"He instinctively can find the shining greatness of our American culture and does a good job of highlighting it (although he also does have those rare lapses when he writes about hockey, but that is something caused by impurities in the Eastern waters or something)." Erik Keilholtz
Under the patronage of St. Tammany
Mark C. N. Sullivan is an editor at a Massachusetts university. He is married and the father of three children. Email
New England baseball fans who reveled in the glory days of Jim Lonborg and Tony C, and who can still sing from memory "Carl Yastrzemski, the Man We Call Yaz," will want to tune in at 8:30 tonight when NESN airs "Impossible to Forget," a documentary tribute to the Impossible Dream Red Sox of 1967.
The cable network plans throughout the coming season to run "Impossible Flashback" clips of highlights from that memorable season of 40 years ago. And on July 11, the day after the All-Star Game, NESN plans to broadcast in its entirety the Red Sox-Twins game from Sept. 30, 1967, which was a must-win game for Boston in its epic final series with Minnesota that year. The tape is billed as the oldest complete game broadcast in color in existence today, and hasn't been shown on television since its original airing.
The Irish Elk, for one, will have Gansett and VCR at the ready.
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The Nike Red Sox commercial from the 2004 World Series: Just Do It
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The Red Sox Nation website did a very interesting interview last year with Tim Gay, author of a biography of Tris Speaker, pictured above, one of the biggest stars of the Deadball Era and centerfielder in one of the greatest outfield combinations in history.
The interview touches on Speaker's Klan membership, on his part in the Protestant-Catholic tensions in the Red Sox clubhouse of the time, and on allegations of game-fixing in the World Series. Some excerpts:
RSN: Why do you think Speaker has become baseball’s forgotten superstar, even with Boston fans?
TG: There are, I believe, a lot of reasons. Part of it has to do with his prickly personality. When Speaker was in Boston from part of 1907 through to the spring of 1916, he was a tough customer and a fish-out-of-water. He was a Southern Protestant who wore his allegiance to the Confederate cause on his sleeve. He was in a town, to put it charitably, that was hostile to those ideas and to people with his background. The irony of it was that the working class of Boston just loved the way he played -- how he ran the bases and played centerfield. He, however, never reciprocated that feeling. He and Smoky Joe Wood developed a pretty tough attitude towards Boston, and he probably was not unhappy to leave.
RSN: Was the Protestant/Catholic rivalry that existed on the Red Sox during this period typical in baseball, or was it unique to the Sox?
TG: I think it was unique. I am sure that that kind of sectarian tension existed in every major American city at the time, but it was particularly pronounced in Boston because of the large number of Catholic Irish immigrants and how they had taken control of the city’s political machinery. In Honey Fitz, the mayor during the Sox great run in the teens, there was an Irish Catholic who metaphorically liked to bloody Brahmin noses. He was not shy about letting people know who was boss and did not hesitate to remind people of the political power that the immigrants held. So I think it was particularly tense in Boston and I think the Red Sox clubhouse did the community one better. “Rough” Carrigan never backed down from a fight and was the head of the KC (Knights of Columbus) faction. Duffy Lewis was another KC and also one never to take any guff. On the other side of the aisle, heading up the Masons were Speaker and Wood who also never backed down. In 1911, Speaker and Carrigan were in the clubhouse brawl to end all clubhouse brawls, and their teammates just let them go. According to most accounts, Carrigan laid a beating on Speaker which was something, as Speaker was exceptional with his fists. It is, I believe, the only fight he ever lost. #