08 April 2010

31. Faithful: Two Diehard Boston Red Sox Fans Chronicle the Historic 2004 Season

Faithful: Two Diehard Boston Red Sox Fans Chronicle the Historic 2004 Season - Stewart O'Nan and Stephen King

I loved this book. To qualify that statement I will say that I am biased. I am a life long Red Sox fan. Have been since listening to the games with my grandfather on an AM radio when I was a little kid. I am a huge baseball fan.

The Sox broke my heart many times over the years. 1986 was especially bad. Stinkin' Mets.

2004 was one of the greatest moments of my Red Sox fandom. It is the year they broke The Curse of the Bambino (which was BS anyway). When the team came back from a 3 games to none defecit in the American League Championship series against the New York Yankees I knew it was meant to be. No team had ever come back from being 3 games down to win in any championship series. These guys did it.

The World Series itself was a bit anti-climactic that year. Getting past the Yankees was huge. Then they played the Saint Louis Cardinals and swept them in four games. The Cards never really showed up for the Series.

This book started at Spring Training. Stewart O'Nan and Stephen King decided to write a book as they followed the team throughout the year. It is written in kind of a diary format. Each day the guys would write about their observations, their feelings and their expectations for the team and it's performance. It was not all pretty. The Sox looked pretty awful for a while and were 10.5 games behind New York in the AL East.

Some of this book was written in email exchanges between the two authors as they discussed the games and players. That was pretty interesting to read. They did not always agree.

I guess to enjoy this book you would have to first of all be a baseball fan. It spends a lot of time covering each game and the events that unfolded. If you don't like the game, that stuff would drag on and on and on.

Next, I would also only recommend it for Red Sox fans. It covers some other teams as the Sox play against them, but it is definately about the Sox side of the story. It does speak of the Yankees a lot, but that is required. Red Sox without Yankees would be like Luke Skywalker without Darth Vader. You need the evil empire.

I got to relive some pretty cool memories with this book. Not only did it remind me of the hope and dreams that Red Sox fans put into the club every year, but it had some specific events that are fond memories from that year.

Who could forget when Jason Varitek shoved Alex Rodriguez in his face and trashed the super hero? Or later when A-Rod tried to swat the ball out of a glove while running to first and was called out for unsportsmanlike conduct? Or how about all the taunts going back and forth? "Who's your Daddy?"

I loved this book for sentimental reasons.

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