Web Analytics and Web Statistics by NextSTAT The Boston Sports Nut: My Early Days as a Red Sox Fan

Monday, June 9, 2008

My Early Days as a Red Sox Fan

I was born back in 1951 in Holyoke, MA which is about 94 miles from Fenway Park. I vaguely recall going to my first games back in 1957 and I know that for two of the games, I saw the Red Sox play Kansas City and Chicago. I checked retrosheet, which lists boxscores of ALL games and I really couldn't determine which ones I first saw. They played each team 22 times back then, but I know that I went during the summertime. Back then my favorite players were Ted, Sammy White, Jackie Jenson, Frank Malzone (considered one of the top 3-4 third-baseman back then), Jimmy Piersall.

It seemed like whenever we went, we pretty much sat out there in left field (nice view of the Green Monster) and there seemed to be something like a New Hamshire Day, Connecticut day, etc. They had their 'pre-game ceremonies' which seemed to take forever for a kid 7-8 years old.

The game I remember the most? I was able to find the box score on Retrosheet, so I sure of the date, etc. I was a member of the Cub Scouts back then and on Saturday, July 11 we all went to see the Red Sox play the much-hated New York Yankees. I wasn't fully aware of the intense rivalry between these two teams yet. But there was only 24,232 people there and the Red Sox just weren't drawing the crowds they do in this era.

Starting lineups were: Yankees
RF Bauer 3B Lopez CF Mantle 1b Skowron C Berra LF Howard SS McDougald 3B Richardson P Maas

For the Red Sox:
SS Buddin CF Keough 2B Avila 1B Wertz RF Jensen LF Williams 3B Malzone C White
P Casale

So anyhow, the game was tied up 4-4 in the bottom of the 9th inning. The Sox loaded the bases and Don Buddin smacked a grand slam. The place was wild. I checked the stats from the game and Jackie Jenson went 3-5, Ted went 1-3 and Vic Wertz 2-3.

The Sox were behind 3-1 in the 8th, came up with 3 runs. Ted singled and Stephens came in to run for him and then play LF, which was typical back then because Williams was aging. Tony Kubek homered in the 9th to tie it up.

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