Living life as a ten year old, I was fully active playing with action figures and riding bikes in the dirt. I had not known much about sports until one day, when my grandfather moved in at the end of the year in 2003. He would sit down in his leather chair and flip through the channels night after night. One night he watched me while my mom was working. The usual channel flipping with his cranberry and vodka drink. He decided to stop at the Red Sox game. It was the first time I cared to actually watch a game. “I thought hey why not?” I watched it more and more and just got further intrigued by the sport. I’d wonder to myself, “why I wasn’t already aware of baseball at this time?” “How could I have been clueless this long?”.
Of course I’d ask him questions, and just inquire fondly on the sport. Only player I remember was Pedro Martinez. This would go on for all sports as the seasons would go by. I would ask him questions and he would just feed me knowledge. All those long nights while my mom worked he would watch me, or I should say we would watch The Red Sox game.
It was our routine, our get together to talk about anything. Talk in between commercials of innings and fill my sport-less head of knowledge. I remember the Red Sox losing in 2003 to the god damn Yankees in a deciding seventh game. My first feeling of hate. If there were one thing I had wished I wish I had waited like the rest of those diehard Red Sox fans that say they waited over two decades to see them win it. Just to have the engrossing feeling to win it more than anything.
The entire 2004 season we would sit and watch every game and just get accustomed to the players we had from the previous seasons. The long flowing hair of Johnny Damon, Manny, Pedro, and of course Big Papi. We would cheer, we would jeer and tear. It was an emotional ride to say the least watching these games with my grandfather. The comeback The Red Sox made in the playoffs against the Yankees from being down 3-0 in the series was one of the single greatest things I have ever seen in my entire life. I can pretty much say the same for my Grandfather. Just to know we watched that moment, someone watching their whole life, and here’s this new kid watching on a whim. I can’t imagine what he was thinking at the time.
I still can’t forget the look on his face when I saw his reaction to a world series win. The first he’d ever seen in his 70 years at the time. 86 year curse and here I am watching them, and they win the whole damn thing. I feel like such a spoiled kid to see them win it 2 more times since then, honest and truly.
The next 7 years I grew more and more to the game of baseball, and had a full collection of baseball cards. We would give each other sports trivia, but there was no beating him. He taught me the game of all the other sports too. We’d watch all the other Boston titles as they got raised banner by banner, telling me, “You got it good kid, I wish I saw all this when I was your age.”
It was until 2011 when my grandfather got sick, and found out he had cancer. I remember it was the first day of Spring, at 6 in the morning when he passed away. This was a trembling moment for me. After all he was the cornerstone of what I found my up most interest in. He showed me sports and the lifestyle of how it is as a Boston fan.
I can never thank him enough for really creating the bond of sports. I miss the casual conversations throughout the day to day basis. Sports became such a ritual for me that now whenever I watch a game I can’t help but think of my Grampy. Thank you and rest easy.