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Thursday, August 7, 2008

GMVW # 31: "Blind Faith"

Gem Music Video of the Week # 31:  Blind Faith
Song:  100 Years by Five for Fighting
(Songwriter: John Ondrasik)
August 7, 2008

The Manny Ramirez trade this past week was a tough pill to swallow.  It took years, but in the end, I was a Manny backer, despite his transgressions, and it’s going to take a while to get over his parting ways with the Red Sox.  This is unusual for me because I almost always find myself in management’s corner when it comes to disputes with players. However, in a sport that’s way too uptight for its own good, Manny brought a laid back attitude that was refreshing (and will probably add 20 years to his life).  Red Sox fans will not likely see his kind again (after all, have we ever seen another Derek Sanderson or Don Cherry with the Bruins?).  For many, that’s a good thing.  Not me.  Visions of blasé teams and personalities dance in my head (and don’t think Yankees fans aren’t dancing in the streets!).

The Manny move had me reflecting back to the 2004 World Series.  I have to admit, I was a skeptic right up until the final game...too much water under the bridge.  The player strikes had done their fair share of curbing my appetite for baseball over the years, but at the core of my jaded attitude were all the years of Red Sox in-the-clutch futility and bad team chemistry.  I was a die-hard fan in the 70’s, but as the years rolled on into the late 80’s, it came down to too much invested with too little return.  I could role each painful memory out here, but we all know them (at least the Sox fans among us).  No need to re-live the gory details (well, maybe a little below).

Yet something happened that final evening of the 2004 baseball season.  Turning on the TV to watch the game, I caught a pregame nationally televised video montage of the previous 100 years of Red Sox baseball played to the tune of this weeks Gem, ‘100 Years’ by Five for Fighting.  There was amazing synchronicity between the song and Red Sox history.  It was apparent that Fox TV was already convinced of the outcome, and after watching the footage, so was I.  A flood of memories hit me at once as I jumped out of my seat and into the car to get a bottle of champagne at the local package store for the inevitable toast with Nancy later that night.  I’ve searched hi and low for this pregame video on the WEB but cannot find it, so I will attempt to do the play by play, and have attached the original ‘100 Years’ video.

These are all the numbers (ages) mentioned in the song and an attempt to piece together the footage that went with it:
15 (the refrain: “there’s still time for you”) The Ruth years.  3 World Series in 4 years.  Also, 1918 was the 15th World Series and the last won by the  Sox (until 2004).  Babe Ruth footage

22
The last place 20’s.  Harry Frazee sells off most of the team.  Footage of Ruth as a Yankee.

33
Things start to turn around.  1933 Tom Yawkey takes over the team.  Footage of 30’s additions Lefty Grove, Jimmy Foxx, Bobby Doerr, and the best hitter of all time, Ted Williams.

45
Footage of the Red Sox in the 1946 World Series (first Sox appearance since 1918): Pesky hesitating throwing the ball home in the fateful 7th and final game against the St. Louis Cardinals.  Footage of Williams as the last .400 hitter; Williams last at bat in 1960 (a home run).

67
The Impossible Dream but another 7 game loss to the Cardinals in the World Series (first Sox appearance since 1946).  Footage of Yaz, Conigliaro (hit by pitch), Lonborg.  The start of Red Sox Nation.

“Petrocelli’s under it, he’s got it! And the Red Sox Win!”

From there, the song spirals fast with footage from’75 (first Sox World Series since ’67 is a 7 game loss to the Reds), ’78, ’86 (first Sox World Series since ’75 is a 7 game loss to Mets): Bernie Carbo, Dwight Evans (“Evans going back…back, and….what a grab!”), Carleton Fisk (“If it stays fair!”), Fred Lynn, Bucky Dent, Bill Buckner (yet another reminder of the stop sign which lost it’s post outside the Beacon Hill Pub that fateful night), Roger Clemens, Wade Boggs (down and out in the dugout), Pedro Martinez,

99
Grady Little, Pedro, Aaron Boone.  The Sox missing out by a hair the 99th World Series.

100 (the title)
The eve of the first Red Sox World Series in 86 years.  The 100th World Series.  Footage of beating the Yankees 4 in a row.  Footage of Shilling’s bloody sock, Pappi,…. and Manny.

One other thought:  This song, particularly the ‘15’ refrain, reminded me of what it was like as a kid to have blind faith, a believer no matter the odds. Seeing Peter last year, never wavering when his favorite new player, J.D. Drew struggled mightily most of the season, had me longing for those days. In the end, Peter’s faith paid off and it reminded me that despite my elation when the Sox finally won the big one in 2004, it paled in comparison to what the victory brought to those who never gave up.  I remembered those summer mornings in the mid/late 70’s, heading over to John Roche’s house, the 2 of us absorbing every word in the sports section and pouring over the stats and standings (although we were rooting for different teams, as John was a Yankees fan.  I’m not sure this is still the case… John?).  Those were the days when Peter Gammons wrote for the Boston Globe.  I was a believer.  I’d like to think Manny helped bring some of that back.  Adios, Manny.  I hate to see you go.

I’ve also included a song link from the Impossible Dream album.

“Hey 15, there’s never a wish better than this”

- Pete

Gem Music Video: 100 Years


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About the Video: Made for MTV video.  The ‘Yaz’ link is only audio

Video Rating: 1

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Best Feedback: Tom:

This was a beautiful and passionately written write-up Pete!  Should go into the Globe for all Boston fans to read.  It was hard to see Pedro go, and now with Manny gone it's just so different too - the end of a truly magical era!!!

Tom

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