As the baseball season begins to intensify ahead of the playoffs we at Kendal at Home are excited to have guest blogger Gordon Edes, a long time Boston sports reporter, share a few thoughts ahead of our session next week
"Boston Red Sox v Cleveland Indians: The History of a Baseball Rivalry"
( August 31st at 11 am EDT). Read on to learn more about the history between these two wonderful teams. We hope you will join us on Tuesday.
As someone who covered the Boston Red Sox for 18 seasons—12 for the Boston Globe, 6 for ESPN.com—then worked for the Red Sox as the team historian for 5 more seasons, I was privileged to call Fenway Park my office. Not a bad gig, right? As a sportswriter, I also have made dozens of trips to Cleveland, both to the old Mistake on the Lake, Municipal Stadium, and then to the gorgeous ballpark I knew as Jacobs Field but has since been redubbed Progressive Field (and no doubt will have another corporate sponsor sooner than later, which is why I’m glad the Red Sox have so far resisted selling the naming rights to Fenway). I also was in the Dog Pound for the last game the old Browns played in Cleveland, but that might be a story for another day.
So I’m thrilled that I’m being given a chance by Kendal at Home to speak to fans of both the Red Sox and the Indians/Guardians about the shared history between the teams. An hour may not be enough time for us to hit all the highlights, and I can’t wait to be swapping tales with audience members who personally witnessed, watched on TV, listened on the radio, or read in the morning paper about many of the things we’ll be discussing: the Boudreau shift, Denny Galehouse, Bob Feller vs. Ted Williams, Al Luplow’s catch in Fenway (maybe the greatest catch nobody knows about), Tony Pena’s playoff-winning home run in ’95, the Manny saga, Pedro’s miracle relief appearance in ’99, the Sox rallying from 3 games to 1 in ’07, and, of course, Terry Francona, the moped-riding manager of the Indians who first broke the curse in Boston.
And if you thought that Boston lost its mind when the Red Sox sold Babe Ruth to the Yankees, wait till I tell you about how the town reacted when the Sox traded the great Tris Speaker to the Indians in 1916, four years before the Babe was sold. Speaker, of course, became a legend in Cleveland, winning a batting title in his first season with the Indians and then in 1920, his first full season as player-manager, leading the team to a World Series title in 1920. I don’t have to remind Indians fans that their team has won only one World Series in more than a century since, in 1948, against the Boston Braves. And Red Sox fans thought they had it tough?
It should all make for a great hour of story-telling—and somewhere along the line, I might mention that Sox pitcher Oil Can Boyd once mistook the shores of Lake Erie for an ocean. I’m also looking forward to sharing a few stories about the Jimmy Fund, the great cause of fighting childhood cancer first championed by Ted Williams, and the small part I’ve gotten to play in raising money for the Fund…this will be the sixth consecutive year in which I will be taking part in the Boston Marathon Jimmy Fund Walk, which usually follows the same 26.2 mile course as the Boston Marathon race but in these pandemic-scarred times will be conducted virtually for a second straight year.
The Red Sox, incidentally, dropped me as their historian last September when they whacked 40 of us, citing the pandemic as the reason, but I’m currently writing for Ballysports.com and happy to still be in the game. And there are few things more enjoyable than talking baseball with a knowledgeable, passionate group of fans, which I expect to find next Tuesday. Until then, go Tribe! Go Sox!