As the hue and cry over the Affordable Care Act continues to rage, as the races for Mayor of Boston and New York heat up, as candidates announce their plans for the top spot in Rhode Island, it’s time to be serious for a moment….
…and discuss the Red Sox.
For the first time in decades, the Red Sox have an opportunity to win the World Series at home. In 1975, after tying the Series on Carlton Fisk’s dramatic 12th inning home run in Game Six (considered by many to be the best World Series game ever played), the Sox lost to Cincinnati the next night at Fenway. In 1918, behind the pitching of a burly left hander named George Herman Ruth – you might know him as Babe – the Sox beat the Chicago Cubs in seven; the final game was decided at Fenway.
The 1918 Series may be best known as the last Sox championship in 86 years, but, for baseball enthusiasts there were two distinct other “firsts” that took place. As World War I was winding down, the band at Wrigley Field played “The Star-Spangled Banner” during the seventh inning stretch. It was the first time the song had been played at such a prominent sporting event. More than a decade later, the song was officially christened the national anthem, and in World War II the tradition of playing the anthem at the start of the baseball games –and other sporting events- began.
Less well-known by baseball fans was the decision to move all four umpires to the infield for the duration of the series. In previous games, two umpires were positioned in the infield, the other two took spots in the outfield. The 1918 Series moved all four in, leading to the current positioning favored in a four-umpire crew. The six-umpire crew now used in the playoffs began in 1947.
Four? Heck, we could do it with just two.
Trying to get ducats for tonight’s game? Be prepared to shell out some pretty serious cash. ESPN reports the average price for a resale ticket is $1,860. Bleacher seats? Oh, those are only going for $1,100. One customer, according to the ESPN report, shelled out $24,000 for a pair of front row seats. The attendance at tonight’s game is expected to reach 38,000 people….
…that’s a far cry from the deciding game in 1918: only 15,000 showed up to watch the Sox beat the Cubs.
I certainly didn’t dig deep to pay the thousand dollars required to watch the game.
I’ll be watching, laptop up and running, from my living room. Although I live alone, I won’t be watching alone. This morning’s Globe has a great article on the popularity of social networking and sporting events.
Facebook and –especially- Twitter have brought together fans located thousands of miles apart to share in the joy and frustration in sporting events.
….let’s hope there’s more of the former and none of the latter tonight.