Friday, July 10, 2009

Hit Like A Girl, Volume 1-An Introduction and Nomar

(Editor's Note:Samantha Lewis is going to be writing a weekly column for the CMSB, aptly titled "Hit Like a Girl". She is the Creative Director of Northshore Editorial in Salem, MA and can be followed on Twitter right here)

When Matt asked me if I wanted to write about sports from a “female’s perspective” I instantly agreed, thinking about how cool it was.

Then I spent two weeks trying to figure out what the hell that meant.

As far as female fans go, I don’t know as much as someone like the Boston Globe’s Amalie Benjamin; then again, I’m certainly not running around with a pink Sox hat talking about how nice Mike Lowell’s butt looks in his baseball pants.

Even if it does look pretty good.

I watch almost every Sox game – in part because doing so is the only way I see my boyfriend during baseball season, and in part because when I don’t watch baseball on a game night I don’t know what else to do with myself. I couldn’t tell you Beckett’s ERA or Varitek’s OBP, but I can tell you that Nick Green’s mouth looks very odd when he’s concentrating, that Papebon’s stare is made of awesome, and that Kevin Youkilis shakes his butt when he’s at bat. You know, the important details of the game that distinguish the true fan from the dilettante.

I should confess that I was raised a Yankees fan. My family is from New York, and as a result I’m sure there are enough pictures of me in Yankees gear to wallpaper a small room. Maybe a large room. However, these days my dad seems to be cursing the fact that he encouraged me to go to school near Boston. He thinks I’ve caught a contagion.

My secret love affair with the Boston Red Sox began in 2006. A year later, the relationship deepened. On Mother’s Day of 2007 I went to my first Sox game. The Sox scored 6 runs in the 9th inning to win the game. That game was my first. No woman ever forgets her first. I refused to wear the Red Sox hat that my friend brought for me that day, but the moment I got into Fenway Park I may as well have been decked out in Sox gear. There’s a certain feeling in Fenway and among Boston fans that perhaps I’m more susceptible as a female. Maybe it’s all those wonky hormones floating around. Maybe it’s just that the Sox and Fenway are the heart and soul of New England. Any doubt I had about being a Sox fan dissipated as I drank beers, ate Fenway franks, sang Sweet Caroline, and screamed “Go Sox!”

Last week I got the same rush. Nomar was back in Fenway! I wasn’t even a Sox fan when Nomar played, and I have no recollections of him as a member of the Red Sox. I couldn’t even tell you how his butt looked in baseball pants, but I had the fever. When he stepped onto the field to a standing ovation, I understood exactly what he meant to Sox fans. It’s the same way fans cheered for Papi when he continually struck out at the beginning of the season, the same way that the park fills with screams for “Yoooooooouk!” Nomar reminds us of the reasons for our fandom, and on July 6th I was reminded why, despite threats from my family, I started rooting for the Red Sox. Once you’re a member of Red Sox Nation – we’ll always love you. We’ve got heart.

Unless you get traded to the Yankees. Sorry Johnny Damon, your hair was cool, your butt was never much anyways.



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