Seeing the Red Sox in Texas on Sunday nights ESPN game brought back some fond memories of my younger days. My boss, who knew I was a Red Sox fan, sprung for a trip to see Roger Clemens pitch against Nolan Ryan. This was in Arlington Stadium–not the Ballpark in Arlington, Ameriquest Field in Arlington, Ranger Ballpark in Arlington, or whatever they’re calling wherever they are calling it these days. My boss was a Ranger fan, but I still thought of them as the Senators, almost two decades after they left D.C. The thing about the Red Sox is stability. They’ve been the Red Sox forever (practically speaking), in Boston forever, in Fenway…forever. And they hadn’t won a World Series since forever. 2004 was a long, long way away.
It was hot as a firecracker in that old stadium, especially down near the field, where fastball after fastball sizzled like steaks on a grill as the two pitchers mowed down batter after batter in a pitcher’s duel that not only met but exceeded expectations. I’ve never attended a more thrilling game.
My boss, Dan Coughlin, passed away shortly thereafter of the same throat cancer that took Ruth. He never smoked. I can never watch a Ranger/Red Sox game without recollecting his generosity taking a younger man to a ballgame, even if the perenially jovial Catholic Irishman wasn’t a Boston fan (go figure), and hoping his time in purgatory is a little less so. Dan was a true baseball fan.
I was watching the A’s pummel Texas 7-0 last night, while my son and co-author here on SBY was catching some Rays. If you’re a Texas Ranger fan, check out this link, which he IM’ed me…
Then the Rangers started taking a play out of the Yankees book (the Yankees overcame an 11 run deficit against these same Rangers last week), and suddenly it was 7-5 after catcher Rod Barajas hits a grand slam. Then Mark Teixeira breaks out of his homerless slump to make it 7-6. Ian Kinsler, back from rehab, homers for the second time of the night to tie the game.
Up comes hard luck Phil Nevin–remember him? He hasn’t been able to buy a hit in May. Early in the game he crushed a ball that curved just foul, and you could see the frustration on his face. In any case he came up in the bottom of the ninth. I said to myself, the way the rhythm of this game is going, he’s going to homer to win it.
My son is an A’s fan, BTW, while I am a displaced Rangers fan, having spent all those years in OKC. Teach him to dis a Ranger.
— Michael Norton