HALF A CENTURY

     Lately, I’ve been thinking about the span of the last 50 years.  I am closing in on my 50th birthday (August).  My parents, Tom and Lucille are celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary this week.  That is an incredible length of time.  My entire lifetime.  Think about it.  About three weeks before my parents tied the knot, Bill Mazeroski hit his historic home run against the Yankees and Ralph Terry.  Ted Williams retired and shortly after that, Carl Yastrzemski began his brilliant career in Boston.  They had been married about 6 years when the “Impossible Dream” season unfolded in 1967.  It, of course, ended in heartbreak as the Cardinals and Bob Gibson took the crown.

     My folks had been married about 15 years in 1975.  Arguably the greatest World Series ever took place  between the Reds and Boston.  Fred Lynn and Jim Rice burst upon the scene and the Sox and Big Red Machine battled for 7 games.  In fact, Carlton Fisk hammered his 12th inning home run against Pat Darcy on my fathers’ 50th birthday, October 21, 1975.  I vividly remember my mother worrying that  no one would care about the party, because the game was going to be on, after being postponed 3 days by rain.  The party was a hit, and so was Fisk.

     The year of the heartbreak of 1986, as the ball was rolling through the legs of Bill Buckner, my folks were closing in on their 26th anniversary.  I prematurely popped a champagne cork, as I wanted to “Savor the moment”.  I have never heard the end of it.  Families all have their inside jokes.  Because of that, I have been the butt of that joke for the last 24 years.  As my partner Dan Hoard s often likes to point out.  I am still the only one who hasn’t forgiven Buckner.  A grudge I’ve now proudly held for about half my life, or half my parents’ marriage. There have been good times and bad times.  Wins and losses, ups and downs.  I guess that’s life. And baseball. 

     My mother and father have lived through managers Grady Little, Butch Hobson, Joe Kerrigan and Jimy Williams.  Pumpsie Green, Dick Stuart, Carmen Fanzone have all worn the most beautiful uniform in sports during the last half century.  The Sox, like my folks, have settled into a pretty good routine, with Terry Francona and Dustin Pedroia and the gang.  They listen to the PawSox broadcasts every night while watching the Red Sox on NESN with the volume down.  A lot of things have changed over the last 50 years.  Some things haven’t.  Our love for the Sox, their love for each other.  Happy Anniversary, Mom and Pop! 

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