This story starts like most of the others -- in October, 2003. We pretty much listened to and read a ton of Grady bashing, sulked through the World Series (except when the Yankees were taken O. U. T. OUT! That was nice, wasn’t it?), and then had a lengthy bout of hot stove fever.
In retrospect, we think the seeds of "The Red Seat" were sown as early as Game 3 (Zimmer had it coming) of that year. Trying to convert a Yankee fan and wanting a souvenir to commemorate the great day of theater, we searched and searched, but to no avail. There was literally nothing around the park that wasn't a lame retread, obscenely priced or just plain obscene. After making a mental note, this was quickly forgotten until what we used to refer to around here as "the inevitable." Much sadness followed, but then our first moment of enlightenment. It had to be that god hates us.
Enlightenment #2. Any shirt that has that New York team's name on it is a shirt about them. Doesn't matter if it says that they suck. You're thinking about them, aren't you? Our stuff is a little different. Remember, misery loves company. Or is it that hope springs eternal? . . .
It was dumb luck that we were at GAME FOUR of the '04 ALCS and so close to the right field bull pen where Mr. Ortiz hit his el gigante walk off homer in the bottom of the 12th. We were right there as the ball sailed gently over the ornery New York right fielder. We were there. It was grandiose. It was epic - and it brought back every reason why we do The Red Seat.
It may sound strange but The Red Seat wouldn't exist if we didn't have the great fortune to witness, in-person, some of the great moments at the park. Pedro vs. Roger in '99. Pedro vs. Zimmer in '03. While we can't get to all of the games, and while the radio or telly both have their merits, it's just not the same. The humor and the theatrics just can't be broadcast. It's like a live album by a great band - it's a solid document but falls short in an essential way. The Red Seat allows us to recapture that good stuff that only a few fortunate people get to be a part of eighty plus times a year.
Is Fenway fantastic? Depends. To some, it can be charming in the same way a real estate agent would try to sell you on it, and hallowed ground to others.
That's the beauty of it and even if it's Standing Room Only, all we know is that we're looking forward to our next visit. Hope to see you there.