I came into September with tickets for three of the six games on the final homestand for the Sox, and realized about mid-month that that wasn’t going to do. Hit ebay and Stubhub, and managed to cover all six games. Tuesday I brought my friend Cindy to see Curt Schilling. Wednesday I had a loge box single from which I hoped to see Clay Buchholz pitch in relief of Jon Lester, but ’twas not to be. Thursday we drove toward a possible clinch of the AL East… but again, not in the cards that night.
Friday I had a loge single way out in left field–quite a challenge even to get into the section! It was quite a good game–good pitching from Daisuke, quality offense, and a satisfying win. Not to mention a quick one! I’d spared a few glances at the scoreboard, enough to see that the Yankees had a pretty good lead on the O’s. But I was still delighted when, a few bars into "Dirty Water," the PA cut out and the Yankees/O’s game was suddenly on the scoreboard.
About two weeks earlier I’d had a thoroughly wonderful evening at Fenway… on an off day. The Red Sox Chick had invited me to a benefit for the Angel Fund, a charity supported by Mike and Dawn Timlin. The benefit was terrific; getting winked at by Mike was even better. But perhaps best was going on a brief tour of a dark Fenway and sneaking off to the far end of the Monster to gaze over the mysteriously unlit park, and later eating dinner perched in the Pavilion over home plate, again, gazing into a familiar home seen literally in a ddifferent light.
So I thought of all that as the fans sitting around me left and I settled in to watch the televised game. The Orioles threatened in the bottom of the eighth, but failed. Many of the fans who did stick around headed out. I looked in toward home, and seeing that many who were left had clustered around the Sox dugout, I moved down to the first row between the visitors’ dugout and home.
The O’s held the Yankees in the ninth, and then the fun really started. I hadn’t dreamed I’d hear an enthusiastic "Lets go Orioles!" chant at Fenway–let alone that I’d be participating! Jay Payton came through with the stunning tying triple, and I started to think that maybe this could happen after all. In the tenth, we screamed our hearts out for Millah, but it was Melvin Mora who came through with the bunt and sealed the clinch for the Red Sox.
I hadn’t allowed myself to think about it, but I got out the camera…
Mike Timlin with his new tee!
Beckett watches Dustin Pedroia.
Jon Lester on the receiving end of a cold beer down the spine.
Jason Varitek, who had left the park, returned after the clinch, and received an extra-thorough dousing as a result!
Jonathan Papelbon points to Alex Cora up in the PA booth.
Lots more photos on this page. Enjoy!