I became an adjunct member of Red Sox Nation when I sat in a dark TV room in my college dorm watching Carlton Fisk wave fair his homerun to win Game 6 of the 1975 World Series. I got home from work just in time to see Bucky Effing Dent drop his floater on top of the Green Monster in the 1978 playoff. Going to graduate school made me a local resident in time to see Bill Buckner’s gaffe for the ages in 1986. So I may not be a resident and suffered through all 86 years of desert-wandering, but I’ve paid my dues.
I finished reading my Christmas gift from my daughter today. Faithful, by Stewart O’Nan and Stephen King (yes that Stephen King). Every Red Sox fan should read it. The writing is entertaining, funny, and always captures the feel of two good friends bullshitting about the game they love. It also shows the good side of sports fans, as opposed to the six-pack swilling lout who only knows his team should win and sucks if they don’t because they’re overpaid. (They almost certainly are overpaid, and they may suck, but it’s nice to have the discussion on a more elevated plane, even if it’s essentially the same discussion.)
This is a great and fun read even if you’re not a member of Red Sox Nation but just a baseball fan. Well, maybe not a diehard Yankee fan. (Correction: there are no “diehard” Yankee fans. Yankee fans believe it is their divine right to win all the time. Not just win, but to humble the unworthy opposition. In the Yankee fan’s perfect world, they would travel around and play the Washington Generals 162 times a year.(Another note: The Washington Generals are the patsy team that travels with the Harlem Globetrotters, and should not be confused with baseball’s new Washington Nationals just because they might be almost as bad. Come to think of it, those are the only two sports teams wholly owned by their opposition. Literally.) Yankee fans will have to find some other form of entertainment. Kissing my ass comes to mind.)
The best thing about Faithful is its ability to remind the reader why baseball is the single greatest thing devised by the mind of man. Get a copy. The co-author is even from Pittsburgh and his formative years were shaped, in part, by Bill Mazeroski’s home run to win the 1960 World Series from the pre-Steinbrenner, Evil Empire Yankees. How cool is that?