Growing up, there was a photo of me at the circus pinned to the soccer-ball-shaped corkboard in my bedroom. In the photo, I was sitting atop a camel with my mom, having the time of my life. At the time, I didn’t have an in-depth understanding of the regionality of animals, but I knew that I didn’t frequently see camels, so riding one must have been out of the ordinary. To me, that’s what the circus was: a place where anything could happen, and nobody knew what to expect.
Although I have little recollection of that day at the circus, I’ve found myself chasing that feeling of wonder and anticipation. And while I haven’t had the opportunity to use any ungulates as transportation, I have found a way to recreate that feeling. Go to Fenway Park, take your seat, and wait for the ball to be put in play while the Red Sox are on the field. Any time a visitor puts the bat on the ball there’s a chance for chaos. It’s a circus.
Alex Cora, Ringleader
The man (figuratively) at the center of it all. Each day, he sets the stage for that night’s showing. A once great manager who could direct Cirque du Soleil now resorts to running the same play over and over again. He’s working with a less-than-full deck, but to entertain the fans, he relies on the world’s strongest man at shortstop to provide the madness. From time to time, he also choreographs plays like this.
Kike Hernandez, World’s Strongest Man
People from all over the world come to see Kike Hernandez. He’s always been a big personality off the field, but this year the manager decided to make him the star of the show, putting him right in the middle of the action. At every opportunity, he shows off the arm people came to see, throwing the ball to the fans from his position up the middle.
Justin Turner, The Bearded Man
He’s got a big beard. That’s all.
Triston Casas, The Juggler
Casas typically isn’t the center of attention at the circus, but he has had his fair share of appearances. While his stature prevents him from participating in acrobatics, he often entertains the fans with his juggling skills. Rather than safely securing the ball and touching the base, he likes to keep the ball in the air, batting it around a few times for some oohs and aahs.