Friday, June 21, 2013


((The Bruins are in the Stanley Cup Finals again. The Red Sox are in first
place. The Celtics may trade their coach Doc Rivers. And the lead story
on the news is a murder involving a Patriots player. Yes, I live in New 
England where sports is practically a religion. So I thought I'd repost this 
from last year.

Do you have any  family memories involving sports?)) 

Well, the Super Bowl is over now and the Patriots’ season has come to a
sad end. But I’m a New England sports fan. We’re used to disappointment.  

I know there are some folks who have no interest in sports and spent the day
trying to avoid all the hoopla. But for many people the Super Bowl is a family
occasion when friends and  relatives party and watch the game together. More
importantly, it’s an occasion when memories and family stories are made. There
are families who’ve followed the Red Sox for over a century and others who’ve
followed the Bruins for nearly as long  And of course there are the Celtics and
Patriots fans.

But it doesn’t just have to be following a sports team, it can also be about playing
sports. My Aunt Dot wrote about how my Dad would include her when playing
baseball as kids in Maine:

“Bud never left me out when his friends came to play ball. I could
neither catch a ball nor throw it where I wanted it to go. As for
batting, I always swung at the ball but never hit it. Never-the-
less I was never left out of his games and his friends knew better
than to make anything other than encouraging comments.“

I can remember Dad playing softball at a family picnic and breaking a finger
trying to catch a ball barehanded. Unfortunately it was his ring finger and Mom
wasn’t happy that they had to cut the wedding band off so they could put a splint
on it. And I’ve written here before about Dad taking me to see Ted Williams and
the Red Sox play at Fenway Park, and how he was the assistant coach of my little
league baseball team.

Mom was the most rabid fan in our family. She was the one who stayed up with me
to watch Fisk hit that dramatic World Series home run  against Cincinnati. She loved
watching Larry Bird and the Celtics and would often yell at the referees in the tv when
she felt they’d missed an obvious foul.

My sister got so tired of us watching the Bruins in the playoffs she told us she hoped
the Canadians won. That was the year a young goaltender named Ken Dryden  shut
down the Big Bad Bruins and Mom would never forget that Cheryl had cursed the
team that year.

My brother Phil could sing the Canadian national  anthem before the American
because of the Bruins games. His favorite player was Phil Esposito, naturally!

I was a camp counselor on Cape Cod during the Red Sox 1967 “Impossible Dream”
run to the World Series, and was listening to the deciding last game of the season
when they won the pennant as I was helping Dad paint the house. I was working
at Morey Pearl’s Bar in Quincy with my future brother in law Peter when Bobby Orr
scored that winning goal against the St Louis Blues in the Stanley Cup Finals.

So while we all know about the ”thrill of victory and the agony of defeat” don’t forget
that sports can give you memories you will treasure for years to come.


Celia Lewis said...

My dad was coach in the Little League group of teams in our area, for about a dozen years. I learned to keep score for the team(s) from aged 13 on, and loved it. Life-time love of baseball... Root root root for the home team!! Vancouver BC only has a farm team, but they're fun to watch, and we do keep winning. Nice memories. OH, and mom had me keep score of the World Series if she had to work those days, and we'd go over my detailed score sheet, 'seeing' the game. Fun stuff.

Heather Wilkinson Rojo said...

Boy, do I remember some of those moments. My Mom and Dad were big Red Sox fans. My mom gave his scrapbooks from the 1940s and 50s to my cousin's sons. One memory we still laugh about was when Bobby Orr had his photo on the cover of Time or Sports Illustrated and my sister slept with it under her pillow until it fell apart. She had a big crush on him. One night my Dad sneaked into her room and took a photo of her sleeping with that magazine under her pillow. I wonder what happened to that photo. She'd kill me if I ever found it!