PrintPrint © 2004 MLB Advanced Media, L.P. All rights reserved.

Sox fans keep the faith
10/17/2004 7:15 PM ET
BOSTON -- The first noticeable thing when you're walking out into the streets of Boston on Sunday is that it's chilly -- much brisker than usual for an October day.

It's fittingly cold and lonely in the town that might have said goodbye to yet another chance to win a World Series for the first time since 1918.

Early Sunday, a little past midnight, the New York Yankees beat the hometown Red Sox, 19-8, in Game 3 of the American League Championship Series, seizing a 3-0 lead in the best-of-seven series, a historically insurmountable deficit.

Walking down Brookline Avenue on Sunday morning and turning left onto Yawkey Way into what usually is a festival of hope and happiness by the gates of Fenway Park, you can't help but feel like you're in the middle of a funeral procession of sorts.

It's just a bit quieter, just a bit more serene.

ALCS Home / News / Video / Audio / Photos

But not so fast -- the die-hard fans of Red Sox Nation haven't packed it in.

"We're not done yet," says 60-something Victoria Monsini of Pembroke, Mass., who escorts three of her girlfriends to Game 4.

"We've come to see the Red Sox win, and they're going to take four straight. That's why we're here."

Monsini's friend, Linda Kirschbaum, originally of Freetown, Mass., and now a resident of Rochester, N.Y., drove all the way from the shores of Lake Ontario only to possibly see her beloved Sox torched in four straight.

But at least she's enjoying the ride.

"I didn't sit in my car for six and a half hours for nothing," Kirschbaum says. "You've seen a lot of history in Fenway Park, and now you're gonna see a lot more. We have no doubts in our mind."

The same sentiment is shared by young Anthony Hurd, a concessionaire for the Calzino Rossi Pizza stand that's set up outside Fenway along Yawkey Way.

Hurd says he's not yet willing to admit that he'll dole out his last pepperoni slice of the season on Sunday night.

"I'll be back here (next Saturday)," Hurd says, alluding to a possible Game 1 of the World Series that would take place in the Fens. "We'll take four straight. I can feel it."

Hurd adds that the blowout loss in Game 3 did nothing to discourage him.

"It's a loss," Hurd says. "Same as 1-0. Doesn't really matter how much you lose by if you lose. Same L in the newspaper. We start at zero again today."

Point taken, but doesn't a demoralizing defeat on top of two defeats in New York -- plus the fact that an 0-3 deficit has never been erased in a seven-game series in the history of the sport -- mean that maybe, just maybe, this isn't the year?

"Nah," Hurd says, finally smiling through his bravado. "Every year is the year around here."

Still, some cracks in the armor are showing.

Over at Boston Beer Works across from the Fenway ticket office, student Dave Fox wears a red shirt that proclaims, "It ain't over."

But he admits that the only reason he drove down from Maine to see the game is because two relatives gave up their Game 4 tickets after staggering out of Game 3 with a defeatist attitude.

"They were really distraught," Fox says. "They just got sick of it because of the score. But what they didn't realize is that it could have been worse. Can you imagine if the Sox had scored 10 runs in the ninth inning? Then it would have been 19-18. That would have been even worse."

Another good point, considering 1918 was the last year the Sox won it all and has now become a rallying cry for Yankees fans.

"But seriously, it really isn't over," Fox points out. "Just because it's never happened before doesn't mean we can't do it."

True, but it's extremely unlikely, and even some Red Sox fans will cop to that.

"Yeah, of course it probably won't happen," says Chuck Tinkham, a fire dispatcher from Hampstead, N.H.

"But you get to a point where they lose every year, so you sort of wonder how they're gonna blow it this time. It becomes kind of fun that way."

Tinkham says he drove a few hours to Boston because, "There's no other place I'd rather be tonight," win or lose.

"If they win one, it's a victory in its own right. If they lose, that's OK, too, because I honestly don't know what this city would do if they won four in a row.

"We wouldn't know how to handle it."

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Red Sox Homepage   |