.
For East Coast, the best rivalry in baseball is evident with the Red Sox and the Yankees. As a child, I never cared much for the Yankees. They were the team I loved to root against because they were so good.
This year, even Yankee fans ought to take pride in the Red Sox victory over the Cardinals. Both teams have won World Championships during the last decade. The Cardinals are an annoying team, just good enough to defeat the competition.
The Red Sox?
Simply remarkable. They finished first after being in last place in 2012!
They demonstrated a synergy that reminded me of my beloved Giant’s championship that we saw a year ago. Although this year’s Red Sox team did not have many of the great names of previous championship teams, they showed great spirit and played masterful baseball when the game counted the most.
So, why is this team so remarkable from previous Boston Red Sox teams? Why should the whole country be rooting for the Red Sox and their fans?
The feisty spirit of Bostonians everywhere made a powerful statement to the world.
The victims of the Boston Marathon bombing were honored with a tribute during Game 2 of the World Series at Fenway Park. Bombing survivors stood on the field during the seventh inning stretch Thursday night as singer James Taylor led the crowd in “America the Beautiful.”
Three people were killed and more than 260 wounded in the April 15 bombings near the marathon’s finish line. Throughout this past year, the Red Sox repeatedly honored the victims and survivors over the course of the season. Players visited the injured in hospitals and a giant “B Strong” logo was cut into the outfield grass.
Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia told reporters before the game that the team has tried to help the city through what he called “the toughest of times.”
Rarely does a baseball team therapeutically act as a healer to so many people who have suffered. Bostonians call this resolve, “Boston Strong,” and indeed, the entire city showed the heroic strength of a champion. This was the real reason why the Red Sox won. Anthropologists often speak about a participation mystique where the observer(s) become one with the participants of an event. The synergy that the Red Sox displayed included the hearts and souls of a people who would not yield to despair or hopelessness. The Red Sox showed this spirit not just during the World Series, but throughout the year.
Baseball is a wonderful American pastime. Sometimes the sport can become a metaphor for life itself.
This phenomenon occurred at the World Series this past year.
Kudos to Red Sox fans everywhere–and especially the mighty Bostonian spirit that ought to act as an inspiration to us all.