SERENDIPITY PHOTO PROMPT 2015 -19: NIGHTMARE ON YAWKEY WAY

This week’s Frisbee Wednesday is about beisbol, the most American of pastimes in that most American of baseball stadiums, Fenway Park. 

This has been a sad, bad year for the Sox. To say they are playing poorly doesn’t begin to cover it. They are playing so badly they would have to win something like 20 games in a row to not be in last place. Pathetic. Awful.

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Nonetheless, Garry was not going to miss an opportunity to spend a night at Fenway. Win or lose, an evening at the ball park is a great thing. Even if your team stinks.

You are welcome to use any of the included pictures, or of course, pick and write about any of your own photographs.

May your team be more succesful than ours in this 2015 season.


NIGHTMARE ON YAWKEY WAY by Garry Armstrong

Photos by Garry Armstrong

The title is just a grabber. I ventured, courtesy of a good friend, to my first game at Fenway Park in over 15 years.

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It was a steamy hot, muggy Monday afternoon into evening and night. It was just two days removed from the Red Sox back-to-back massacre of the Seattle Mariners. I was hoping, in this wretched season, they could continue their offensive fireworks for at least one more night. For me, the ultimately faithful fan.

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The ball park looked wonderful. Just seeing it up close made me temporarily forget lots of things that clog our daily lives with angst. That’s the beauty of baseball and the cathedral known as Fenway Park.

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Many of the fans attending the game only know the post-millenium team who won three world series in nine years. Younger fans expect  success and feel downright entitled express their anger over the team’s failure to perform.

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History is related to ESPN highlights and not the decades of passionately embracing a team that always came up short, usually at the hands of the dreaded Yankees.

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The curse of the Bambino is a blurred legend for many. Too bad.

On this night, as the Sox struggled against the Cleveland Indians, it was time just to absorb the sights, sounds and smells of baseball’s oldest major league ball park.

Time to look at the young players who hopefully are writing the prologue for a brighter future in Red Sox nation. They make wonderful plays to offset the mediocre efforts of the veterans.

The Home Run

The Home Run

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There was even a home run by one of our new guys that briefly gives “the Olde Towne team” hope for victory. The applause was deafening and carried the faithful at least part way through what was to be another disappointing evening.

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Strangers become instant friends during the game, sharing memories about other games, other years. Grandfathers become children remembering their first game. When? Where? Who started?

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Sure, the game was different then, but Fenway transcends time. Mookie Betts or one of the other young players could one day have people talking about them, the same way people reminisce about Teddy Ballgame, Yaz, Pedro, Pesky, Fisk and all those heroes from our collective past.

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On this night, it’s all about being there and enjoying OUR game.

Is this heaven? No, it’s Fenway Park.

A SEASON OF PAIN

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The look of sudden shock and pain on Garry’s face was alarming.

“What’s wrong?” I cried. He was obviously hurting.

“I just saw the score,” he said sadly. Which is when I realized he had turned on the Red Sox game. They were playing the Angels, the first game of a double-header on the left coast. “It’s eleven-to-one,” he explained.

The agony of defeat!

The agony of defeat!

“Ouch,” I said. “I don’t suppose they’re going to stage a come from behind victory.”

“Actually,” he replied, “I was wondering exactly how bad they’re going to be in the second half of the season.”

There seems to be no bottom for this year’s Sox. No pitching, no bottom. No hope. (Houston put the seal on the deal. If you don’t know what I mean, maybe it’s best you don’t find out.)

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Indeed, I had seen correctly. It was pain. Mental, not physical, but the look of agony on his face will stay with me a long time.

There’s no medication that can take away the pain of your team in the dumpster. This will be a season of pain in New England. It’s not our year.


 

If you follow baseball and especially, the Red Sox and Fenway Park, check out Fenway Park 100.

LIFE’S WALK-OFF HOME RUN

Grand Slam

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Being baseball fans, when you mention baseball and walk-off home runs, David Ortiz pops into mind. He isn’t the Big Poppy he was in the past, but he has his good days.

The Sox are so not in it this year, but it’s been an interesting baseball decade. We’ve had a fair share of victories. In theory, our boys could still do something. In reality, it seems beyond merely unlikely.

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My walk-off home run would be a multi-faceted magic remedy to alleviate arthritis, regenerate missing body parts and internal organs, cure skin rashes and hair loss … combined with at least one big score on the lottery.

nationals in DC baseball

On a more modest level, I’d be happy with a good night’s sleep and waking up free from pain.

That said, I’m not unhappy. Life remains engaging, entertaining, amusing, fun. I’ve had to find new things to enjoy and different ways to enjoy them, but we all have to adapt. I guess I don’t remember “the old days” as so much better than right now. Different. Not necessarily better.

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We change, the world changes. It takes some enterprise to find new stuff to enjoy, but it’s not beyond our ability to learn to play on a new field. Even to figure out how to hit one of the park.

“It’s Summertime, Summertime, Sum, Sum, Summertime”…..Sherm Feller

Marilyn Armstrong:

Okay, this post took a lot of research and makes a lot of connections, so if you are a fan, this is a great post. I’m sorry I hadn’t found it until today, but better late than never. I never would have guessed … but probably should have … that the first baseball night games were in Alaska where you don’t need lights at night because in the summer, in Fairbanks, the sun never sets.

Originally posted on fenwaypark100:

The summer officially arrived yesterday and it was celebrated for the 107th time in the State of Alaska with an annual baseball event in the Alaska Baseball League. The Alaska Baseball League is composed of many of the elite college players in the country, predominantly from the west coast.

This might well be the best baseball tradition in all the game. It started in 1906 and since 1960 it event has taken place in the same park.

Growden Park in Fairbanks Alaska.

The first night game in major league baseball was played on May 24, 1935 at Crosley Field in Cincinnati. Prior to that there were some minor league games played under “artificial illumination” in the 1920s.

However in Fairbanks Alaska, the tradition of night baseball dates all the way back to 1906 and the best part is though they begin at 10:30 PM, there are no lights needed, for in…

View original 621 more words

SUMMERTIME SUMMERTIME SUM SUM SUMMERTIME

Summertime! When all the leaves and trees are green … and the red bird sings, I’ll be blue …

Published on Jul 7, 2012

The Jamies were an American singing group
Single Released in 1958
Chart : Peaked at No.26 on The Billboard Hot 100 in 1958

There’s a long, interesting history of “Summertime” and its historic relationship to Fenway Park and the Boston Red Sox. Possibly the oldest tradition in baseball! 

Sherm Feller, who wrote Summertime, Summertime was an old pal of Garry’s as well as the public address announcer at Fenway Park for many years. He was known for playing the song regularly over the speakers at the park.

Read all about Sherm Feller and his song …

Summertime, Summertime Lyrics

It’s summertime summertime sum sum summertime
Summertime summertime sum sum summertime
Summertime summertime sum sum summertime
Summertime summertime sum sum summertime summertime…

Well shut them books and throw em away
Say goodbye to dull school days
So come on and change your ways
It’s summertime…

Well no more studying history
And no more reading geography
And no more dull geometry
Because it’s summertime

It’s time to head straight for them hills
It’s time to live and have some thrills
Come along and have a ball
A regular free-for-all

Well are you comin or are you ain’t
You slow-pokes are my one complaint
Hurry up before I faint
It’s summertime

Well I’m so happy that I could flip
Oh how I’d love to take a trip
I’m sorry teacher but zip your lip
Because it’s summertime

It’s time to head straight for them hills
It’s time to live and have some thrills
Come along and have a ball
A regular free for all

Well we’ll go swimmin every day
No time to work just time to play
If your folks complain just say,
It’s summertime

And every night we’ll have a dance
Cause what’s a vacation without romance
Oh man this jive has me in a trance
Because it’s summertime

It’s time to head straight for them hills
It’s time to live and have some thrills
Come along and have a ball A regular free for all
It’s summertime

It’s summertime summertime sum sum summertime
Summertime summertime sum sum summertime
Summertime summertime sum sum summertime
Summertime summertime sum sum summertime
Summertime

It’s summertime!

ON THE EDGE, OFF THE LEDGE

What keeps me on the edge, but off the ledge? Dogs. Friends. Writing. A new camera and a good lens. A husband who is always a challenge. A movie that makes me laugh.

Speaking of Garry (were we?), he likes to hang around on ledges. He’s an edgy, ledgy kind of guy.

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Me? Not so much. I prefer not to tempt fate. Curiosity keeps me going — and safely off ledges. I want to be around to see whatever is coming next.

Survival is nature’s way of keeping the species going. We survive because. I don’t think we need a reason to follow our instinctive need to be.

As for edginess? “Getting old is not for the faint of heart.” Getting through any day is quite a balancing act.

On the edge …

ALMS FOR THE RED SOX – GARRY ARMSTRONG

If you are a real baseball fan, you live and die with your team’s success and failure. It’s all about winning, not how you play the game.

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I’ve been passionate about baseball for more than 65 years of my life. The pre baseball years were devoted to kid stuff like cowboys and Indians. I’ve rooted for three teams in my life. The Brooklyn Dodgers, Casey’s original Amazin’ New York Mets, and the Boston Red Sox.

Agony and ecstasy have marked my love for these teams. All were perennial long-time losers, demonizing generations of their followers. Victory as in winning the World Series was the sweetest wine ever tasted.

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When the Red Sox won the World Series in 2004, their first title since the end of World War One, peace was bestowed on generations in the Red Sox Nation. The Bosox have since won two more World Series, totaling three in nine years. Success is now expected by the pilgrims who discovered baseball after 2000 and (current) new Sox ownership.

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Great expectations easily breed discontent. In the Red Sox Nation, the grapes of wrath are growing because of the team’s mediocre pitching, despite off-season trades and free-agent signings to bolster the offense.

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The suits who run Fenway’s boys of summer club refuse to deal for quality pitching. They claim to be satisfied with the mediocrity of the current staff, saying the arms will improve with time. One of the pitchers is already on the disabled list with a “tired arm”, six weeks into the season and with an ERA over five.

The suits say it’s still early. They don’t want to deal or spend foolishly.

Marilyn and I recently made our pilgrimage to Boston’s cathedral of baseball. The Sox were playing out-of-town, so we could move around easily, observing the salutes to past teams.

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You could hear murmurs about the current Sox and their woeful pitching. What to do?

Marilyn decided to help boost the team’s financial coffers and bought a nifty hat. It was a bargain! Only 3 times what you would pay at your favorite department store not named the “Red Sox Team Store.” Marilyn should get a lot of use out of her hat. Its brim has more snap to it than most of the curve balls thrown by the Red Sox starters.

It’s a long season. Maybe Marilyn’s purchase will be the alms that bring quality arms to our beloved team.

Maybe. Not.