The Impossible Nightmare
From Yankee Magazine October 1996
October 25, 1986, was supposed to be the happiest day of my life: my wedding day. All of New England was preparing for the big day, too, frenzied with the idea of throwing a party put on hold for 68 years. That night the Red Sox would play the New York Mets in game six of the World Series at Shea Stadium. One more victory would win Boston its first title since 1918.
The Red Sox had been in my life since my father and grandfather took me to Fenway Park as a child of eight. It was 1968, the year after Yaz and the Impossible Dream team.
Sara had entered my life more recently. I fell in love with her the first time I met her on a boat cruise off Cape Cod. She, however, did not feel the same spark for the Red Sox. On our one and only date to Fenway, she tuned out the game, tuned in her Walkman, and I knew the two loves of my life would forever be separated.
Our wedding day was bucolic, with the temperature in the mid-fifties and a deep blue sky. At 1 p.m. in Spencer, Massachusetts, Sara and I recited our own vows, and the ceremony was blessedly beautiful.
Our reception was another matter. It was more like a Red Sox pep rally. Friends and relatives pounded us on the back, winked at me, and asked, “Will she let you watch the game tonight?”
The hotel television went on in the fourth inning. Sara eventually fell asleep, while I rode the Red Sox roller coaster late into the night. A few minutes after midnight, with the Sox holding a two-run lead, two outs in the bottom of the tenth, and no Mets on base, I roused Sara from her slumber.
“Are you nuts?” she asked.
“No,” I whispered passionately. “I just want to share this celebration with you.”
You know the rest. A few pitches later, Mookie Wilson’s grounder went through Bill Buckner’s legs. Sara instantly fell back asleep, and I stumbled out of my room in a stupor to join dozens of my grieving brethren in the hotel corridors.
The Red Sox had done the impossible: They ruined my wedding night.