Saturday, December 7, 2013
By Jesse Scardina firstname.lastname@example.org
(Continued from page 1)
Greg and Sue Barre with their children, from left, Adam, Sarah and David, are all life-long Boston Red Sox fans, but they've had very different experiences growing up with baseball. While the parents watched the Red Sox lose year after year, their children are accustomed to World Series appearances.
Staff photo by Michael G. Seamans
Red Sox baseball fan Charlie Gaunce is surrounded by his grandsons Daniel, left, and C.J. Gaunce.
Staff photo by David Leaming
Over their 100-plus year existence, the Boston Red Sox have had their fair share of memorable moments.
1903: Known then as the Boston Americans, the Red Sox won the inaugural World Series, beating the Pittsburgh Pirates in a best-of-nine series, five games to three.
1912: Fenway Park, now baseball's oldest ballpark, opened in April and the Red Sox won its second World Series.
1915: The Red Sox won the World Series over the Philadelphia Phillies.
1916: The Red Sox beat the Brooklyn Dodgers in the World Series, becoming the first team to four World Series championships.
1918: The Red Sox won the World Series again, their last championship for 86 years.
1920: The Red Sox sell iconic slugger Babe Ruth to the New York Yankees.
1946: The Red Sox made their first World Series appearance since selling Babe Ruth, losing to the St. Louis Cardinals in seven games.
1967: Coming off eight consecutive losing seasons, the Red Sox made the World Series in the "Impossible Dream" season, yet fell just short of winning it all, losing to the Cardinals in seven games.
1975: The Red Sox fell short again in the fall classic, losing to the Cincinnati Reds in a memorable seven-game series.
1978: With a one-game playoff and a trip to the American League Championship Series on the line, Red Sox fans were crushed when the New York Yankees beat the Sox, thanks to an unlikely home run from Yankees shortstop Bucky Dent.
1986: In perhaps the most gut-wrenching of Red Sox moments, the Sox had a two-run lead in Game 6 of the World Series over the New York Mets, who were down to their last out. The Mets rallied, winning the game after a ground ball rolled unimpeded through first baseman Bill Buckner's legs. The Mets won the Series in seven games.
2003: Sox fans got a flashback to 1978, as the Yankees overcame the Red Sox in seven games in the American League Championship Series, thanks to a walk-off home run by Aaron Boone.
2004: Luck finally turned in the Red Sox' favor as the team produced the most unlikely comeback in baseball history, coming back from a three-games-to-none deficit in the ALCS against the Yankees to win the series in seven games. The Red Sox went on to sweep the Cardinals for their first World Series championship in 86 years.
2007: Having ended their World Series championship drought of more than eight decades, the Red Sox captured another Series title only three years later, sweeping the Colorado Rockies.
2013: After finishing in last place in 2012 in the American League East, the Red Sox rebounded and made it to the World Series, facing off against the Cardinals for the fourth time in Series history.
"I always liked Johnny Damon, and when he went to the Yankees, I kind of liked the Yankees," David said. "But my brother convinced me to stay a Red Sox fan."
Baseball cards, backyard games
Although the way baseball can be consumed has changed greatly over the decades, a few byproducts of baseball remain timeless: baseball cards and backyard baseball.
"We played a lot of sandlot baseball while the games were going on when I was younger," Charlie Gaunce said, adding that when he was growing up, most of the games took place during the day.
Grandsons C.J. and Dan continued the tradition but traded the sandlot for homemade backyard fields, one at their home in Waterville and the other at their cabin in Oakland.
"The kids thought it would be neat to make a field, and I wanted to show them how to do something on a budget," said Chris Gaunce, the boys' father.
The field, made for Wiffle ball, is on a vacant lot near Messalonskee Lake. The wall is made from 5-foot sections of a blue tarp, and the boys made a wooden scoreboard and a backstop.
"We've played a lot of Wiffle ball back there," C.J. Gaunce said, adding that when that field equipment gets taken down on Labor Day, the boys switch to their backyard field in Waterville until the end of October. "The Oct. 31st game is our World Series."
'It was like a dream'
The World Series win in 2004 changed everything for Red Sox fans. It stifled eight-plus decades of heartache while simultaneously jump-starting the most successful 10-year stretch any sports town has had.
When the Red Sox won their first World Series in 86 years, it was something Greg Barre couldn't really comprehend. Barre was a college student at the University of Maine in 1986 when the Red Sox were one out away from winning the World Series. The following sequence of the New York Mets rallying, Bob Stanley's wild pitch and an infamous grounder through Bill Buckner's legs stuck with Barre throughout the years. That's why when 2004 rolled around, it was hard for him to believe it had happened.
"It's hard to even describe," he said. "It was like a dream. It's something you never thought you'd see, then you see it."
Yet unlike his father, Adam Barre can't comprehend what it would be like if the Red Sox weren't contending most years.
"It's hard to understand how it was," Adam said. "Because being a Boston fan when I have has been amazing."
Jesse Scardina — 861-9239