Seeing the youngest Butler grandson in a Red Sox t-shirt brought on a series of baseball memories. Let it be said that baseball has never reached the passion level of football for me, but it’s had its moments.
I learned the basics from Daddy who divided life’s radio/television seasons into football, basketball, and baseball. He was an avid Yankees fan because he liked winners, and they usually were. I rooted against him for the underdog.
Forward a few years and the Army made Staten Island our home right about the time the rival NY Mets franchise was getting its start. Their egregious errors made watching them quite a comedy show. Their manager, Casey Stengel, wailed, “Doesn’t anybody here know how to play this game?” I became a fan and cheered the few games they won – especially when they edged out their cross-town rival Yankees.
Skip ahead several years to the 1986 World Series. The team had learned to play the game and advanced to the series against the Boston Red Sox. Our school principal was a diehard Red Sox fan. My second graders were awed after the first game when Mrs. Morgan brought down a red construction paper sock with big black marker letters “Sox 1 – Mets 0” and posted it on my bulletin board. Quickly getting into the spirit, they mourned with me the next day when she brought another, “Sox 9 – Mets 3.” She did not appear after games three and four but my students cheered as I put up my own signs, “Mets 7 – Sox 1” and “Mets 6 – Sox 2.”
By now they were enjoying solving my math problems and ones they made up using baseball statistics and probabilities. Mrs. Morgan returned after game five, providing a sock “Sox 4 – Mets 2.” I sweated out ten innings of the sixth game to put up “Mets 6 – Sox 5.” We thought we’d seen the last of Mrs. Morgan after the last game, but she came down with good grace and watched my students cheer as I mounted the last sign, “Mets 8 – Sox 5.”
So, my youngest grandson in a Red Sox t-shirt because his mom grew up in New England? I’m forgiving my daughter-in-law this one. Now if she had been a Yankee fan . . .