FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Ecstasy in Red Sox Nation

by RON JACOBS

Sure, they are a bunch of well-off (and even very rich) men playing a game that involves a stick and a ball. Sure, there are many more important things going on in the world. And, sure, it is just a game. But, it is also involves a baseball team that weighs on the psyche of Calvinist New England and all of the rest of those folks around the world who consider themselves part of that imagined community known as Red Sox Nation.

Last night was a full lunar eclipse over North America. It was also the fourth game of Major League Baseball’s best-of-seven-games World Series. Most of New England was on edge, forgoing sleep in the hopes that their team would finally win and exorcise the supposed curse that has hung over the franchise ever since New York theatre producer (and then Red Sox owner) Harry Frazee sold Babe Ruth and a few other players to the New York Yankees for $100,000 to finance his production of No, No, Nanette.

Since that fateful offseason, the Yankees have reigned supreme in the world of Major League Baseball and the Red Sox have played second and third fiddle all too often. Last night, that ended. Fans pinched themselves to make sure what they saw was really happening. They raised toasts to their dead friends and relatives who never saw the Sox win a championship despite several heartbreaking near-misses. And they couldn’t stop smiling.

My friends who are less connected to the culture of professional sports either for political reasons or just because they really don’t get what the fuss is all about often challenge my Red Sox obsession. Sports in America, these friends tell me, are just an extension of the corporate system of greed. How can you be interested in them, they ask. I don’t know how to answer their charges directly, so instead, I ask if they’ve ever seen a magnificently executed catch. One where an outfielder pulls the ball from its sure path over the fence, slamming his body against the centerfield wall, falling to the ground from the shock of the impact, and rising triumphantly with the ball in his glove. Or, even better, I query, have you ever made a catch that seemed equally magnificent yourself? Of course, it’s not really as spectacular to an onlooker, but to you it’s like you’re Willie Mays in the first game of the 1954 World Series making what was probably the greatest ever catch in World Series history. They look at me as if I am crazy. Of course, I am — a little.

At my workplace this morning, there are expressions of happiness and relief. Even many of the Yankee fans (who play the role of Sparta to the Red Sox Athens) have to begrudgingly admit that this Red Sox team is pretty amazing. A band of loose and funloving longhairs, Texans, Dominicans, and other athletes from who knows where have done what has never been done before. These won eight games in a row to win the biggest prize in Major League Baseball—The World Series.

Red Sox Nation is savoring the moment.

RON JACOBS can be reached at: rjacobs@uvm.edu

 

Ron Jacobs is the author of Daydream Sunset: Sixties Counterculture in the Seventies published by CounterPunch Books. He lives in Vermont. He can be reached at: ronj1955@gmail.com.

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

December 05, 2016
Bill Martin
Stalingrad at Standing Rock?
Mark A. Lause
Recounting a Presidential Election: the Backstory
Mel Goodman
Mad Dog Mattis and Trump’s “Seven Days in May”
Matthew Hannah
Standing Rock and the Ideology of Oppressors: Conversations with a Morton County Commissioner
Kevin Zeese - Margaret Flowers
#NoDAPL Scores Major Victory: No Final Permit For Pipeline
Fran Shor
The End of the Indispensable Nation
Michael Yates
Vietnam: the War That Won’t Go Away
Robert Hunziker
Huge Antarctica Glacier in Serious Trouble
John Steppling
Screen Life
David Macaray
Trump vs. America’s Labor Unions
Yoav Litvin
Break Free and Lead, or Resign: a Letter to Bernie Sanders
Norman Pollack
Taiwan: A Pustule on International Politics
Nick Pemberton
Make America Late Again
Kevin Martin
Nuclear Weapons Modernization: a New Nuclear Arms Race? Who Voted for it? Who Will Benefit from It?
David Mattson
3% is not Enough: Towards Restoring Grizzly Bears
Howard Lisnoff
The Person Who Deciphered the Order to Shoot at Kent State
Michael Uhl
Notes on a Trip to Cuba
Weekend Edition
December 02, 2016
Friday - Sunday
John Pilger
The Coming War on China
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: The CIA’s Plots to Kill Castro
Paul Street
The Iron Heel at Home: Force Matters
Pam Martens - Russ Martens
Timberg’s Tale: Washington Post Reporter Spreads Blacklist of Independent Journalist Sites
Andrew Levine
Must We Now Rethink the Hillary Question? Absolutely, Not
Joshua Frank
CounterPunch as Russian Propagandists: the Washington Post’s Shallow Smear
David Rosen
The Return of HUAC?
Rob Urie
Race and Class in Trump’s America
Patrick Cockburn
Why Everything You’ve Read About Syria and Iraq Could be Wrong
Caroline Hurley
Anatomy of a Nationalist
Ayesha Khan
A Muslim Woman’s Reflections on Trump’s Misogyny
Michael Hudson – Steve Keen
Rebel Economists on the Historical Path to a Global Recovery
Russell Mokhiber
Sanders Single Payer and Death by Democrat
Roger Harris
The Triumph of Trump and the Specter of Fascism
Steve Horn
Donald Trump’s Swamp: Meet Ten Potential Energy and Climate Cabinet Picks and the Pickers
Louis Proyect
Deepening Contradictions: Identity Politics and Steelworkers
Ralph Nader
Trump and His Betraying Makeover
Stephen Kimber
The Media’s Abysmal Coverage of Castro’s Death
Dan Bacher
WSPA: The West’s Most Powerful Corporate Lobbying Group
Nile Bowie
Will Trump backpedal on the Trans-Pacific Partnership?
Ron Ridenour
Fidel’s Death Brings Forth Great and Sad Memories
Missy Comley Beattie
By Invitation Only
Fred Gardner
Sword of Damocles: Pot Partisans Fear Trump’s DOJ
Renee Parsons
Obama and Propornot
Dean Baker
Cash and Carrier: Trump and Pence Put on a Show
Jack Rasmus
Taming Trump: From Faux Left to Faux Right Populism
Ron Jacobs
Selling Racism—A Lesson From Pretoria
Julian Vigo
The Hijos of Buenos Aires:  When Identity is Political
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail