Impossible Dreams At The Ballpark

It’s Wanderlust Wednesday, and this week we are off to Fenway Park, the “beloved ballpark’ of the Boston Red Sox.

Ballgame Boston Strong Photo

My love affair with the Sox began in 1967, thanks to my math teacher, Sister Margaret Catherine. She tuned into the World Series on our classroom TV when we were supposed to be watching “Signed By the Artist” on Channel 2, while keeping one eye on the classroom door, in the event that Sister Superior might make a surprise visit.

Ballgame Yaz Homers

Yaz and Rico, Lonborg and Scott…my heroes back then, when I was able to recite batting averages and league standings verbatim, and hit a ball just about as well as any boy on the block. The anthem for that fateful baseball season? The Impossible Dream from Man of La Manchia.

 “To dream the impossible dream
  To fight the unbeatable foe
To bear with unbearable sorrow
  To run where the brave dare not go”

Fast forward to this glorious night at Fenway, where the emotional pre-game ceremony honored many new heroes among us, all worthy of that often-used, but not always deserved title. Standing behind home plate with my family, despite the best efforts of the security guards to move us along, (and the ticket-holders who graciously allowed us to remain in place) I had the opportunity to shoot some photos during the very moving introductions.

Ballgame Pete Frates

First announced, this young man, Pete Frates, at one time a standout high school and college baseball player, and a friend of my children and Coach, was diagnosed with ALS-Lou Gehrig’s Disease-last winter. Now, through his Frate Train #3 Fund, he follows his dream to raise awareness and money in hopes of finding a cure for this dreaded disease.

“This is my quest
  To follow that star
  No matter how hopeless
  No matter how far”

Then came this group of Boston Marathon runners…who, because of the bombings, ran short of their quest of 26.2 miles…but have achieved something much greater. Together they have raised thousands of dollars to find a cure for ALS.

Ballgame Marathon Runners

And finally, the introduction of the men who would throw out the ceremonial first pitch, marathon bombing victim Jeff Bauman, and the man in the cowboy hat who rushed to his rescue at the marathon bombings, Carlos Arredondo.

Ballgame Heroes

 “To fight for the right
  Without question or pause
  To be willing to march into Hell
  For a heavenly cause”

Instead of running to safety, Carlos ran into the mayhem to assist the bloodied bombing victims. This photo, seen on every front page around the globe, shows Carlos wheeling Jeff, who was gravely injured in the blast, to safety and medical attention.

Ballgame Marathon Bombing Photos

 On this night, they were back together again to throw out the first pitch-and they both threw perfect strikes, to the roaring ovation of the Fenway faithful! Is there nothing better in American sports than the sight of families and friends, athletes and fans, all together for one great cause, cheering on victims and heroes alike?

Ballgame First Pitch

Those of you who have never been to Fenway Park, whether a fan of the game of baseball or not, need to just once, stroll along the concourse

Ballgame concession signs

and then up through the tunnel to view that vast expanse of brilliant green lawn, glowing in the evening sky, and then tell me that it’s just a ballpark.

Fenway Park

This is the same lush grass that Yaz and Tony C. and Andrews and Smith played on back in the 60’s,

Ballgame 67 Sox Cartoon

and the grass where Papi and Manny and Pedro and Schilling made us fall in love with the Sox all over again.

Ballgame 2004

1967 seems impossibly dream-like now, so many years have past. But the memories of sitting out on the porch as a kid with my dad on a warm summer’s night, listening to the ballgame on the radio will remain, just as the memories of the night’s ceremony, celebrated with family and friends by our sides, will as well.

Ballgame Kate and Wally

And that’s what sports is really about-not big contracts or egos, trades and standings, but a time to get together and root, root, root for your home team, whether its pros, high school or little league. It’s a chance to capture moments in time with the people you love, and snap a photo to pin to your heart and keep forever. So thank you, Fenway, my most beloved ballpark. Susan

Comments

  1. Sounds like a great night Susan! Nothing better than going to a game!

    Like

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