This story is probably like many others that state this Red Sox win is for my father, grandfather, etc.
In my story, this 2004 Red Sox World Series win is for my husband, Doug, who for many years has had to endure Christmas holiday gatherings with my family to see my father and brother open gifts that included Yankee t-shirts, hats, pictures, etc. He has had to shop with me for these Yankees gifts and also ‘handle’ these gifts. Although he never said it, I know this caused him some pain. Especially last year when he could taste the Red Sox going to the World Series, only to have his heart ripped out with the loss in game 7 against the Yankees. As if it wasn’t bad enough that he had tickets to the World Series had the Red Sox won, but he then had to hear many chants from his father-in-law and brother-in-law about how great the Yankees were. It was devastating for him, as it was for all of Red Sox nation. So this year, the win was a wonderful thing for my husband to celebrate.
As for me, well lets say I am a Yankee fan, but not your typical fan, I have an allegiance to both my dad and brother and my husband, so I have been a bit stuck in the middle. With all the past heartaches from the Red Sox, I have tried to ‘sway’ my husband over to become a Yankee fan. I tell him that he will have happiness and be able to celebrate. Being a true Red Sox fan he never once thought about it, he had ‘faith’ as many others did, that some day the Red Sox will win. Well, the 2004 season started out pretty good but had some of its typical ups and downs. I believe that July 24, 2004 was the day the Red Sox solidified their journey to becoming World Champs. Why you may ask? Well here is my story:
The night of July 23, 2004 I went into labor, I was told to wait till the morning to see how things were progressing. The next morning labor was definitely getting stronger and I was sent to the hospital. To give some background, the Yankees were in town for a series against the Red Sox Yankees at Fenway Park with New York having stretched their division lead to 9 1/2 games thanks to a Friday night win. I had purposely brought the ‘Green Monster’ Red Sox beanie doll to squeeze during contractions (I think my dad and brother would have been proud of this). As labor progressed, I decided to make a bet with my husband, as we both needed some distraction from the pain. I told him that whichever team won the game that day that that would be the team that our to-be-born son would be a fan of. We shook on it, nurses even witnessed the shake so it was official. Now labor took on a different meaning. Interestingly, word of this bet spread throughout the L&D floor and I believe many nurses came to “check in on me” just to see the couple that made this bet and to cheer my husband on, you see, I was delivering at a Boston hospital so I was clearly in the minority. Everyone wanted my baby to be a Red Sox fan.
Labor continued to progress and my husband and I did a lot of walking in the halls, etc. Suddenly I felt very strong contractions and decided I needed some pain relief (no not because the Yankees lost, the game was still going on). I received an epidural and I think that my husband was more excited that I had this pain medication than I was because it meant I would be relaxed and he could put the game on TV. Which he did. We watched bits and pieces of the game, and we witnessed a brawl between the Red Sox and Yankees, it was intense.
Fast forward to the ninth inning, the Yankees are holding a comfortable 2 run lead with Mariano Rivera on the mound to close things out. Again, my husband will not listen to my pleas of joining my side to cheer for the Yankees. In fact, he won’t even turn off the game in disgust, he has to witness the pain of the final out with his own eyes. It was just past 8pm, and then it happened. A couple hits had the score 10-9 in favor of New York when Bill Mueller launched a 2-run homer into the bullpen for a Red Sox win. How was I going to explain this to my father, yikes! My husband was thrilled as now there was no way I, or my family, could turn his son into a Yankee fan!
As the night went on, I started to think that this baby was not going to be born until the next day. With this in mind, I had to make sure my husband understood that this bet was for July 24th and that if Anthony was born on July 25th that the bet would still be in place but it would be for the winner of that game and not the winner of the July 24th game. Suddenly he started to panic, the thought of his son potentially being a Yankee fan, not in his house! When it was time for me to push, he was my biggest cheerleader. Push honey, you can do it! I know he really wanted to say Push honey, this baby better come out today! Well, lo and behold, Anthony Rocco was born on July 24th at 11:40pm. And so the ‘Green Monster’ beanie was now proudly displayed in Anthony’s bassinet and not being tortured any longer. (I even think I saw the beanie smile, though that could have been an effect of the pain medication)
With his son being born on a date when the Red Sox beat the Yankees in such an intense game, this gave my husband some hope that this could be the year the Red Sox go all the way. The playoffs begin and it looks promising, until the series with the Yankees, suddenly the Red Sox are losing the series 3-0. My husband and I attended game 3, which was a beating 19-8 and his hope is now diminishing. I tell him once again that this heartache is horrible, just become a Yankee fan. No way he will do it, if its not this year he is going to wait till next year and the year after, etc. I am beginning to think that maybe I made a mistake with my bet, I do not want my son to live through this type of pain.
My husband and a friend have tickets to game 4 at Fenway and are not even sure they can physically go, the thought of losing to the Yankees and having them go to the WS and celebrate on the Red Sox field is heart wrenching to the both of them. Though, as many other Red Sox fans, they have a small glimmer of hope the Red Sox will win at least one game. They go to game 4 and what game it is! Extra innings and all. We all know how the series ends from there, the Red Sox go on to make history and beat the Yankees and go onto the World Series and win it all … Finally! Coincidence that the last out of the World Series was recorded at 11:40pm? I think not.
So you see, this win is for my husband and my son, who doesn’t know it yet, but his birth has made history in our house. My husband can share a wonderful story and scrapbook with his son saying that the year he was born was the year the Red Sox broke the curse and finally won the World Series. Not only that, but my husband can now have a truly happy Christmas and go to his father-in-law’s house with his head up high on Christmas day – wearing his Red Sox gear along with his son and opening his Red Sox presents!
As for me, I am still torn, maybe I will cheer for the Cubs ….