Baseball and Running: A Strange Boston Relationship
I'm writing this now because, well, I'm not actually writing it right now. Instead, I'm running somewhere between Hopkinton and Boston (hopefully a little closer to the latter), a trek which is made a bit more interesting in the final two miles when you pass by a particular ballpark, where the Red Sox will be playing the Orioles.
Every year, the city of Boston practically shuts down on Patriot's Day for the Boston Marathon. And every "Marathon Day", the Red Sox start their once-a-year morning game at 11 a.m., at precisely the time the first wave of runners leave Hopkinton on course to complete the most significant 26.2 mile course this side of Athens (the one in Greece, not Georgia).
It's a unique bond fostered both by the Boston Athletic Association -- the group that spends practically its entire year organizing the race -- and the Red Sox, an organization so linked to history that they understand the traditional role of tying the race and the game together.
Playing a 10 a.m. game might seem bizarre or counterintuitive. After all, who wants to wake up and go right to the park (well, come to think of it, wouldn't we all love that life?). In Boston, it's seen as a sign of regional patriotism. To go to a Red Sox game and turn to see runners streak by on Patriot's Day is almost the essence of being Bostonian. Add in a cup of Chowder at the game, and you're there.
It's a fittingly patrician way to approach baseball, a game steeped in colloquial traditions and oddities. If what you love about baseball is the minutia, then hopefully you're enjoying the game on TV right now, particularly since it has a solid local link with the O's this year.
And if that's not part of why you love baseball, well, bear with Boston on this one. It's a weird relationship, but sometimes some of life's most beautiful moments are made of exactly that. After all, how else could we explain Yogi Berra's success as a player, manager
and modern philosopher?
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