I will never get tired of this picture. EVER. In the year they won it all, one of the biggest donnybrooks I've seen in baseball broke out. All because A-Rod got bent that Bronson Arroyo plunked him. Tek didn't like the way Rodriguez was talking to his pitcher, and off they went.
What followed over the next 10 minutes or so was watched by me with unmitigated joy: Tek trying to bodyslam Rodriguez, Gabe Kapler and Tanyon Stuertz going at it, and general mayhem. I don't remember where Manny was in all this: probably heading out to the Monster for a bathroom break. Anyway, point is it was a AWESOME fight.
Best part is this: later, much later ( And why is it that when these 2 teams play, they have to last no fewer than 4 hours, most stretching toward 5? Just curious.) Billy Mueller sent Fenway home happy with a walk off, 2 run dinger of Rivera. Not immediately after this game, but soon, the Sox went on an absolute tear, clinched the wild card, and the rest is history.
I remember a lot about the day that game was played. I remember I watched it in my bedroom, because my wife and daughter were watching some all day "Ann of Green Gables" marathon, or something equally as exciting in the living room. I remember sitting on the edge of the bed, alternately going from extreme joy, to feeling like I was gonna throw up as the game went back and forth.
And I also remember this: that was the first game I ever watched with my son, Rakes. He was not quite 8 months old, so I doubt he remembers much. But he spent the whole game in that room with me. Laid on my chest for nap time, ate a bottle, and watched his first Sox game. Poor little fella cried for 4 minutes after it was over: coulda been from joy, although I think the fact I screamed like some demented Bo Duke when Billy hit the home run seems more likely.
He's 3 now, and this past year watched a lot of the games with me. His attention wanders, but he loves to watch Papi and Manny hit, and will run around in circles, sliding into imaginary bases, and flipping his bat, because, "Dat de way Big Papi doed it, Dad". He loves baseball and the Red Sox, and I could not be happier about it.
I'm sure he and I have a long list of baseball memories ahead of us, and I look forward to all of them.
But that picture at the top of this page?
I will NEVER get tired of it.
It was the day my son and I watched our first Sox game together.