“In the aggregate, I guess – the idea of the Sox, not any specific amalgam, although You and I both have a soft spot in our hearts for the 1977 club, with Richie Zisk and Chet Lemon and Oscar Gamble, o my gawd that foot-high afro, how that man kept his hat on when he ran is a mystery to me. No, I offer this smiling prayer for the Soxness of the Sox – their awful seasons, their cheerful motley fans, the way we all ambled and shambled toward the park in the afternoon as if it were an enormous magnet, which it was; the companionship of it all the folks sitting near you who said hey and what’s up and want a beer, the way those few fans who were there savored and celebrated the moments when the sun dissolved and the lights snapped on, and the shocking sudden triple lashed into the gap, and the occasional unbelievable play that no one could remember ever having seen before; the smells and sounds of a city evening in America, the swifts overhead, the faint thunder of trains, the swelling roar as we realized what had happened half a second before down on the green jewel of the field; the timelessness of it, the slouched pleasure, the hard seats, the laughter as we crammed back into the train; for all the nonsense ever written about baseball, there is and was so much sweet gentle communal pleasure and grace and generosity; and for that, this hot summer evening, listening to nighthawks, I thank You. And so: amen.”



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