“Baseball was, is and always will be to me the best game in the world.”

It’s really early for me to be up let alone be working on Coffee, but we’re going to Fenway Park this morning. There’s an open house in celebration of Fenway’s 100th birthday which is tomorrow. For today, an off day for the Sox, areas like the bullpen, the dugouts and the left field scoreboard will be available for up close and personal looks. I also get to see my brick which is now a permanent part of the concourse. It’s like having a star at Grauman’s Chinese Restaurant minus the footprints. For the big celebration game tomorrow, the Sox and the Yankees will be wearing throwback uniforms. In 1912, the Yankees were the New York Highlanders, and they lost 7-6 in 11 innings. I hope the Gods of baseball will smile on the Sox in celebration.

I have loved baseball for as long as I can remember. When I was young, I watched my friends play little league at the field near my house. It had dugouts and a screened backstop and bleachers on both sides of the field. Every Memorial Day, the little leaguers marched in their uniforms, those old, bulky wool ones just like the uniforms the Sox wore. The little league teams were named after teams in the major leagues, and there was a draft day every spring after tryouts.

I loved the old uniforms with the high stirrup colored socks and the white socks showing on the sides underneath. Names like the Red Sox and the White Sox made perfect sense back then. A few players still wear them that way now, and I like the look.

Baseball was easy to understand: three up, three down and nine regular innings. The nuances I learned as I grew older: things like a squeeze play, the infield fly rule or a Texas leaguer.

I will never forget my first game at Fenway Park. It was a night game, and I walked out of the concourse near the bleachers and saw spread out in front of me the greenest grass I’d ever seen. It seemed to sparkle from the lights lit around the field. It was glorious.

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22 Comments on ““Baseball was, is and always will be to me the best game in the world.””

  1. Matthew Stafford Says:

    Yikes, pre 7 am est, KTCC…a record?

    • katry Says:

      My Dear Matthew,
      I think you are right about the record. It was that darn alarm clock and the Monday of no KTCC which had me up and writing with the birds.

  2. Hedley Says:

    Down Matt, shouldn’t you be at practice?

  3. Bob Says:

    I am jealous that you get to be at Fenway for the 100 birthday celebration. The white socks, that ballplayers used to wear, under the colored ones with the yoke are called sanitary socks. In the early days players wore regular colored high socks. However, some players would sharpen their spikes and slide into bases with their spikes up to cut the leg of the baseman. The color dye in the socks was poisonous and would cause an infection and possible death. Therefore baseball players were required to wear the white sanitary under socks. Today many of the players wear their pant legs long and you can’t see the socks. Of course, new dyes are not poisonous so those players who show the socks have abandoned the sanitary white socks. Joe Mackey, the long time Rangers clubhouse manager, was quoted in the paper last year that he still stocks the over socks with the yoke and the white sanitary socks, but no one wears them anymore. I also miss the old look.

    When the Rangers first moved to Arlington in 1972, I was working at a small radio station and had a press pass. The funniest thing I ever saw was the Ranger’s pitching coach Sid Hudson. At the time Sid was in his late 70s. In the club house he was standing in front of his locker with his baseball socks on without his pants. Somehow baseball socks and varicose veins just looked funny. Ted Williams was the manager and he didn’t want to move to Texas from Washington with the team. However, he managed one year more here because he wanted to bring his coaches with him so that they could accrue an additional year towards their pension eligibility. The Thumper actually was a nice guy under that gruff exterior personality.

    • katry Says:

      Bob,
      I miss the old look too. A couple of the Sox p;layers still sport that look, and all of them will tomorrow for the official 100th birthday game.

      I’m surprised about the nice guy as that goes contrary to just about everything I’ve heard about him. The one thing I most remember is when the All Star game was at Fenway and Ted came out in a golf cart. There were today’s stars surrounding the cart just to shake his hand and meet Ted. It took a long while to disperse them.

  4. Caryn Says:

    Hi Kat,
    You’re early and I’m late. I was goofing off and playing games on line.

    My first game at Fenway Park was a late afternoon game but it went 19 innings. We got home after midnight. Our seats were behind home plate and they didn’t cost a year’s income either. It was a long time ago. ๐Ÿ™‚
    For me the burning question was how does the groundskeeper get the fancy checkerboard designs mown into the grass? Victory Garden should do a piece about that.

    I’m frogging a knitted lace shawl because of a major mistake in the instructions which was not apparent until after the shawl was completed and it wasn’t shaped the way the designer said it should be shaped. It’s a bit annoying. I may have to self-medicate with chocolate or ice cream.

    Enjoy the rest of your day.

    • morpfy Says:

      Off subject, but a farewell to one of the icons of TV whom I’m sure introduced us to musicians we grew up with. R.I.P. Dick Clark
      [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=geTO-ezljd8&w=640&h=360]

      • morpfy Says:

        Part2
        [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qA7ggOdw-BI&w=640&h=360]

      • morpfy Says:

        part3
        [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=msU9ffzSAfA&w=640&h=360]

      • katry Says:

        morpfy,
        Thanks so much for posting these. I was going to mention Dick Clark tomorrow but now you’ve done the job for me-these are great!

    • katry Says:

      Hi Caryn,
      I left here at 8:15 so I had to be early. I skipped Monday so I didn’t think I should skip a third day this week. Going to Fenway made the writing easy.

      I sat behind home plate a few games, tickets from a season ticket holder who wasn’t using them. They were amazing. The last few years I tend to sit in the bleachers as they cost enough and when you add something to eat and drink plus the parking, the evening can get darn expensive. I always figure at least one game a year desopite the cost.

      Either chocolate or ice cream will do the job!

  5. Zoey & Me Says:

    You got lucky living near Boston. We lost the Senators but as a kid we went to at least 5 games in the summer. I did see the Nationals play here in Viera this year, beat the Cards but it’s not for real in the off season but fun to watch. But up where you are it’s a baseball frenzy. It’s like DC and the Redskins. Have fun!

    • katry Says:

      Z&Me,
      It was a really fun day wandering all over the park.

      You’re right about this being a baseball frenzy city.


  6. Zoey & Me : What’s that, Nationals ?

    Happy Birthday to Fenway !

  7. olof1 Says:

    I got a bit surprised when i sat at work finding that You already had posted ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ :-9
    I do like baseball but as You know its a tiny sport here. But kids plays a similar game called Brรคnnboll (Burning ball) here. They have another similar game in Finland called Boboll (can’t translate that at all ๐Ÿ™‚ ) too and it’s very popular there, never made it here though.

    I hope You had a great day and got s chance to see that brick of Yours ๐Ÿ™‚

    Christer.

    • katry Says:

      Christer,
      As I was on the road so early, I had to post early.

      The park was filled with people wandering all over. It was such a fun day. We saw current players and the new manager and sat in the dug out where the Sox sit during the game. It was a great day though I am tired from all that walking.

  8. im6 Says:

    Many thanks to Morpfy for posting the ‘This Is Your Life’ episode. I’d have never seen it otherwise. I have so many memories of Bandstand and The Dick Clark Show (on Saturday nights) which sadly seem to have gotten overshadowed by all those lame New Years Eve specials. Jeez, he was young!

    • katry Says:

      im6,
      I had never seen it either, and you’re right-he was so young. I remember rushing home to watch bandstand-great music, and I’d give that show a 10~

  9. katry Says:

    Mario,
    Fenway and Wrigley are the two oldest major league parks. I don’t know about the one in New Hampshire.


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