A new book has just been released, “Fenway Fanatics” by Greg Pearson, and I had the opportunity to get the down low. Last week, I interviewed Greg over the phone from his home in Wisconsin. In his book, he writes of 50 Red Sox fans and their stories. Although I have yet to read it cover to cover, I can begin to sum it up for you in this one post.
Greg Pearson grew up in a small town in Connecticut with his brother, sister, mother and father. His parents were not Red Sox fans, nor were they baseball fans. In fact, his father could tell you more about NFL stats than the latest in baseball. It was a mystery as to how Greg and his brother became fans of the all-mighty team, let alone baseball, but they did, and because of it their parents’ love for the sport and the team grew. When Greg was six, his family took a trip to Boston to the famed Fenway Park. I remember him telling me in our interview (an embarrassment to say the least), that he cried when his mother told him they were going to take the trip. It wasn’t that they couldn’t afford it, but in Greg’s mind that’s what it came out to be. It was against Kansas City. The Red Sox lost 2-0. Despite their loss, Greg instantly fell in love with the ballpark and remained a Red Sox fan. His mother, dissatisfied with the result, took Greg back the next day. They won that game.
It’s pretty hard being a Red Sox fan in Wisconsin where the only stadium is in Milwaukee, where Greg, at times, catches a Brewer’s game. Although that may be, he entitles himself one Red Sox game a season (at least) where he travels to the nearest ballpark to catch site of his favorite players.
The 300 page collection of short stories, “Fenway Fanatics” tells of the stories behind 50 Red Sox fans of all ages. These aren’t just random picks he collected from fans who say they are fans, off the street (well, maybe some), but these are fans with heart and dedication. One couple, for instance, postponed their child’s birth so they could attend opening day. Another comes all the way from the UK where baseball is barely spoken of, and yet another is of a woman who was very ill. She requested all the attendees at her funeral wear Red Sox gear. Of course, they did. She is the last story of the 50.
“Fenway Fanatics” can be purchased on Amazon and in local bookstores. If you want a good, easy read about genuine people with genuine, heartfelt stories about their experiences and fondest memories of being a Red Sox fan, I highly recommend picking up a copy. Although I am only two chapters into it, I have already laughed out loud, cried inside and have been awed by the energy each person relays as they tell their tale.