Monthly Archives: April 2012

100 Years of Awesome

With a few days to calm down after the Red Sox weekend debacle against the New York Yankees, I’ve been able to consume a ton of content surrounding the 100 year anniversary of Fenway Park. Being a Massachusetts native now living in NYC, I have to make an effort to find everything great about the Red Sox.  The NYC newspapers openly mock my team, so I can’t take a trip to the store to grab a 30 page spread about how awesome Fenway is.

For a large part, I rely on the Sons of Sam Horn. They’ve become my home away from home for the better part of 5 years. I visited the site for years before then, but it wasn’t until I moved away from Boston that I relied heavily on it to feed my needs.

There are a few members who have amazing photography skills, and some attended the events leading up to the 100 year event. This thread has some great photos and stories about players of years gone by. Perhaps my favorite story involves Harley Hisner.

85 year old Harley Hisner attended the 100 year anniversary of Fenway Park. He made exactly 1 appearance in the major leagues. He started the last game of the 1951 season for the Red Sox against the Yankees. Though he took the L on the day, he faced a lineup of 5 future Hall of Famers and struck out Mickey Mantle twice! He also had a hit in 2 ABs to secure a career .500 batting average.

This guy may have never even been to Fenway Park. He never played there, as the last game was away in New York. He might be the player with the most interesting playing time that made the trip to Fenway. A quick look at the official list of players that returned shows guys like Ed Phillips, John Lickert(Moonlight Graham-esque), and perhaps most famous for being the obscure ‘other’ Martinez on the 2004 Red Sox, Anastacio Martinez.

Overall, I think the Red Sox did a great job with the event. Millar and Pedro’s return made me think about the impossibly awesome era of 2003-2007. I’ve heard from people that the current crop of players aren’t as likeable as the Pedro/Millar/early Pedroia/Beckett group. I think it has some to do with the players, but I think it has more to do with the improbable becoming the possible, the reality, the actuality.

The 2003 team was classic Red Sox, folding at the end. The 2004 team changed everything, and I think that ‘everything’ includes the feeling of dread. This team’s monkey is off its back, for better or worse. Part of that ‘worse’ part is the expectations of being awesome, with characters who back up their attitudes.

That being said, I think the 2012 team has plenty of characters that can be well liked. They just need a chance to show it. Count me as one of the believers in the team that utterly shat the bed this weekend. If they don’t turn it around, hopefully it’ll be hilariously awful. Either way, I’ll be watching.

Get On Your Bike, and Go.

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Beginning on April 1st, I started biking every day. I will bike every day through at least April 30th, and probably beyond.

Why?

Why not?

I first rediscovered biking in June of 2010. I had biked a little bit before then, but it was when my fiance gave me a map of New York City outlining various bike routes that I really took to it. I bought a bike for myself on my 22nd birthday, and didn’t do too much with it. Between 2003 and 2010, I think I put 100 miles on it. Starting in June of 2010, I ventured out into the city streets. I was unemployed, and trying to find ways to break the monotonous daily grind of looking for work. Since then, I’ve biked more than 1,600 miles. Almost all of them in the NYC area. 

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I started carrying an old camera with me, snapping photos along the way. Some came out blurry, but some have ended up in frames. Almost all of them taken while riding.

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I like riding because there is some seriously cool shit to see that I wouldn’t otherwise experience.

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I also think there’s a similar feeling that I get that gym rats might get. Adrenaline? I’m not sure, but that might be it. Why else would I put myself on a bike for 20 miles, 3 days in a row?

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I’ve been to so many areas of Brooklyn and throughout NYC that I never would have visited otherwise.

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I’ve been on the Brooklyn Bridge too many times. It’s crazy trying to battle pedestrians. I try to mix it up with some of the other bridges. They’re all unique, that’s for damn sure, from a cycling view.

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The Manhattan Bridge might be my favorite. It’s straight up and over.

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The Williamsburg Bridge is a sonuvabitch. There’s an incline, then it levels out briefly before a second incline. Going downhill into Williamsburg is awesome, though.

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The Gil Hodges Bridge heading into Far Rockaway is nice, but if you have bikers coming your way, it can be a bit scary. It’s narrow.

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The 59th Street Bridge(AKA The Queensboro Bridge, AKA The Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge) is a great ride, but it’s so far away for me, I’ve only gone over it a few times.

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I think I may have lost my point along the way. I found “Live 2 Create” too great to NOT take a photo of. Positive graffiti?

I think my point is biking every day is easy, because it’s something I like doing. Think of all the shit we hate doing every day, but we do it anyway. Go to work, clean the house, do the laundry, …shower!

I first joined up with the 30 Days of Biking challenge as a way to get fit, and to mix up the day. It totally changed everything. I’ve biked in every month of the year, in almost every weather condition, and at temperatures as low as 3 degrees(once…in shorts. That was dumb.) and as high as 100+. I’m still riding my crappy Diamondback hybrid, but I’ve had to change a few tires along the way.

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I had to hide under a tree during an impromptu downpour.

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Besides Bunghole Liquors, is this the best liquor store name ever?

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This guy biked 28 miles on a big wheel.

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I’m about ready for bed, so here’s the last photo I took while biking in 2010, on October 4th.

So, who wants to go riding?