Tag Archives: Red Sox

Go, Gordon Davis, go! … The road most taken

By Gordon Davis

The Boston Red Sox has agreed to sign right-handed pitcher David Price to a $217 million contract. I would like to wish both Mr. Price and the Red Sox well.

There is a price for this deal that is not only in terms of dollar and cents. Although Mr. Price is very talented and probably worth the money in our society that skews wealth and human value, he is also an unintentional symbol of success for many in the Black community. If asked, Mr. Price might say the same thing as did Sir Charles Barkley, “I am not a role model for your kids.”

For many in the Black community basket ball, football and baseball are seen as a way out of the adverse conditions that our children find themselves in. To some extent this gives them hope and encouragement to go to school and perform. For others making a lot of money through some business scheme is their hope. These hopes are not bad things by themselves. However, all of these things are misleading.

Historically, the way out of poverty and into the middle class for Black people have been unionized jobs and education. The migration of many Black people from the southern United States to the North during the Twentieth Century was facilitated by union jobs in the auto industry, steel industry and education. It was also facilitated by government jobs such as the military and the U.S. post office. My relatives and those of my wife were career soldiers or postal workers or city employees. This has been the experience of most Black people in the United States, not sports nor businesses.

Recognizing this, many in our communities have fought for Affirmative Action. It is the program that ensures companies consider us when making hiring decisions.

Unfortunately, one of the people I knew as an undergraduate at Holy Cross college, Clarence Thomas, used affirmative action to get to the Supreme Court and then started to burn the bridges behind him. I suppose he wanted to make sure no one else from our community could follow in his footsteps.

I remember growing up reading Jet and Ebony magazines which were widely read in the Black communities. The owners of the magazine became deservedly relatively wealthy. The same can be said for the cosmetics industry intended for Black women.

The Black businesses succeeded because many in the Black community had entered the middle class through unionized service and industrial jobs. The reality for us is that as a community Black, White, Hispanic and all people will make a living in the workplaces owned by the so called one percent. We as a community will not succeed on the playing fields or in small business. As many of us know, the time of the Mom and Pop stores is long over.

I see that there are unionization drives going on in the Worcester in the areas of domestic care workers, food workers and hospital workers. All areas with a relatively high people of color workforce.  I know that this is the way out of the adverse conditions of poverty for most of them.

So I might go to a Red Sox game to see David Price pitch a no hitter and carry the Red Sox to a World Championship. I know, however, that the road he has taken is not possible for everyone.

Calling all Red Sox fans to join rally for the Jimmy Fund!

BOSTON – Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Jimmy Fund launched the 2015 Rally for the Jimmy Fund presented by Next Step Living®, a chance for Boston Red Sox fans to “rally” in their workplaces and schools leading up to Fenway Park’s Opening Day April 13 to support adult and pediatric patient care and cancer research at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

Rally for the Jimmy Fund encourages co-workers, classmates, and friends to form Rally teams in which each member contributes $5 or more to the Jimmy Fund. In exchange, they can wear Boston Red Sox gear to work or school on Monday, April 13 when the Sox take on the Washington Nationals at Fenway Park in the home opener.

The top fundraising workplace and school (K-12, college, or university) will win a visit from a Boston Red Sox player this spring.  There will be another opportunity to win:  all teams that raise $5,000 or more (workplace or school) will be entered to win a visit from a Boston Red Sox player.

“We’re proud to support the Rally for the Jimmy Fund as we move closer to Opening Day,” said Geoff Chapin, CEO and founder of Next Step Living. “In the spirit of the cause, Next Step Living formed its own team and will be proud to sport our Red Sox attire in April. We encourage others to create their own rally teams to support cancer care and research at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.”

“We’re honored to have the support of local Red Sox fans coming together to support Dana-Farber’s mission by participating in Rally for the Jimmy Fund,” said David Giagrando, assistant vice president, corporate partnerships at Dana-Farber and the Jimmy Fund. “We’re looking for everyone to fundraise with us as we head toward Opening Day at Fenway Park and hope you will join us to hit this season ‘out of the park’ for the Jimmy Fund.”

Since 2006, Rally for the Jimmy Fund has raised more than $4 million to support adult and pediatric patient care and cancer research at Dana-Farber. To start or join a Rally team or to learn more, please visit www.RallyForTheJimmyFund.org.

The Jimmy Fund (www.JimmyFund.org) solely supports Boston’s Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, raising funds for adult and pediatric cancer care and research to improve the chances of survival for cancer patients around the world. It is an official charity of the Boston Red Sox, as well as the official charity of the Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association, the Pan-Mass Challenge, and the Variety Children’s Charity of New England. Since 1948, the generosity of millions of people has helped the Jimmy Fund save countless lives and reduce the burden of cancer for patients and families worldwide.

They say it’s yer birthday

By Rosalie Tirella

It was the Old Injun Fighter’s birthday yesterday. Together or not, I have, during this past decade, always mailed him a birthday card and bought him a gift. This year, for the first time!, I forgot. So I called him to wish him the best on his special day.

He is a carpenter/contractor type who adores Clint Eastwood, nature, Bass ale, sparrows, chipmunks, money, seafood, rock n roll, German Shepherd dogs, trucks, vintage hand tools, a good shampoo, an even better foot massage, Cheddar cheese, sharp, with his Bass, and, up until the day she died, my mom.

My late mother adored him, too. When our relationship was at its strongest, and she hadn’t yet shown signs of the Alzheimer’s disease that made her last four years so hard, the OIF would call her from the road or a job site, to see how the Red Sox were doing during baseball season. My mom was a rabid Red Sox fan since she was 12. As a little girl growing up in Green Island she used to read HOW TO PITCH BASEBALL books or draw posters of players at the bat or have her big brother show her how to hold your hips when swinging a bat. In her early 20s she used to have the radio blaring in the kitchen of the good Bishop’s house, where she and her two sisters worked as his housekeepers and cooks – and listened to the Sox games. Sometimes the good Bishop of Springfield would pop his head in through the swinging doors and ask my mom: How are the Red Sox doing? They would all discuss the situation and vow to pray for the team. In her old age, she always had the Sox play schedule right next to her prayer cards on the little side table that sat next to her easy chair, the one in front of the TV, the one where she had artfully arranged what she needed in her 80s: Red Sox schedule, rosary, prayer cards, cup of coffee, decorative box that held here apartment key, small photos of her three daughters.

But I digress. I was saying when the OIF and I were good, he’d talk baseball with my mom, sometimes, even stopping buy her little studio apartment in the seniors housing complex where she lived to watch the game for a few innings. I was not invited. I am not at all interested in baseball, and they both knew it. Plus, I loved the fact that this smart, self-sufficient, tough guy, the Clint Eastood of my life, would spend a few hours with an old lady, sipping coffee, maybe eating a Danish that she had served him. My mom, up until the last few years of her life, always loved playing the hostess with the mostess. Coffee? Danish? Fruit? Orange juice? She’d sit you down, get the treats out, serve them to you, walking a bit unsteadily with the plates of treats. The coffee maker drip drip dripped the fresh Maxwell House.

So there they were. The sweet old lady, the not-so-sweet contractor sharing special time. Quality time. Cheering on our our boys of summer.

Most men, especially alpha males like the OIF, don’t make it a point to spend a few hours keeping an old lady company. But the OIF knew my mom knew her baseball and watched every Sox game on her big color TV. He knew she’d put the plays in context, tell him how Ortiz was doing this season or why some one was outa commission or not concentrating the way he was last season. Sometimes, when I was visiting her, the OIF would call from a work site to get the score. I’d ask my mom and then begin to explain… He’d say, tersely, Put your mother on.

She knew the score and more. So I’d say, Ma. He wants to know what’s going on with the game, and she’d toddle over, looking small and cute in her little flowered print housecoat and then … with the receiver gripped tightly tell him, very seriously, the numbers of foul balls and homeruns, the plays tripping off her lips. She’d tell him everything. It was as if she were speaking a different language! She was serious, very serious, and sometimes grabbed the phone from me with a purposefulness that was a little hurtful. When it came to her beloved Red Sox, my mother didn’t fuck around.

The OIF respected her for that. Maybe even loved her for it. He admired loyal people, someone who’d ride shot gun with you as you drove your stage coach through life. My mom, so small, dumpling shaped at the end, was your best friend if she loved you, someone willing to sacrifice her life for yours. She rode shot gun for her three girls her whole life.

And so when I called the ex to wish him a happy birthday, I thought of my mother, who always was so kind to him, even if he and I were not being so kind to each other. She didn’t take sides. She saw his strong points and always respected him for them. If only I had done the same!

I know you still love me, I told the Old Injun Fighter. It just didn’t work.

He sounded sad when he said, quietly, I love you. Nothing more. Lean prose were always his forte.

Happy Birthday, I said, wiping the tears outa my eyes, glad he couldn’t see the tears, then shutting my cell phone off to ponder my losses.