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Yankee Humor | A Field Guide to Red Sox Nation

Yankee Humor | A Field Guide to Red Sox Nation
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The Cliff Clavin of fans, this guy knows an astonishing mass of obscure facts and history about the Sox, including the team’s early nicknames (Boston Americans, Plymouth Rocks, Pilgrims, Beaneaters), which players’ numbers have been retired (1, 4, 6, 8, 9, 14, 27, 42), the original seating capacity of Fenway Park (35,000), and the year the Coke bottles were added over the Green Monster (1997, the last year he had a date willing to go out with him more than once).

The Old Acquaintance

This guy was on the Charlestown, New Hampshire, high-school ball team with Carlton Fisk, a fact that he works into every conversation, including those with checkout cashiers, wrong-number callers,
and random strangers on the street. He doesn’t mention that he spent his entire high-school career
in the dugout, and Fisk wouldn’t know him from Miley Cyrus.

The Eternally Happy Fan

A lifelong fan, he supported the Olde Towne team through heartaches, bad trades, and Cinderella seasons. Sadly, he went to his reward before the curse was broken. But these days, somewhere in heaven, this dearly departed Red Sox rooter is truly and finally resting in peace.
The Backseat Coach

Drawing on his vast experience as a onetime power hitter for the Milton Spindlewort Junior High ball team, this fan knows better than any of the Red Sox players, owners, or managers exactly what the team needs, and is frankly surprised that they haven’t called to seek his advice. From pitch calls to player contracts to pending surgeries, he’s got the inside scoop, which he’ll gladly share with anyone who doesn’t see him coming first.

The Long-Distance Fan

At 92 years of age, this grandma has been a Red Sox fan all her life, although she’s never been to an actual game. To her, Fenway Park is the Jerusalem Temple, the Vatican, and Mecca all rolled into one. Her kids have offered to take her on a pilgrimage to Fenway, but when she found out what tickets cost, she asked for a new washing machine instead.
The Young and the Innocent

This kid simply loves the game. Unfazed by clubhouse scandals, bad calls, and lousy management decisions, he’d wear his Red Sox jersey 24/7 if his mother would let him. He sleeps with his baseball mitt, which he got from his late grandfather. And though he’s not sure what heaven looks like, he’s pretty sure he caught a glimpse of it the first time he came through the tunnel and saw Fenway Park.

Please Note: This information was accurate at the time of publication. When planning a trip, please confirm details by directly contacting any company or establishment you intend to visit.

Ken Sheldon


Ken Sheldon


Ken Sheldon was a pre-med art major at the University of New Hampshire. The medical schools of America were not amused. After college, he worked in a clinic for migrant farmworkers in California, where he learned to speak Spanish poorly, sang old union songs, and once gave César Chavez a cholera shot. He went on to become a writer, editor, cartoonist, actor, novelist, singer/songwriter, playwright, and humorist. His humor column “Only in New England” appears in every issue of Yankee Magazine. He performs as Fred Marple from the town of Frost Heaves, NH, and writes suspense fiction as Michael Manley.

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