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The Oddball Insider E-Zine

July, 2006 - Vol. 7, No. 7  Issue #124

  • Knuckleballs by Dave Clark
  • Autograph Hound by Marc Schoder

  • Read previous issue

    KNUCKLEBALLS, By Dave Clark - Knuckleball HQ

    The Rime of the Ancient Red Sox Fan

    It is an ancient Red Sox fan,
    And he stoppeth one of three.

    There is a curious and burdensome phenomenon going on with Red Sox fans that may be little-shared with fans of other teams. If you're unfamiliar with this, you may have luck on your side.

    Identify yourself in public, and you're expected to keep other fans up-to-date on team news and the score of the game. This identity is a perception beyond the mere wearing of team gear. It's not enough just to wear a hat or shirt, or maybe both; the true fan has to radiate some aura perceptible only by other diehard Red Sox fans. It's sensed on a subliminal level, and it's used, by strangers.

    I'm stopped on the street, shopping, otherwise moseying on my way, minding no one's business but my own, and I'm asked how the game's going, or do I have an idea if Boomer will come back to form. I always have to have a ready answer, and I have to set aside what I may be doing and answer. I may be with my family, or on business, but no matter. I can't count how often this has happened.

    I recently had a book signing appearance with Seth Mnookin of Vanity Fair, who has a just-published book on the business workings of the current Red Sox ownership. He thanked me for being a good sport by allowing him to answer questions from the crowd and talk about his book more than I talked about mine, but really, I was glad someone else took over the task. I sat next to him in the best seat in the house and listened to him fill in all the inquiring minds. These people sense you have an answer, so they ask, and you need to have a handy reply. It was fun to watch from the other side, for once.

    Not long ago, I was in a grocery store checkout with my Red Sox hoodie on. I noticed three people behind me, discussing the merits of various Red Sox souvenirs on a rack next to us. I turned to them, pointing to my logo on my chest, and said, "I'm a Red Sox fan, see, so I'm required by law to own all that stuff." They laughed, but I wasn't kidding at all.

    And that's another story. You see, they recently won a World Series, and there is memorabilia that must be gathered. Still. They won in 2004. And I'm way behind.

    The Red Sox are my albatross. Now, excuse me while I stoppeth one of three.

    eTopps - Are You Fan Enough?

    AUTOGRAPH HOUND, By Marc Schoder - Autograph Dog

    Sports Thoughts

    Long Time Baseball Writer Peter Gammons suffered a brain aneurysm at his Cape Cod, Massachusetts home in late June. All baseball fans wish Peter a speedy recovery while his is currently resting comfortably in a Boston area hospital. Our thoughts are with him...

    I, like many, was eagerly sitting by my television set which was tuned to ESPN on the July 31st major league baseball trading deadline hoping that my team (we will call them the colored sox) would work out some blockbuster deal in order to carry my boys through the end of the season and on to a well-deserved postseason berth. The GM (we will call him "Wonderboy" in this case) surprisingly did not pull the trigger on any deals, such as getting Baltimore's Miguel Tejeda or maybe even the Nationals' Alfonso Soriano. As the 4 pm eastern time deadline came and went I wondered where the big deals were for any of the teams. Looking back, there really wasn't anything over which to jump for joy as a baseball fan. It is sad but most of the big names weren't going to be moved because of large contracts (see Manny Ramirez in Webster's Dictionary for the proper definition). I guess we get to wait and see how the season pans out for most teams, including Greg Maddux, the newest Dodger.

    Marc Schoder is a freelance writer and computer consultant in New Mexico. He can be contacted at or or by e-mail at

    The contents of the respective articles represent the opinions of the individual writers and not necessarily those of the editor/owner of The Oddball Mall Sports Cards.

    © Copyright 2006. All rights reserved.

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