Christmas With Joe and Jerry
Last night Kellie called me just moments after we'd gone our separate ways following dinner. "Turn it to WEEI", she said. "They're playing a Red Sox - Yankees game."
I turned the dial. Moments later, I called her back. "What game is this?"
"I dunno...John Lieber's pitching."
"John Lieber's pitching...Sox vs. Yankees..." We quickly deduced that it had to be postseason--the more memorable Sox performances against Lieber in the regular season were humiliating losses.
"It wouldn't be game one, would it?" I asked, bewildered. "Why would they play that?"
"Maybe they're playing them all in order, so you need to hear the three losses first."
"And now Curt Schilling takes the mound..."
Still hard to tell. Nah, they wouldn't play the loss in Game 1. Why would they do that?
"There appears to be something on his sock, perhaps some kind of medication or ointment to keep heat on his injury..."
Here I was, in the dead of December, seeing my breath while the heat whined and wheezed, working overtime against New England winter, and there was the ballgame on the radio, something I took for granted in July, and September, and even October, and suddenly I ached for baseball, missed the habit of it, missed the game on wherever I went, be it TVs at restaurants and sometimes stores, or on the radio (sometimes you could hear other car radios tuned to the same broadcast and you'd give each other the thumbs up on the way by).
But it wasn't an unhappy nostalgia--every time I remember that there will be more baseball in just a few weeks I get giddy. I can't wait to see the next chapter in Red Sox history. And it was a powerful experience to listen to the game as it was broadcast at the time, without the hindsight or mythology that have altered it since.
This morning I saw on WEEI's page that:
Beginning Thanksgiving night and every Thursday night through Dec 30 we will be replaying "The Sensational Six", the six best Red Sox games of the year.
Here is the remaining schedule:
12/16 Game 7 ALCS Red Sox vs. Yankees 12/23 Game 2 World Series Red Sox vs. Cardinals 12/30 Game 4 World Series Red Sox vs. Cardinals
If you're outside WEEI's broadcast range (103.7 FM in Southern New England), you can download the audio on the official site for a fee.
This would make a GREAT Christmas gift for the Red Sox addict: download the audio, burn it to CD, and they can listen to, say, the July 24 broadcast or Game 6 of the ALCS whenever they want. I plan to do this for myself--throw the CD in the car while I'm doing errands, maybe, and relive those magical nights. I'll even listen to the 1-800-54-GIANT commercials.
And I'm definitely scheduling my Christmas shopping for Dec. 16.
Thanks, WEEI, for a truly appreciable Sox gift.