The other holy day, of course, is opening day at Fenway park, when New Englanders celebrate the triumph of hope over reason. I have been privileged to attend about forty opening days in my life. The first was in 1967 when 8,342 hearty fans braved 40 degree temperatures to watch the Red Sox who had finished at the bottom of the league standings the year before begin what came to be known as the Impossible Dream. This rag tag team with its rookie manager, Dick Williams, shocked the baseball world by winning the pennant. Since this was my first opening day, I was sure that my attendance had something to do with the resulting pennant, so I have continued to attend the event yearly since that magic season. I continue to believe this is true, though it took the team 34 years after that season to win the World Series.
There are high expectations for this year's team, after all they won the World Series last year. There is something within me, however, that misses the "old days". in the past,we went to the park fueled by hope in spite of what we knew would be a mediocre season. We were willing to believe even in what we could not see. We waited for a touch of grace or mystery to lift the ordinary into the extra-ordinary. I miss that.