For 86 years they always managed to find a way to lose and now for the third time in a decade, the Boston Red Sox are sitting on top of the baseball world. Who would have believed it?
As a teacher who saw many of these players grow and develop at Hadlock Field, I knew Thursday morning would be tough. High school students are not naturally morning people, and quite a few of my students stayed up late to watch the Red Sox win the World Series. As they dragged their drooping bodies into homeroom Thursday morning, we were all in for one more surprise.
The sound of Neil Diamond’s song, Sweet Caroline greeted us and filled the halls and classrooms of our 200-year-old school. Our often too serious academic spaces were now the center field bleacher seats at the ballpark 90 miles to the south.
In an instant, smiles replaced yawns and whether they liked it or not, students, teachers, and staff started singing. It was a good day.
Three days later, the hangover from the game and the series is just lifting but those who live in Red Sox Nation won’t soon forget the way a certain Dominican designated hitter pulled his team aside late in a tied ballgame to remind them that they were a good team.
In a combination of Spanish, English, and baseball-speak, he told them it was time to remember who they were and how they played the game. With the words of encouragement still in his ears, Johnny Gomes, now a Boston folk-hero, stepped to the plate and hit a home run.
The team never looked back.
So from my little part of the world – thanks and see you boys in the spring. How many days until pitchers and catchers report to Fort Myers?