Curt Schilling: “Has there been a better time to be a Sox fan in the past 20 years?”
Some, undoubtedly, might argue that the magical, closing weeks of October 2004 weren’t all that bad. Those with a bit more mileage on the odometer might speak dreamily of the summer of 1967. Personally, I can’t get past the question.
Not the sentiment, which is simply contentment with the present and future prospects for the club, but the premise. I wouldn’t, after all, ask if “there had ever been a better time to be an O’Grady.” The very notion is blasphemy as far as I’m concerned. Baseball is not just another sport, and the Red Sox are not just another team. They’re a link between us, a tie that binds us. For better, and for worse.
Reminders of this are constant.
Last week’s miserable showing against the Yankees elicited a couple of agonized text messages from folks I hadn’t heard from all summer. But Saturday, Clay Buchholz twirled a no hitter in his second major league start, and my brother and I were giddy as kids on Christmas morning. A small flood of text messages and congratulatory emails followed, and the O’Grady household was dominated by baseball chat Sunday morning. My brother’s new bride could hardly have a better introduction to the Red Sox part of the family; the first no hitter by a Red Sox rookie. Ever.
I make no claim, of course, that the game itself is of material importance to the wider world. Baseball cannot cure cancer, although it can help generate the money that will. Those that miss the social significance of the sport, however, miss something of genuine importance: a pastime that transcends genders, ethnicities, socio-economic classes, and generations with ease.
Connecting us to each other, for better, and for worse.