The beginning of that stretch was right when I got back on board after basically losing interest in baseball when I was 11 and Yaz retired. I'd just turned 21, a friend had an extra bleacher ticket, and I figured that it was a nice night and I could just hang out and drink. Walking to the park from Kenmore, everybody was buzzing about this hot young pitcher making his debut - Sele, on June 23rd - it was a vibe and I got totally caught up in it. As soon as I walked through the tunnel and saw all that green for the first time in years, I was instantly all in, and then as a bonus Sele lived up to the hype. It all seemed to peak when we swept a 4 game series against Oakland at home about a month later and then the wheels started to fall off, culminating with the Stanley/Yankees interference game. My cousin and I caught a game against the Royals over Labor Day weekend, I think. It was George Brett's final series at Fenway and at one point, the scoreboard flashed that Jim Abbott of the New York Yankees had thrown a no-hitter and the entire park erupted. I looked at my cousin and was just, like, "Wait - we don't hate the Yankees anymore?" "No, he's only got one hand." "Oh."
I loved those pre-Nomar early-mid '90s teams, though, no matter how shitty they were - I was too green to look at them objectively. To this day, any time folk singer Cindy Lee Berryhill's pops up, I default to "Damon's cousin" - all that stuff's just ingrained. Or when Scott Cooper hit for the cycle and the Sox scored 22 runs in KC on my 22nd birthday - that was the best part of a rainy Tuesday night when everyone was still bummed out about Cobain offing himsef the previous week.
But to get back to the point of the thread - Willie McGee , '95.