The Red Sox defeated the Dodgers in the 2018 World Series. All the way from Boston to LA, my dad and I were there.
My mom wrote a note to my school: “Please excuse Max who will be absent due to Red Sox fever. He caught it from his dad.”
To me, it seemed a sure thing that the Red Sox would win the Series after the way they beat the New York Yankees and Houston Astros in succession. My dad, however, always remains skeptical until the the game’s over. That’s the difference between his generation of Red Sox fans and mine. When he was growing up, his Red Sox team always lost the close games. At 15 years old, I have seen the Red Sox win four World Series championships.
The current Red Sox had a new cast of characters to lead them to victory. The team no longer depended on slugger Big Papi David Ortiz, but relied on steady manager Alex Cora, ace pitchers David Price and Chris Sale, and the Killer B’s — Mookie Betts, Andrew Benintendi, Jackie Bradley Jr., and Xander Bogaerts.
After the Red Sox beat the Dodgers in the first two World Series games at Fenway Park, my dad asked me, “Chief, how about we fly out to LA and help the Sox win the series? We bring them good luck.” It’s true — my dad and I were at Fenway Park for the clinching Game 6 of the 2013 World Series against the St. Louis Cardinals.
I ran upstairs to pack my hat. It’s a tradition that when we travel, my dad and I wear our Red Sox hats. It never fails, we strike up conversation with fellow Red Sox fans no matter where we are. Red Sox Nation is everywhere.
We had tickets for Game 4. We flew cross country from Boston to LA in time to watch Game 3 from our hotel room. It turned out to be 18 innings and the longest game in World Series history. We actually feel asleep in the 11th inning and woke up in the 13th inning with the game still going. Dad yelled, “Wake up, Max!” I sat up and rubbed my eyes. We watched until the end, which was 3:30 a.m. E.T., when Max Muncy hit a walk-off home run for the Dodgers.
Game 3 gave the Dodgers momentum, and they proceeded to build a 4-0 lead through six innings of Game 4. In the 7th inning, my Dad and I started a rally for the Red Sox by ordering ice cream. The chocolate & vanilla soft serve helped Mitch Moreland hit a pinch hit three run home run and then helped Steve Pearce tie the game in the 8th with a home run and pad the lead in the 9th with a bases loaded double for the win!
We were scheduled to fly home the next day, but my dad and I decided that we had to stay for Game 5. The Red Sox needed us. We changed our flight, secured our tickets to the game, and wore the same clothes — same sweatshirts, same pants, and same socks. Game 5 did not have the same drama as the previous two games, but we still ordered ice cream in the 7th inning just in case. Price pitched his best game ever in a Sox uniform and Sale closed it out by striking out the side in the 9th inning.
As the Red Sox stormed the field to celebrate, my Dad and I high-fived and hugged each other and all the other Boston fans in our section.
We talked about the series the entire five-hour flight home. My mom picked us up from the airport, and we were easy to spot — two guys wearing Red Sox hats.