The Boston Red Sox are poised to win the World Series for the first time since 1918. Although a part of me wishes the curse would continue, there's another part of me that wants this for the die hard Red Sox fans. I'm thirty years old and every year I imagine my Toronto Maple Leafs winning Lord Stanley's mug for the first time in my lifetime. Sometimes I close my eyes and envision the seconds dripping off the clock as the blue and white win their fourth game of the finals and a tear comes to my eye. I want it so bad it hurts.
Maple Leafs fans in their 40s can remember the last time Toronto won the cup. Red Sox fans in their 80s can't recall a time Boston was champion. Many a Red Sox fan has come and gone in that span. They experienced pain and heart break Leaf fans like myself can only imagine. We have it tough, but Red Sox fans have had it much tougher.
A Red Sox fan wrote the following piece on a fan bulletin board and reading it brought another tear to my eye. It's tough to read this and not root for the Red Sox tonight. It's tough as a Leafs fan to read this and not think of what it might feel like to be so close to a dream you've dreamt about your entire life. I'll continue to dream that dream. For Red Sox fans, it's about to become a joyous reality.
Win It For
Win it for Johnny Pesky, who deserves to wear a Red Sox uniform in the dugout during the 2004 World Series. Mr. Henry, the trophy needs to be presented first of all to him.
Win it for Bobby Doerr, who, through the sadness of losing his beloved Monica, would love to see his Sox finally defeat New York in Yankee Stadium. Revenge is best served cold.
Win if for Dommie, the most loyal and devoted of men. If he hadn't gotten hurt in Game 7 of the '46 Series, Enos Slaughter would never have scored.
Win it for Carl Yastrzemski. While his heart still aches today, may a smile break through his personal storm-cloud this evening. His beloved son, Mike, will show us the way. God speed, number eight.
Win it for Ted, who once said, "If they ever won it, I would feel so @#%$ warm inside."
Win it for Tony, who taught us all the meaning of courage and grit. A day doesn't go by when I don't think of you, number 25.
Win it for Nedly and Ken and Possum - who provided us with nothing less than the soundtrack to our childhoods.
Win it for Richard Gorman, who followed the team passionately while residing in Queens and the Bronx. He was a master teacher, a supportive friend, and a diehard Red Sox fan.
Win it for Stiffy - who saw firsthand Denny Galehouse's hanging curves, worshiped the Golden Greek even after he died so suddenly back in '55, and got misty-eyed when Rico Petrocelli began to back-peddle on a squirting pop-up to short left-field on a placid October afternoon back in 1967.
Win it for Cheri - may she cry on Giff's shoulders tonight in pure joy and emotion - and not in the stew of pathos. Cheri's unconditional love for the Red Sox serves as a genuine measuring stick for us all.
Win it for Felix - who began living out "The September of My Years" last month as he hit fifty; a fan who has always believed that the impossible is just not a dream.
Win it for Eric Van. Eric, you have truly embodied Hemingway's definition of courage recently. Grace under pressure, indeed.
Win if for Eric Van's father.
Win it for Dalton and Moose and Norm and Buck and Zup and all of the other old-timers on this board whose lives have defined the virtue of loyalty.
Win it for our far-off posters, from Manila to Montana to Mark in London, who have continually kept the home fires burning thousands of miles away from Route 128.
Most of all, win it for James Lawrence Kelly, 1913-1986. This one's for you, Daddy. You always told me that loyalty and perseverance go hand in hand. Thanks for sharing the best part of you with me.