As those in the gamethreads in the past couple days can attest, I was super excited by the recent Red Sox/Angels series, in Anaheim. With the tickets being cheaper than expected, we were able to afford decent tickets to all three games. With the series over, and some time to collect my thoughts, I thought I’d share a piece of my life with you all.
Living in Southern California can make it a little rough to be a Sox fan, at times. We live three hours earlier than those on the East Coast, and this can make watching games quite difficult in-season. A 7 PM (EST) night game might be a game you only see an inning or two of, and some can’t even watch that depending on their work schedule. If you are a college student (like myself) it can also lead to a scheduling nightmare, putting work aside. This upcoming semester involves me being in classes from 10:30 AM until 7:20 PM. Not for lack of trying, of course, but with my chosen career path I have to put baseball on the back burner to focus on an education. Of course, being an adult is about making choices like that, so I have no place to complain and that’s not my aim.
On the East Coast, this doesn’t seem so bad. After all, that’s roughly when the game starts, and it’s a three hour event. But on the West Coast, that same game starts at 4 PM, and the game is just ending when I get out of classes. Thankfully, with mlb.tv, I can still watch the games after they happen, but I have to avoid all forms of social media if I want to avoid spoilers (which I very much do).
That’s night games, though. Day games are a different beast entirely. If a game starts at 1 PM EST, you better be ready for 10 AM PST baseball. These circumstances can make watching a game sometimes not worth the effort, as you find that to be an incredibly inconvenient time for baseball. Normal day game silliness aside, 10 AM is very early to commit to watching baseball for potentially upwards of three hours.
With that all said though, it’s 100% worth it to be a Red Sox fan in Southern California, to an extent I’m not sure is true for other fanbases. Red Sox Nation, for all the gripes someone can have about it, is a large entity that cannot be drowned out, and can exist basically anywhere.
At all three games in Anaheim, it was basically a home game. You look to your left, and there’s a Red Sox fan. You look to your right, and you see an Angels fan. To the right of that Angels fan, though, is another Red Sox fan. You stand up for the 7th inning stretch, and you see a mix of red and white. When you look a little closer, you see just as much Red Sox “red” as you do Angels “red”. No matter where you end up sitting, you have plenty of Red Sox fans surrounding you. Roughly 3,000 miles away from Boston feels much closer.
While the series did not go the Sox way, the passion and heart shown by Red Sox fans all series long was evident to me. At multiple times over those three games, a “Let’s go Red Sox” (clap, clap, clapclapclap) chant would shake the stadium to its very core. You would occasionally hear an Angels fan next to you trying to put in the word “Angels” where “Red Sox” would go, but they’d be drowned out by the uproar of Boston’s 10th man. This did not stop all series, even when the Angels had Boston down to its final two outs. Even when Xander Bogaerts grounded into the series-ending double play.
Even at an away game, it was a fun experience and everybody was civil with each other after the games were over. There were a couple of in-game incidents, but I imagine those happen at Fenway Park too, just like they happen at any ballpark. The event staff was courteous, if not downright friendly to the away team fans, and it was an atmosphere I hadn’t come to expect.
This is my plea to anyone in Red Sox Nation who has yet to watch the Sox in person, particularly those living outside of the New England area. Go see the team play an away game if Boston is too far a trek. For a total of 36 bucks, my girlfriend and I had incredible seats in right field with a pretty much perfect view of everything on the field. There’s a strength in numbers, arriving to a stadium knowing you won’t be far from the nearest fellow Sox fan. It can turn an uneasy atmosphere into a party atmosphere real quick.
The Red Sox have been my favorite team for as long as I can really remember, and that will never change. Go Sox!