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:
May 24, 2016
Sharmini Peries - Michael Hudson
The Financial Invasion of Greece
Jonathan Cook
Religious Zealots Ready for Takeover of Israeli Army
Ted Rall
Why I Am #NeverHillary
Mari Jo Buhle – Paul Buhle
Television Meets History
Robert Hunziker
Troika Heat-Seeking Missile Destroys Greece
Judy Gumbo
May Day Road Trip: 1968 – 2016
Colin Todhunter
Cheerleader for US Aggression, Pushing the World to the Nuclear Brink
Jeremy Brecher
This is What Insurgency Looks Like
Jonathan Latham
Unsafe at Any Dose: Chemical Safety Failures from DDT to Glyphosate to BPA
Binoy Kampmark
Suing Russia: Litigating over MH17
Dave Lindorff
Europe, the US and the Politics of Pissing and Being Pissed
Matt Peppe
Cashing In at the Race Track While Facing Charges of “Abusive” Lending Practices
Gilbert Mercier
If Bernie Sanders Is Real, He Will Run as an Independent
Peter Bohmer
A Year Later! The Struggle for Justice Continues!
Dave Welsh
Police Chief Fired in Victory for the Frisco 500
May 23, 2016
Conn Hallinan
European Union: a House Divided
Paul Buhle
Labor’s Sell-Out and the Sanders Campaign
Uri Avnery
Israeli Weimar: It Can Happen Here
John Stauber
Why Bernie was Busted From the Beginning
James Bovard
Obama’s Biggest Corruption Charade
Joseph Mangano – Janette D. Sherman
Indian Point Nuclear Plant: It Doesn’t Take a Meltdown to Harm Local Residents
Desiree Hellegers
“Energy Without Injury”: From Redwood Summer to Break Free via Occupy Wall Street
Lawrence Davidson
The Unraveling of Zionism?
Patrick Cockburn
Why Visa Waivers are Dangerous for Turks
Robert Koehler
Rethinking Criminal Justice
Lawrence Wittner
The Return of Democratic Socialism
Ha-Joon Chang
What Britain Forgot: Making Things Matters
John V. Walsh
Only Donald Trump Raises Five “Fundamental and Urgent” Foreign Policy Questions: Stephen F. Cohen Bemoans MSM’s Dismissal of Trump’s Queries
Andrew Stewart
The Occupation of the American Mind: a Film That Palestinians Deserve
Nyla Ali Khan
The Vulnerable Repositories of Honor in Kashmir
Weekend Edition
May 20, 2016
Friday - Sunday
Rob Urie
Hillary Clinton and Political Violence
Andrew Levine
Why Not Hillary?
Paul Street
Hillary Clinton’s Neocon Resumé
Chris Floyd
Twilight of the Grifter: Bill Clinton’s Fading Powers
Eric Mann
How We Got the Tanks and M-16s Out of LA Schools
Jason Hirthler
The West’s Needless Aggression
Dan Arel
Why Hillary Clinton’s Camp Should Be Scared
Robert Hunziker
Fukushima Flunks Decontamination
David Rosen
The Privatization of the Public Sphere
Margaret Kimberley
Obama’s Civil Rights Hypocrisy
Pete Dolack
We Can Dream, or We Can Organize
Chris Gilbert
Corruption in Latin American Governments
Dan Kovalik
Colombia: the Displaced & Invisible Nation
Jeffrey St. Clair
Fat Man Earrings: a Nuclear Parable
Medea Benjamin
Israel and Saudi Arabia: Strange Bedfellows in the New Middle East
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail