Monday, October 28, 2013
Going to World Series a Family Affair
Thios column originally appeared in The Sun Chronicle on Monday, October 28, 2013.
AN INSIDE LOOK
By Bill Gouveia
On Thursday, October 24, 2013 I realized one of my lifelong dreams. I went to a World Series game at Fenway Park with my two sons. And even though the Red Sox lost, it is an evening I will never forget.
This completes my personal professional sports championship experience. I have now attended at least one Super Bowl, one NBA Finals game, one NHL Stanley Cup Finals, and now one World Series Game. Not bad for a guy who has spent his whole life in Norton.
I was in New Orleans when the Patriots won their first Super Bowl. I was in the balcony when the Celtics beat the Lakers for the title in 2008. But last Thursday night – well, that falls into a category all its own.
The Red Sox occupy a special spot in the hearts and minds of sports fans of my generation. While the Patriots have pulled neck-and-neck in the race for New England’s most popular team, the Red Sox continue to be part of our birthright. They are history, interwoven into our culture. While many may not understand the relationship between this team and their fans, it is something tangible and quite real.
So when they unexpectedly wound up in the World Series this year, I decided this was an opportunity I just couldn’t pass up. At 57, I have no idea when or if this chance might present itself again. After all, this is only the sixth time in my lifetime it has happened.
So with the support and encouragement of my amazing wife (who has been to a Super Bowl with me), I decided to get tickets for a game in Boston. And we decided it would not be a complete experience unless my two boys came with me.
Sports has always played a central role in our family, some might say to an extreme. Family events are often planned around the playoff schedule. We travel together to stadiums in other states to follow our teams. Our conversations (when not about our grandchildren) tend to center around the local franchises.
So we searched for tickets to Game 2 of the World Series, knowing that was when both my kids would be able to attend. We ultimately found three seats together in the centerfield bleachers, for a price much higher than I would have liked. But we went ahead and did it, figuring this was a Christmas present our children would never forget.
Our sons were shocked when we told them, and initially said it was too much. But I told them the honest truth – this was probably much more for me than them. While the idea of actually attending a World Series game was thrilling, the prospect of going with both my sons would be well beyond that. So they agreed, and Thursday afternoon it was off to Fenway Park.
I saw my first Red Sox game in 1965 at the age of nine when my grandfather brought me to magical Fenway. Ten years later I took him to our first playoff game, sitting out in the bleachers and watching the Sox advance to the World Series.
On Thursday, some 48 years after going with my grandfather, I walked into the same baseball cathedral for a World Series game with my boys. I was somewhat overwhelmed just entering the ballpark, but completely lost it when we went inside and approached the field.
As we walked the concourse, my eyes welled up. My kids looked at me, and I told them, “I know it’s stupid, but I never thought I’d live long enough to see a World Series game, especially with you two.”
And they understood.
We sat out in the bleachers and watched the game together. The Sox wound up losing late on some silly errors, but we did experience the thrill of a clutch homer by David Ortiz. We soaked up the atmosphere only a World Series shared by a father and his sons could provide.
It was a dream come true, the thrill of a lifetime, and a parenting and family moment that can’t be duplicated. And I never thought I’d say this – but the outcome didn’t really matter.
I must be getting old.
Bill Gouveia is a local columnist and can be emailed at email@example.com and followed on Twitter at @Billinsidelook.