A Journey Not Taken


This is a picture of a ticket stub from the 1975 World Series.  Though I wasn’t fortunate enough to attend that Sixth Game, I was in Fenway (at the age of 7) at an afternoon affair, the second of the series, won by the Reds, who scored two runs in the ninth inning to stun the Sox 3-2.  I remember very little about the actual game other than the bunting (as such whenever I see the stuff a reflex tells me that any game with such decor is of great magnitude, true or not) and a lone figure sitting atop a billboard far past the netting on top of the Green Monster — apparently those four dollar tickets weren’t easy to come by.  Yesterday I was called by my Mom, who informed me that my Dad could not make tomorrow’s opener, asked me if I could make it up for the game.  Alas, a late-afternoon business presentation (absolutely un-reschedulable) interfered.  Out of curiosity, I inquired about Thursday’s tickets,  normally Symphony night for my folks.  Being diehard Sox fans, I assumed that a once-in-a-decade (on average) occurrence would trump the BSO.  Nope.  Lifelong habits die hard, and Bruckner takes it over reliving images of Buckner.  Which meant one thing: two tickets available for yours truly.  Unbelievable.  Thirty-two years later I’d finally get back to Fenway for a playoff game, no lousy Division Series contest either, this was an actual World Series game.  The Delta website was consulted.  $325 for a one way ticket back from Boston on Friday, a necessary evil because I would be traveling for work on Thursday morning outside New York and the only way to get back from Boston was via plane, a speedy flight necessary because of a school tour for my son (entering pre-school and with no guarantee of getting into our local public school, how ironic is that?!) bright and early on Friday morning.  Checked the weather, checked the logistics one last time and realized…I couldn”t go.  I couldn’t risk missing this tour, under any circumstance (the Sox being in the World Series doesn’t qualify as "any circumstance", either).  I couldn’t risk a logjam on the BQE at 8am on Friday morning after getting on the earliest flight possible following what would likely be three hours of sleep to show up bleary-eyed or, worse, late to this tour.   

So, I am not going.  I expect to hear it from those who frequent this site. "How can you not make the trip?  How can you turn down a World Series ticket?"  Easy.  I have to take care of my son, his future far more important than any silly ballgame.  And I have to make it to this prospective school on Friday morning, if only to see the look on YF’s face when I get there, smiling, my "AL Champions" hat perched proudly atop my bald pate, the Sox having just (hopefully!) taken a 2-0 lead and on their way out to Denver.  As it turns out, he’s on the tour as well. 

19 comments… add one
  • > Easy. I have to take care of my son, his future far more important than any silly ballgame.
    Truer words I have not heard. That’s an easy one.

    attackgerbil October 23, 2007, 10:38 pm
  • good call sf…you can’t get this moment back with the boy, and take it from me, the time goes by way too fast…baseball isn’t that important…

    dc October 23, 2007, 10:50 pm
  • SF to be honest with you, I am so very glad that I don’t live in a world where my father (god rest his soul) would pass up a World Series seat for the SYMPHONY! Holy woodwind Batman! Listen, I’m a blue collar guy but I happen to have actually BOUGHT season tickets to the symphony, enjoyed it immensely too… But geez, when my honey and I just didn’t feel up to going we passed THAT up no problem, more than once. Passing up WORLD SERIES tickets, MAN thats just sad.
    What, the Sox go so often it’s old hat now???
    As for YOU, I would have to turn down WS tickets if I needed emergency surgery and ONLY then because my honey would kill me otherwise.
    Preschool tour, OMG (sigh) you just ruined my day.
    BUT… whereas I do not live in a world where I would be forced to give up WS ticks for the symphony or a business meeting or a pre-school tour???
    …I also don’t live in a world where WS tickets are going to drop into my lap in the first place, so I guess it’s a wash.
    I will say this though, I sure as HELL would not have admitted these offenses in a place where Sox fans could see them and comment!
    Of course, I could be made to see the light if a World Series ticket happened to come my way, I mean since you are all gonna be otherwise occupied and all.
    (sigh) just that THOUGHT made me happy… what a world…

    Brian October 23, 2007, 11:17 pm
  • And this is the reason I have no plans to have any children.
    Just kidding… I have lots of other reasons too.
    No really, I think you’re doing the right thing of course. Not only are you doing the right thing for your own personal situation, but it’s the right thing for those tickets. Say you decided to take them, but you ran into some very snaggy problems getting to Boston and weren’t going to get in until it was too late to use them. What if the tickets had to wait a while before the hand-off could be made?? They could be sitting around, during crucial outs, waiting to be picked up by last minute takers!! The tickets! Oh won’t someone think about the tickets!!
    I’m sorry to hear it didn’t work out for you SF, but something tells me the tickets won’t have any trouble finding a good home and become cherished by someone out there.

    FenSheaParkway October 23, 2007, 11:29 pm
  • What are you, trying to butter up the admissions director with this? You think they read YFSF at [REDACTED]? Fuhgetabout it. For the record, I suggested my coauthor take the ticket, and, worst case scenario, let the lovely Mrs. SF can manage the tour. But it will be a pleasure to see him, as ever. (I note that our kids are separated in age enough that they are not competing for the same slot, thank goodness.)
    Also, I might suggest that even some members of the BSO will be skipping work to catch the game. And your parents shouldnt be surprised if one of the oboe players, or perhaps someone from the horns or percussion, is paying suspicious attention to a blackberry…..We have it on good authority…..

    YF October 23, 2007, 11:50 pm
  • Dude, it’s called the Chinatown bus and it goes faster than the speed of light and travels at all times of the night. Get a ticket ASAP. You’ll be back for the pre-school tour. In fact, you’ll be back to your home for a good night’s rest.

    Nick-YF October 24, 2007, 12:12 am
  • You’re seriously passing up a World Series for KINDERGARTEN INTERVIEWS FOR YOUR KID?!?!
    a) you’re crazy;
    b) No really, YOU’RE CRAZY.
    c) …you think you could hook me up with those tickets?
    I missed (watching) Game 1 of the 2004 Series because I was at the BSO. I remember it pretty vividly… they did Mahler’s 8th Symphony, which was ridiculously appropriate:
    Das Unzulangliche
    Hier wird’s Ereignis,
    Das Unbeschreibliche,
    Hier ist’s getan;
    Das Ewig Weibliche
    Zieht uns hinan!
    All we could not attain
    Is here achieved
    The indescribable,
    Here it is done,
    Eternal spirit
    Compels us on.)
    But seriously, if you don’t want the tickets I’ll take em off your hands cheap.

    Jackie (SF) October 24, 2007, 1:03 am
  • This proves it: Having children is grossly irresponsible.

    Kazz October 24, 2007, 2:49 am
  • nick is right, SF. the fung wah bus (if gambling with your well being is a hobby of yours) or the lucky star bus… they both make frequent trips at about $10 or $20 each way.
    but i completely respect your decision to get your child into preschool. obviously the right choice, but maybe you can have your cake and eat it, too.
    best of luck. hope the tour goes well.

    Yankee Fan In Boston October 24, 2007, 6:06 am
  • I am not taking the Fung-Wah. Not a chance. That’s more irresponsible to my kids than not showing for the school tour, considering the safety records of those things.
    In 1986 the Sox/Angels Game Five started the afternoon of the first night of Rosh Hashana, if I remember correctly. So there was no option to miss services, we had to leave for temple before the game ended. The Rabbi announced the result right before his sermon, I am not sure how he got it, other than maybe a tranistor radio up on the bimah?
    Needless to say, we attended a reformed synagogue, and thank goodness for that.
    As much as I would love to go to the game, and as much as I understand the outrage(?!) about my not being able to go, I can’t do it. My mom is still going tomorrow, and my parents have scores of friends, diehards, who will be plying them with favors over the next 24 hours, for sure. They’ve been to three postseason games so far this year and several regular season ones, so they can’t be faulted for not making an effort. Like I said, old habits die hard.

    SF October 24, 2007, 8:31 am
  • Oh, I understand, SF. I’m not outraged at all. I respect and actually admire your decision. However, I’ll let you know that for a time in 2003 and 2004 I took the Lucky Star bus around 50 times and lived to tell about it.

    Nick-YF October 24, 2007, 9:45 am
  • I was once doing 80mph in Stamford. One of those busses was riding my ass, and eventually tried to pass me on the right in moderately heavy traffic. I’m just sayin, I had nowhere to go, and the guy thought he could squeeze that bus into the right lane and then cut me off.
    I just let him. Better safe than sorry. ha.
    I’m with you, SF – your choice is much more important than ANY baseball game.

    Brad October 24, 2007, 10:23 am
  • The Fung Wah (the original company, not its competitors) is my preferred mode of travel between NYC and Boston. I’ve taken it dozens of times, and I swear I’ve not died once. EVEN ONCE.
    I’ve never missed a game I had an actual ticket for. However, I did watch Game 4 of the 2004 WS in the Middle East Downstairs, instead of a proper sports setting, because I had tickets to Rasputina, purchased months before the WS schedule or teams were set. I was not the only person there glued to the tv they put in for the occasion, but the juxtaposition of punk/folk and Keith Foulke wasn’t as jarring as it sounds on paper.

    FenSheaParkway October 24, 2007, 10:55 am
  • “In 1986 the Sox/Angels Game Five started the afternoon of the first night of Rosh Hashana, if I remember correctly. So there was no option to miss services, we had to leave for temple before the game ended. The Rabbi announced the result right before his sermon, I am not sure how he got it, other than maybe a tranistor radio up on the bimah? Needless to say, we attended a reformed synagogue, and thank goodness for that.”
    The reformed Rabbi at the temple across the street from my church (in Schenectady) did Theo Epstein’s confirmation. He missed a chance to go to a World Series game in 2004 because he was doing his wife’s sister’s wedding.

    pastorsteve October 24, 2007, 12:25 pm
  • I’m still a tiny bit outraged. ;) Mostly because I am saddened to think that the preschool a child goes to can be so important as to warrant elite tours and admissions exams… Granted, I’m just a bitter, bitter product of public schools, but I went to college with prep school kids and did well enough there to make it into a PhD program with more prep school kids. (The moral here: Don’t worry if the admissions tour doesn’t go well; your kid can still get into a very good college without those private pre-K bona fides.)
    But you’re right, there are plenty of other deserving people out there who will be more than glad to take the tickets off your parents hands. The smart thing to do would be to sell them off. You know, to pay for the preschool tuition.

    Jackie (SF) October 24, 2007, 1:24 pm
  • as to warrant elite tours and admissions exams
    Who said anything about “elite” (this one isn’t) tours or entrance exams (not necessary for this school)? For the record, I have to go on this tour and contemplate private school for a year because our local school grants entry to their Pre-K program by lottery, too many kids for too few slots in the public school, which is our first choice.

    SF October 24, 2007, 1:54 pm
  • Oh man. Apologies for the leap to assumptions (and that sucks re: the public school situation in your area – is it the same for kindergarten or just pre-K?). I know you didn’t mention anything about admissions tests, I was just extrapolating from the tour, and I guess a bit from your parents’ owning BSO season tickets (the only person I’ve known to have those was my uncle, who had the Saturday C series for many years – and I loved it because I got to go quite often – but his kids definitely went the elite prep school route).
    I guess I’ve just read too many NY Times articles about competitive preschools… and as is obvious, I have some, uh, issues with that whole thing… so, hearty apologies. I feel like an ass.
    And I AM in total agreement that it’s better to skip the game than take the Fung Wah. 99 times out of 100 the trip is probably fine, but they DO burst into flames with alarming frequency.

    Jackie (SF) October 24, 2007, 2:21 pm
  • The New York grade school system is truly baffling. Granted, I don’t pay attention to it nearly as much as someone who would actually be eligible to use it, but it seems like a nightmare to navigate.
    Good luck!

    FenSheaParkway October 24, 2007, 2:22 pm
  • No worries, Jackie, I didn’t give all the facts so there was no way of knowing.
    And I made my own bed, I moved to a burgeoning neighborhood full of little kids, so I am part of the problem too!
    As for my family history, there were four of us kids, my older sisters went to public school entirely, I went to public school until 8th grade (when my hometown closed my local junior high and sent me cross-town to a terrible replacement) and my younger sister was in public until 7th grade but left for the same reasons.

    SF October 24, 2007, 2:44 pm

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