It’s official: Curt Schilling is retiring.
After being paid $9 million for not playing last season, I guess Curt Schilling can’t talk Theo into another season’s paid vacation, or find another team that will take the risk. So he’s outta here.
Don’t think I’m not grateful for what Mr. 38pitches contributed to the Red Sox because I am very, very grateful. I enjoyed watching him pitch especially in the big games. Who didn’t? I loved the Dunkin Donut commercials he appeared in, as well. But maybe that’s why I’m not a huge fan…in my less-than-humble-opinion, I think he’s a sell-out.
He never stole my heart like he did for others. I don’t know why. That is an example of why I believe in magnetic pull. The elements on earth either attract or not. In his case, it’s a “or not.” I don’t like big mouth athletes, so that’s probably another reason. So I guess I can’t say it anymore. That “it” of course is “Curt, shut up and pitch.” Darn. I’ll have to find another player to pick on.
I suppose another reason I’m not too fond of him is that he claims he’s fan-friendly but he really isn’t. I’ve seen him in action several times and unless it’s a staged event, he could care less. Really.
So, here it is. From me to you: THANKS FOR THE MEMORIES, CURT.
P.S. I read your recent blog, something I rarely do. But, I must say I am flattered, shocked and amazed, but most of all impressed. About six months ago I made a comment to your blog and I can’t believe it, you learned something from ME, little ol’ me. Imagine that? I’m happy to see you read the comments and work on self-improvement. That is so cool…I like you better already.
You’ve heard of Red Sox Nation, right? Of course, anyone that even pays the remotest attention to baseball has heard of it. Well, years ago anyone who was a Red Sox fan, or even more geographically, anyone who pretty much lived within driving distance to Fenway AND was a Red Sox fan use to refer to
themselves as being part of Red Sox Nation. Ever since the curse was lifted after 2004 WS win, the Red Sox organization grasped the Red Sox Nation thing and decided to sell membership to Red Sox Nation. You know, become a card-carrying member.
One of the perks of being a RSN member at that time was having access to a Red Sox message board exclusively for those who paid the $9.95 to become a member. In retrospect, other than the little plastic card you got, I’m thinking the message board was the only other perk. Unlike now where there are different price levels which offer different member benefits. Anyhoo, out of the love of baseball, curiosity, and probably boredom, I would frequent this message board mostly lurking to see what was going on in other people’s baseball worlds. I suppose everyone has somewhat of this voyeur quality that I’m now admitting to, after all, isn’t that that one of the reasons why people read other people’s blogs, become a member of Facebook or read even read an autobiography?
Well, to make a long story even longer, this message board which has long been replaced by the 2006, 2007, 2008 and now 2009 message board, originally helped generate the bonding of a group of Red Sox fans that has now become a little RS family. This particular group pretty much has nothing in common other than their love for the Red Sox. It’s hard to put a specific number of just how many of us are in this group because I don’t think we’ve actually all been together at one time in one place for someone to actually count, but I’ll just say the core of this group is about 30 maybe 35 members. Of course, when family members infiltrate this core group, it makes the number grows, but you get the picture.
One of the beauties of having a little Red Sox family is we all look out for each other. As I said, other than being Red Sox fans, we don’t have a lot in common with each other. Our group consists of doctors, lawyers, teachers, laborers, stay-at-home moms, you know, every walk of life: People that take showers before they go to work, and the ones that take a shower after they work, and everyone in between. Additionally, we live in different states, as well as adhere to different lifestyles. One common thirst is to watch baseball. We try to get together on Opening Day, the last game of the year, and as many games in during the season that we can possibly go to. I’m not a huge fan of Opening Day, so I have missed being at Fenway for most of them. Most of us have the lust for visiting other ballparks, as well, and we meet up as the visiting team whenever possible. Most of us try to make sure each other are taken care of ticket-wise especially when the post-season comes along because, after all, who better to share October baseball with than friends? Obviously, like most families, there is a certain level of dysfunction that exists, but I’ll blog on that another time.
In addition to getting together during the season, we try to get together during the off-season as well. Whether it be at a Red Sox fundraiser, Christmas At Fenway, or just virtually on instant messengers, we keep in touch. Some of us have better relations with others, but we really have learned to love one-another. One of the members owns a restaurant that pretty much sits symbolically, ironically and geographically between Boston and New York; the heart of Red Sox Nation. The convenient part of his location is that our little Nation comes from a lot of different states: Tennessee, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, and of course, Massachusetts, and makes it an excellent central meeting place. (Not to mention, he makes the most excellent fried ravioli’s on earth, so I hear). We try to get together midway through the off-season to help break up the winter no-baseball doldrums. Last off-season we all got together and had a good time, so it was again planned for this off-season.
Not that we knew it at first, but I happen to live 11 miles from one of the members. We had been ‘talking’ on the message board for a few years before we even know this but we even went to the same high school. Yes, even RSN is a small world. I obviously see him more than most of our group does. Again, we try to watch out for each other, so when he began the planning stages of this year’s off-season get-together, I recalled a conversation I had with another of our group last year, something that was stuck in my brain. I think I’ve referred to my auditory memory before but in the event I haven’t, I have an extra-ordinary memory for the spoken word. I don’t know if it is a blessing or a curse but I can recall conversations, almost word
for word, for years and years. Anyway, we jokingly said that we should see what it would take to have the World Series trophies visit or little gathering. Well, last year we never pursued that idea, well, this year in order to get that idea out of my head, I decided to go for it. Hey, all they could say was yes or no, right? Additionally, I wanted to do it for my friends because they are such a great group.
The Red Sox have at least two very distinct aspects to their organization: the team itself, and the marketing machine of the Red Sox. Getting to the team is, well an expensive proposition, but to gain access to the goodwill and marketing aspect of the Red Sox is a much more achievable goal. So I put my professional finesse in action and, low and behold, (as I like to say) with a wink and a smile, I was able to find the right person in the Red Sox organization that made a little dream come true: I was able to get the 2004 and 2007 World Series Trophies to be special guests at our gathering.
The best part of it was that it was a surprise to all the guests, well except for Dave. Imagine planning thirty-five adult surprise parties all at once. I had to tell
Dave because of course, it was his place of business and I owed him that courtesy. But, initially it was a surprise to him, as well because I didn’t tell him I was pursuing the trophies, I didn’t tell him until after the Red Sox had agreed to let them visit. I just walked in, jumping up and down of course, and told him that one of the trophies would be at his gathering. Why a surprise? Well, disappointment is one of my skeletons, and I try to shield myself and others from such an awful emotion.
Our gathering was this past Sunday. It was a phenomenal experience! Everybody was surprised and thrilled! It was surreal for me. I was in seventh-heaven but because of this, that superior auditory memory I claim to have shut down and I can barely remember details of the day. I have pictures, but the whole day is really a blur.
So, there it is. My surprise unveiled. I still am ecstatic about the day, as well as the whole process. I’m a bit saddened that a few of the folks from of our little group that I think very fondly of couldn’t make it that day for one reason or another. I can’t thank the Red Sox enough for allowing our group access to such coveted treasures: symbols of hard work, perseverance, history, etc. I feel it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
I’ve always been a dreamer. I love when dreams come true. Additionally, I am a true believer in the magic of baseball; always have, always will. This little experience is just testimonial as to why I believe.
Here’s my shameless plug: If anyone wants to become a member of one of the best fan clubs in the world, just visit the Red Sox website and look for the link for Red Sox Nation.