The Ecstasy & Agony of Being a Red Sox Fan describes the highs and lows, the fulfillment and disappointment, and the gratification and frustration of following the Boston Red Sox for more than seven decades - as a child, a teenager, an adult, and a senior. Reading it may help explain the peculiar paranoia that permeates the psyche of Red Sox fans.
The situations and events that are based on my personal experiences - being at a game, watching it on television, listening to it on the radio, or interacting with an involved individual - are narratives that are uncolored by the opinions or partiality of anyone else.
But many incidents are based on information, statistics and data obtained, reported and compiled by the media - by writers, analysts, and broadcasters who presumably had the access - that I did not, nor did any fan - to the inner workings of the Red Sox, i.e. what transpired in the clubhouse or front office, or between management and players, or between players.
The attitudes and beliefs of sports fans about a team are, to a great extent, shaped by people who presumably are objective in their reporting and have greater knowledge of the team than its fans do. As I wrote The Ecstasy & Agony of Being a Red Sox Fan I came to realize just how dependent I was, as is every fan, on information provided by the media. I also decided that some in the media often are not objective and/or have incomplete information, but that's the way it is. Cum grano salis is the Latin expression for taking something with a grain of salt. It's sometimes appropriate when reading sportswriters' reports.
But whatever the source of a fan's perspective or whether or not it is justified, he or she is entitled to it. That's what being a fan is all about. So my descriptions, opinions and beliefs may or may not be complete or completely accurate. But they are mine.
All the personal events are from my memory - from just a little while ago to nearly three-quarters of a century past. Some of them were blurred and snapped into focus by research. Some of them were always clearly etched.
Some Red Sox games I recall as if they were played yesterday. Others were only vague memories that were stimulated by more research. Some dialog is re-created. Some of it is approximate. Some of it is word for word. But it is what I remember.
An emotional roller coaster of memories that describes the Ecstasy and Agony of being a Red Sox fan.