“I won’t sit here and lie to you about how tough it is being a 23 year old Red Sox fan. It’s been great. I’ve seen and have very distinct memories of three phenomenal World Series championships, and I don’t take that for granted. There are a number of fans who had to wait several long years to see a Red Sox title, and even more fans who passed away without ever seeing one. If some of those old timers are reading, I want to congratulate you on seeing some championships. You deserve them after living through some really dark times.
I got into baseball when I was about six years old in 1998. My mom and dad were both big Mets fans, and I remember my first favorite player being Mike Piazza. My dad worshiped him because he could hit monster home runs and like my dad, he was Italian-American. He was a lot of fun to watch. To this day I have a soft spot for the Mets, and they’re my favorite National League team. Sorry, that’s just how it worked out. Family ties.
That said, in the late 90’s, I started following the Red Sox. I grew up in Fairfield, Connecticut. That’s about an hour outside of New York City, so it’s predominantly Yankees and Mets fans down here. You need to head up about a half hour to New Haven to really enter RSN-CT. Red Sox fans are hard to come by around here, and when I was little, it was all very foreign to me. When we would have family functions at my Great Aunt and Uncle’s house, my Great Uncle wouldn’t be watching the Mets, though. He’d be watching the Red Sox. He was a lot of fun to be around, and some of my favorite memories are of watching the likes of Mo Vaughn and Nomar Garciaparra crush the ball on his tiny tv. Unfortunately, he passed away in 2000, and never saw his beloved Red Sox win it all. I credit him with teaching me Sox history, and can’t thank him enough! We put a Sox balloon on his grave October 30, 2004. Three days after they won the series.
I’m an only child, and am very close with my cousins (my Great Uncle’s granddaughters). They’re both older than me, and both huge Sox fans because of their grandpa. The Sox have been a powerful bonding tool for us over the years. Our favorite player was Jason Varitek. Of course, they thought he was cute. I thought he was the man. He was just so calm but intimidating. He did his job and didn’t feel the need to talk about it. I was a really quiet kid, so that made me like him.
The biggest punch in the gut I’ve gotten as a Sox fan is easily the 2003 ALCS. Other happenings like the 2011 collapse, the 2008 ALCS loss to TB, the recent last place finishes, those all sucked. Nothing has really even come remotely close to the low feeling I got in 2003 when Aaron Boone happened. I was in sixth grade at the time. Game seven was on a Thursday night. I had fallen asleep, but my parents woke me up to watch the final innings. The rest was history. It wasn’t until the following October that I really got over that loss.
Pathetic? Kinda, but hey, I was 11. What do you want?
Since then, I’ve been able to deal with the torment and neurotic drama that comes with being a Red Sox fan. If putting up with annoyances every few years is the price to pay for several World Series wins, sign me up.”