First let me thank all of you who came to my blog and sent so many great messages. I am posting here my statement explaining the withdrawal of my candidacy in favor of Regular Rob Crawford. When I heard him talk at a candidate night last week I was so taken by his statement that this would transform his life in a way that it wouldn’t for those of us who already have access to radio and television and I realized that he is absolutely right about the importance of having a regular fan as the president of our Nation. I hope that all of you will support this wonderful teacher, coach and father. He will lead the Nation with integrity and enthusiasm and will set a high bar for future presidents. Of that I am sure. So here is the statement I taped from the ballpart which will be shown at the top of the televised debate Friday night.
Hello everyone. Let me start by saying that it is a terrific idea to create a president of Red Sox Nation. We have seen the impact that loyal Red Sox fans have made in every city where the Red Sox play ? transforming our opponents? ballparks into replicas of Fenway Park. With a president to lead us, this incredibly loyal fan base can be expanded even more – sustaining the morale of our players wherever they go.
Speaking of loyalty, my esteemed rival Jerry Remy, in lighthearted fun, has questioned my candidacy for this office, arguing that I grew up in New York as a Brooklyn Dodger fan, that it would be like making Tommy Lasorda president of Red Sox Nation. First, I confess that I did indeed love the Brooklyn Dodgers from the day when my father taught me how to keep score at six years of age so that I could recount for him that evening every play of every inning of the game that had taken place that afternoon.
Even then, however, I had much in common with Red Sox fans for I hated the Yankees with all my heart, even to the point of having to confess in my first holy confession that I wished harm to others ? namely that I wished various New York Yankees would break arms, legs and ankles so that the Dodgers could win their first World Series. The priest asked me how often do you make these terrible wishes and I had to admit every night when I say my prayers.
But though I loved the Brooklyn Dodgers with all the passion of a child I never for one moment followed them to Los Angeles. The move to LA broke my heart so much so that I couldn?t bear to watch baseball again until I came to school in Boston in 1964 and my boyfriend took me to Fenway Park. There it was again: an old ballpark scaled to human dimensions complete with passionate, knowledgeable fans. Before the day was over, I had fallen in love again. Nor could I have found a new team more reminiscent of the Brooklyn Dodgers ? a team constantly bedeviled by the hated New York Yankees.
So I would hope that more than four decades as an irrational Red Sox fan is long enough to qualify me as a candidate for president as Red Sox Nation.
But something happened in my heart last week when I joined my fellow candidates at the Baseball Tavern. Just before I spoke, I heard a moving speech from one of my rivals. He pointed out that he wasn?t a TV personality, a famous columnist, a Pulitzer Prize winner, that the honor of becoming president of Red Sox Nation would transform his life in the way it wouldn?t for those of us who already have various honors, and that as a regular fan he could best represent Red Sox Nation. I agree with him. And so persuaded was I by his appeal that I hereby announce that I am withdrawing my candidacy and endorsing Regular Rob Crawford for president, hoping that any one who might have supported me will now support him.
As a teacher, he is in the perfect position to carry out my hope that schoolchildren can be made to love math by learning in class how to compute ERAs, batting averages, slugging percentages.
As a coach, he is in the perfect position to persuade the Big Wigs to schedule more afternoon games on the weekends and during the postseason so that young fans can share in the excitement.
I love his idea that season ticket holders agree at the start of the season to donate at least one game?s tickets to children who have no access to Fenway. And, as a season ticket holder myself, I hereby agree to donate some of my own games to get his program started.
I ask only in return that he fight for an idea of mine – to do on a much larger scale what the Colorado Rockies have done ? to have the Red Sox set aside an area ? in our case all of Yawkey Way and even Landsdowne street – covered by bricks allowing fans to buy an engraved brick in honor of someone in their family. My sister, who lives in Denver, bought a brick at Coors Field commemorating my father but I would love to see one here in honor of Michael Francis Aloysius Kearns.
Most of all, however, I hope that after we are long gone, our children?s children will speak with wonder about these years ? when a high spirited fan base led by a series of inspired presidents. helped to give birth to a dynasty that ruled the 21st century!