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— Where Thinking Red Sox Fans Obsess about the Sox

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   1. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: November 29, 2004 at 03:28 AM (#985537)
Well, I went to my first Sox game on May 22, 1993 (thanks Retrosheet) at the tender age of 8, and quickly got indoctrinated to the ways of the Sox as Clemens got shelled by the Yanks.

I didn't start to really follow the team until 1995 though, and I didn't become a hardcore fan (watch nearly all the games) until this past season.
   2. "Catching Dianetics" by Dr. L. Ron Karkovice Posted: November 29, 2004 at 05:16 AM (#985680)
"I didn't start to really follow the team until 1995 though, and I didn't become a hardcore fan (watch nearly all the games) until this past season. "

- (cue early 1990's voice) "POSER!"
   3. Pleasant Nate (Upgraded from 'Nate') Posted: November 29, 2004 at 06:04 AM (#985761)
I first started following in 1988, at age 7. Got into the Sox and me and pops started collecting baseball cards (by the case load -- still have a room full of unopened cases -- wish we hadn't sold the '90 Leaf and '89 Score Football so early). Met Mike Greenwell, favorite player, at the HoJo lobby with pops.

Hardcoreness started when I began regularly (at least five times a year) going to games. Started not really keeping score (I didn't like scoring games, still not a huge fan) but more keeping stats of the games I went to. Don't recall the exact date, but it began in 1996 (age 15) and Jeff Frye, favorite player, was an absolute monster when I saw them play. I still have the stats burried somewhere, but over the next 2 years I saw probably 15 Sox games at Fenway and Frye hit over .400 and was averaging over a double per game.
   4. Dan Posted: November 29, 2004 at 10:31 AM (#986099)
I honestly didn't really follow the Sox or baseball at all until April of 2002. I mean I had been to a few games, but I never really watched on TV or anything. I think the game that really hooked me was Shea Hillenbrand's game-winning GS off the catwalk at the Trop.
   5. TomH Posted: November 29, 2004 at 01:38 PM (#986141)
At age 8, in 1969, living in northern N.J., I was tired of hearing all of the Yankee fan 8-yr olds talk, and I picked up the Sox somehow. It may have been the "Yaz" bread in the grocery stores. Kind of a fatful decision at such a tender age, but I'm feeling much better about it this winter....
   6. Phil Coorey is a T-Shirt Salesman Posted: November 29, 2004 at 01:50 PM (#986145)
I went crazy on the Sox after the 99 loss. Baseball was really hard to follow out here until the internet, anyway.

I didn't discover primer till about this time last year. Since then following baseball has been more fun than ever.
   7. Vin Middle Posted: November 29, 2004 at 01:53 PM (#986147)
I started following the Sox in earnest in '86. I talked my mom into letting me play sick so that I could watch the opening day game (Dewey hit the first pitch for a jonron if I am not mistaken).

My first game at Fenway was late July in 1988. Teddy Higuera vs. Clemens. The temp reached 110 on the field, and folks were walking up and down the centerfield bleachers misting folks with spray bottles. I got to see Jim Rice (my hero) hit one over the Monster and Roger throw 9 strong for the win. Not a bad day for me. It was the 2nd best game I've seen at Fenway, right behind one in the early 90's where Bob Zupcic won it in extra innings with a double off the Wall. And yes, I dont get up to Boston much anymore....
   8. Bob Loblaw Posted: November 29, 2004 at 03:00 PM (#986177)
My first vague memories of attending games are from the late 80's (either '88 or '89). The first time I clearly remember really being upset about the Red Sox is '90, when they got swept out of the playoffs about a month before I turned 10.

My interest in the team grew gradually from then through 1995, at which point I was about as die-hard as possible.
   9. Nasty Nate Posted: November 29, 2004 at 03:16 PM (#986200)
The first game I remember attending was Clemens winning his 20th in 1987, although I might have been to a game before that. This year I saw 17 or 18 games in person.
   10. villageidiom Posted: November 29, 2004 at 03:38 PM (#986223)
I started following the team in nineteen dickety, back when all the players were hard-drinking fools who blew their meal money at the track. Back then each team used only one baseball for the whole season, and if a fan dared run off with a foul ball, why, they'd throw him in the county jail for a week and a half. Each stadium had three, maybe four outhouses, plus a big yellow trench. Aaaaand we liked it.

...

Actually, I started following in 1976 when I was 6. I'm sure I would have followed them in 1975, but I have absolutely no recollection of the 1975 season. The 1978 season was my first Sox heartbreak.

Regardless, based on the other answers in this thread so far, I'm going to sound about as old as the nineteen-dickety post.

The first game I attended was in 1976, my tenth early in 1979, my twentieth in 1981. Since then I've understandably lost track. I've managed to make it to 127 Red Sox games in the last 5 years, in five cities (though mostly in Boston).
   11. villageidiom Posted: November 29, 2004 at 03:43 PM (#986229)
Hey, SI named the Red Sox as their 2004 Sportsmen of the Year.

Let the backlash begin.
   12. Dread Pirate Dave Roberts Posted: November 29, 2004 at 05:29 PM (#986375)
I started really following the team as a 10-year old in September 1986. I had always been a baseball fan in general -- used to play it in the backyard quite often with siblings and friends -- but never actively followed the Red Sox until that point. Probably because they weren't good. So I was a bandwagon fan then, but I stuck -- I went baseball-crazy in 1987 despite the bad team.

First ballgame I ever went to was May 24, 1987. I remember this like it was yesterday - it was my 11th birthday present and we had seats along the first base side. It was an April-like day, cloudy and raw with drizzle. Bob Stanley started and pitched decently. Red Sox lost in extra innings. Probably would have been one of the most boring and forgettable games if it wasn't for the fact that it was my first. Walking up the ramp to the stands and seeing the Green Monster in person for the first time was one of the most breathtaking experiences of my life.

Started attending a lot of Sox games in late high school and college. Don't go to as many now due to monetary concerns and the fact that it was a lot easier to oversleep for class than to oversleep for work....
   13. Toby Posted: November 29, 2004 at 05:56 PM (#986420)
I started following baseball, and the Red Sox, in 1974 when I was 7. My grandfather was a big baseball fan (Phillies, in his case) and got me hooked. (Actually, my grandmother was a big baseball fan too. They met and fell in love because of a beanball incident. That's another story. She was a second cousin to Carl Yastrzemski, and that's yet another story.)

My best friend at the time (the kid next door) and his dad were also big into baseball. My friend and I used to clip the box scores out of the newspaper and collect them as if they were baseball cards. And of course we collected and traded real baseball cards. I don't have any specific 1974 memories; all I know is I started collecting baseball cards with the 1974 Topps set.

The earliest Sox memory I have is of watching an afternoon game on TV, Bill Lee pitching at Fenway Park. I suspect that was in 1974, but it may have been 1975.

The first game I attended was at Fenway and I believe it was 1975, though I'm not sure. (Retrosheet would probably help.) It was a day game against the Rangers and the Sox won something like 7-5. I went with my friend and his dad and we sat in the grandstand area, first base side. I was disappointed when the Sox weren't allowed to bat in the bottom of the 9th. It seemed wrong.

The first 1975-specific memory I have is reading about the September doubleheader sweep in which Tiant and Cleveland both hurled 4-0 shutouts against the Indians.

In 1976 my grandfather arranged to have my older brother and I fly down to Philadelphia to go to a Phillies game with him at the Vet. He died of a heart attack a couple years later.

The first time I got to stay up late (past 10 pm) to watch a baseball game on TV was in 1976 when John Candelaria threw his no-hitter for the Pirates. I made a deal with my mom that I'd go to bed when the next Dodger got a hit. Technically, I could have stayed up all night, I suppose.
   14. Pingu Posted: November 29, 2004 at 06:11 PM (#986440)
I started following the Red Sox on October 17th of 2004. I have no recollection of baseball prior to that date. Actually I was a Devil Rays fan before then, but I don't like to admit it.
   15. Toby Posted: November 29, 2004 at 06:18 PM (#986454)
Posted by God on November 29, 2004

It was that whole bloody sock thing. I knew it was coming, and it still gave me goosebumps.
   16. helium Posted: November 29, 2004 at 06:24 PM (#986466)
My family had moved from Boston to the Canal Zone in Panama in 1974 when I was 5 years old. I distinctly remember my father and his friends watching the 1975 World Series in our living room in Panama, but the memory is hazy.

I suppose I could be considered a fan at that point.

However, we moved back to Boston in 1977, and that is when my dad started bringing me to games. I remember going to Opening Day one of those years (1977 or 1978), and I certainly remember being "hooked" as it were by the one game Playoff in 1978. So 1978 (Age 9 season) is probably the safe call.
   17. jingoist Posted: November 29, 2004 at 06:40 PM (#986489)
My earliest brushes with the sox were in the mid-50's. I grew up in Pittsburgh and we never got to see any AL games until the world series was on TV and of course it was NY Yankees every year; the sox never made it until '67.
I wasn't a true sox fan per see until 1975 and that great (I think greatest) WS against the big red machine.
My dad was a big Musial fan; I always trotted out Williams stats to refute his claims that Musial was the best.
Fact is, by the mid-50's Mantle and Mays were probably better all-around players but I rooted hard for teddy baseball, war-hero and HR slugger!

I have watched the suffering of the Red Sox Nation these past 35+ years with fascination and empathy.
As a Yankee hater from way back I enjoy every sox victory; 2004 was super sweet.

Good luck in the coming years; hopefully my Pirates will someday reclaim a bit of glory.
   18. GGC don't think it can get longer than a novella Posted: November 29, 2004 at 06:47 PM (#986505)
The first game I recall was when Lynn had double figures in RBI as the Red Sox beat the Tigers 15-1 some evening in 1975. I'll see if I can find it on Retrosheet if I get a chance.

I believe my first visit to Fenway was in 1976. My brother and I have been trying to figure out when it was, but all we can reasonably be sure of is that it was a Saturday. KC was probably the opponent.
   19. villageidiom Posted: November 29, 2004 at 06:51 PM (#986510)
Toby, your first game was likely this game. It fits the description you gave.

Gotta like Yaz, 5-for-5. And look how many managers/coaches you got to see: the Rangers had Jim Fregosi, Mike Hargrove, and Mike Cubbage in action that day. Also liked this sequence:

RANGERS 8THBurroughs singled to leftHargrove walked
[Burroughs to second]
Randle doubled to left [Burroughs scored,
Hargrove to third]GRIEVE BATTED FOR HOWELLGrieve reached on
a fielder
's choice [Hargrove scored (error by Doyle), Randle out
at third (second to shortstop)]; [strong]Hargrove scored as Randle
was caught in a rundown; Doyle fumbled the throw from Petrocelli
for an error; Randle was called out for interference with
Doyle'
throw to 3bthe putout was credited to Burleson;[/strong] 


Further evidence of Rick Burleson's defensive greatness.
   20. villageidiom Posted: November 29, 2004 at 06:56 PM (#986519)
GGC, here's the 1975 game in Detroit. The only one I can find that might fit the 1976 description is this one. Rick Miller had to leave the game after colliding with Lynn; does that ring a bell?
   21. Toby Posted: November 29, 2004 at 07:31 PM (#986570)
vi, thanks.

GGC, shouldn't the thread starter be titled The .406 Club, not The .400 Club? Or is there some other entendre that I'm missing?
   22. GGC don't think it can get longer than a novella Posted: November 29, 2004 at 07:50 PM (#986592)
Toby, It is the .406 Club, isn't it?

I'll fix the title in a few.
   23. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: November 29, 2004 at 08:06 PM (#986620)
My first game was April 29th, 1967. Jose Tartabull singled home the tying and winning runs in the bottom of the 15th (I think).

I went to a double header on August 20th and they swept the Angels.

I went to Game 7 of the WS that year, and Tim McCarver assaulted some poor lad during the onfield celebration after the game, a lad who only wanted a memento (McCarver's mask).

Been to many games since, and watched thousands on TV (well, parts of thousands, anyway).
   24. bwright Posted: November 29, 2004 at 08:08 PM (#986625)
Followed RS since I can remember, but became hard core fall of my freshman year at BC in 1996. Lived with a Yankee fan that fired me up. Stats was a way I could hold my own against people with much more ancedotal fan experiences and playing experiences. Espn led me to Neyer. BSG led me to the Baseball Crank led me to Primer [and Prospectus and eventually SOSH] (but not till I was on the other side of college).
   25. Sexy Lizard Posted: November 29, 2004 at 08:21 PM (#986645)
I became a Sox fan in August of 2001, when I moved to Somerville. Thanks to WTBS, I'd been a Braves fan beginning in the Ed Olwine years, when they were charmingly bad but didn't always know it. Then I sort of lost them around 1998, when I became mainly a fan of my Strat-o-Matic team. Then I moved, a week later went to this game, and was hooked. Even though it was a crappy game. Fordyce and Mirabelli combined for 7 hits, and I remember thinking that I'd never seen two catchers get that many in a single game. I'm sure it's nowhere near a record, just the most I'd seen in person.
   26. Mookie Posted: November 29, 2004 at 08:31 PM (#986660)
My first game at Fenway: 7-15-2000.
Our good friend, Carl Everett, got a little upset with the umpire on a called 3rd strike against the Mets.
   27. GGC don't think it can get longer than a novella Posted: November 29, 2004 at 08:52 PM (#986688)
Cool, I was at the game two days before that, Mookie. I told the story somewhere on this site, but I ran into Brian Daubach while lunching at Uno's before the game. I wished him luck and he got the GWRBI.
   28. GGC don't think it can get longer than a novella Posted: November 29, 2004 at 08:56 PM (#986695)
A rare post by me to USENET about that game.
   29. villageidiom Posted: November 29, 2004 at 09:00 PM (#986703)
Employees must wash their hands before returning to making game-winning hits.
   30. Kevin Sweet Child Romine (aco) Posted: November 29, 2004 at 09:10 PM (#986714)
I don't know the date of the first game I attended, all I recall is that it was a day game at Fenway, a grand slam was hit and Yaz was still playing. I'm thinking '82-'83, which would make me 5 or 6 at the time. The first game I clearly remember attending was this one. My earliest truly vivid Sox memory is watching Yaz's retirement ceremony on Channel 38.
I also remember Game 6 and not understanding the enormity of what had happened or why my father silently walked out of the house while the game continued.
My first year as a hardcore fan was also my dad's last - 1994. He never forgave baseball for the strike and instead became a rabid hockey fan. I also fear that my trading Bases Loaded 2 for Mike Tyson's punchout around the time that my older brother acquired NHL '94 for Genesis may have had something to do with this.
Other random memories: Wade Boggs getting run over by his wife before (during?) spring training, Margo Adams' Penthouse spread (not really Bosox related, but since I was 12 when it came out, it was very memorable), Oil Can Boyd being asked to remove his chains, rooting for Bridgewater native Mickey Pina to make the team out of spring training in '90, Jack F. Clark striking out looking in seemingly every other at bat, Rob Deer, Tom Brunansky, Billy Jo Robidoux, Nate Minchey, Keith "the Apache" Shephard, Morgan Magic and Bob Montgomery never completing a sentence.
   31. tfbg9 Posted: November 29, 2004 at 09:35 PM (#986768)
1970, when I was 9. There was not much choice, the whole family was/is insane Sox nuts. I really started geeking out the year Harper stole 54 bases, 1973.
   32. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: November 29, 2004 at 10:42 PM (#986881)
MSCC:
First ballgame I ever went to was May 24, 1987. I remember this like it was yesterday - it was my 11th birthday present and we had seats along the first base side. It was an April-like day, cloudy and raw with drizzle. Bob Stanley started and pitched decently. Red Sox lost in extra innings. Probably would have been one of the most boring and forgettable games if it wasn't for the fact that it was my first. Walking up the ramp to the stands and seeing the Green Monster in person for the first time was one of the most breathtaking experiences of my life.


Incredibly, that's the same day rLr attended his first game as well:

May 24, 1987 This is first game ever attended by rLr
   33. villageidiom Posted: November 29, 2004 at 11:11 PM (#986930)
My earliest truly vivid Sox memory is watching Yaz's retirement ceremony on Channel 38.

I was there, and still have the Yaz painter's cap to prove it.

The last game of the 1983 season was sold out pretty early, but the next-to-last game still had some seats available when I went looking for tickets. I figured it was like buying a lottery ticket: maybe Game 162 would get rained out and not rescheduled, and my ticket would end up being his last game.

Well, it almost happened. As the day grew closer, they rescheduled his farewell ceremony for fear of a rainout (which never materialized). So while I didn't get to see his last game, I got to attend his retirement ceremony prior to his penultimate game.
   34. Dread Pirate Dave Roberts Posted: November 30, 2004 at 12:05 AM (#987033)
Incredibly, that's the same day rLr attended his first game as well:

May 24, 1987 This is first game ever attended by rLr


Wow, that's strange. I think I got the better end of the deal, though, since I didn't have to go to Shea.... I messed up my link earlier, I'll try it again.
   35. GGC don't think it can get longer than a novella Posted: November 30, 2004 at 02:15 AM (#987223)
If anyone happens to be in the Hartford area next Monday, Rich Gedman will be the guest at the World Series Club dinner. I'm going with my brother. I saw Tommy John there last year and it was a good time.
   36. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: November 30, 2004 at 02:54 AM (#987259)
A lot of you guys are older than I thought. I feel extremely young right about now.
   37. Mikαεl Posted: November 30, 2004 at 03:25 AM (#987296)
That's to be expected when you're like seven years old, Greg.

For me, the two teams were the '88 and '99 groups. I was seven in '86, and I was really sad after the series - so I decided not to be a big Red Sox fan. Got APBA that winter and played all the other teams. But I got right back into the Sox with the '88 team, Morgan Magic, Clemens, Todd Benzinger. I only got into being a complete and utter geek around '99, when the Sox being good coincided with Neyer's columns being available for free every day. That hooked me on being a total baseball loser, a life plan which this place has helped me to truly dedicate myself to.
   38. Joel W Posted: November 30, 2004 at 10:42 AM (#987762)
Mikael, that's almost exactly the same as me, 1999 and beyond...I'm just a few years younger, as I was 3 in 86. It was the 95 team that got me into it, but that ended fast. It was 99, when we could have won 1 in Yankee Stadium, and I broke my remote control when Knoblauch never had the ball around 2nd, and then the ghost tag, and O'leary's ball was like 2 inches short of the fence...
   39. Michael J. Binkley's anxiety closet Posted: November 30, 2004 at 01:17 PM (#987792)
When I was younger I was a Dodger fan. By virtue of the 77, 78 and 81 World Series and by the fact that I live in Upstate NY (primarily Yankee fans), I grew to hate the Yankees as much as I liked the Dodgers.

As time grew by, and they stopped publishing Dodger Blue and pre-internet, there wasn't as much Dodger coverage on the East Coast. But my hatred of the Yankees still existed. When the Yankees started getting good again (94-95), this hatred just got rechanneled into rooting for the Red Sox
   40. Mattbert Posted: November 30, 2004 at 08:03 PM (#988165)
I'm on the Mikael career path (same age), although I fell for the '95 team, too. I'm such a slut.

My memories from early fandom start with '86 and my dad being in agony, yet completely unsurprised by the outcome. I don't think we even watched Game 7. After that, I remember hating Oakland for a while because they always steamrolled the Sox during the LaRussa Era. I was excited when the Twins won those two titles (my dad grew up in Minnesota, so they were our B-Team). The Morgan Magic years are kind of hazy, but Mo Vaughn's emergence refocused my attention, mostly because I'd watched him play a ton when he was at AAA.

Growing up in Rhode Island, I went to far more games at Pawtucket than Boston. My first game at Fenway wasn't until July 2, 1990. Mike Boddicker and Nolan Ryan dueled to a 2-2 tie through eight innings. Boddicker breezed through the top of the ninth, and then Kevin "Sweet Child" Romine (!) led off the bottom of the ninth with a walkoff jobber over the Monster off Kenny Rogers. My dad was beside himself because he knew you couldn't have scripted a better game for your first time at Fenway.
   41. Kevin Sweet Child Romine (aco) Posted: November 30, 2004 at 10:02 PM (#988422)
Ah, McCoy Stadium. I haven't been in years, but I used to go a few times a year with my folks. It's my favorite WPA project, hands down. I've never seen so much food consumed at a ballgame as I did when I visited McCoy. Fan's really made a night out of seeing a game. I really need to get back.
   42. Mattbert Posted: November 30, 2004 at 10:12 PM (#988437)
Ah, McCoy Stadium. I haven't been in years

Have you been since they remodeled the place? The improvements are really nice.

I haven't been in a while, either. The last game I saw there, some kid named Soriano was playing short for Columbus.
   43. Kevin Sweet Child Romine (aco) Posted: November 30, 2004 at 10:19 PM (#988448)
Have you been since they remodeled the place?

I'm not sure. Since it was remodeled 5 years ago, maybe not. I think the last game I saw, Curtis Pride was playing for Ottowa and was far and away the best player on the field that day.
   44. Phil Coorey is a T-Shirt Salesman Posted: December 01, 2004 at 02:08 AM (#988726)
My first game at Fenway was April 15 this year. The previous two nights were rainouts. It was against Baltimore and we lost in extras. The next night was against the Yankees, it was freakin awesome.

When Manny hit that home run just behind Pesky's pole on the wall, we thought it was a double as he was running hard. When the ump signalled home run - mayhem!!

3 days later on Patriot's day, we won a cracker from behind. After the game I din't want to leave, I almost had tears in my eyes.

This guy sitting next to me, stayed with me for about 20 minutes after the game. We soaked it up, talked baseball and finished our beers. Life was great.

I think of that moment every time, I see the seats behind 3rd base.

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