For years now we’ve been trying to plumb the depths of SF’s soul, to understand something of that dark core that resides within him, and indeed so many other patrons of that team from Boston. Leigh Montville’s little gem of a book, Why Not Us? The 86 Year Journey of the Boston Red Sox Fans from Unparalleled Suffering to the Promised Land of the 2004 World Series, has finally given us the field guide we’d always wanted.
Montville, biographer of Ted Williams and former SI scribe, had us from page one, which opens with itinerant Sox fan Kay-Kay Clivio (!) hunting down the latest news of her team while on a hill overlooking the remote Indian palace city of Mysore, some five hours from civilization. He proceeds to tell a series of stories—"tales"—that read almost as parables: of his own experience, of SoSHers, of the Baseball Tavern, of the victory itself. Even this Yanks fan couldn’t put the thing down. We expect it will become the book Sox fans want on their shelves to return to again and again, a toehold on their year of catharsis. Keep it next to the Faith Rewarded DVD.