The sound buzzes in the background of cookouts and on back porches on shirt-sticking nights, a murmur as constant in the summer as chirping crickets.
It fills the silence in taxis and tollbooths and deep woods cottages that have no cable television. It can be followed from campfire to campfire in far northern Maine, and from blanket to blanket on a glimmering day on Nantasket Beach in Hull.
For 82 summers Red Sox baseball has been broadcast on the radio, a faithful companion of warm weather. The tick-tock of balls and strikes offers a lifeline to elderly shut-ins, sets a rhythm for cooks and dishwashers in steamy restaurant kitchens, and passes time in bodegas, back porches, and sailboats bobbing close to shore.
"I cannot imagine summertime without it," said Karen Kevra, a Grammy-nominated flutist in Montpelier, Vt., who carries a pocket radio in the orchestra pit to check scores at intermission. "It is the background music."
I had to work the night of Game 7 in 2003, but that was no problem because baseball on the radio is perfection. After an obviously spent Pedro managed to close out the 7th I headed home, secure in the knowledge that the outstanding bullpen would take over, but had to stop and get milk. At the checkout counter the radio was--of course--on and it sure as heck sounded like Pedro was back out for the 8th. I asked the clerk and he just shook his head. Rode the rest of the way home with Grady Little's hate crime unfolding on the car radio. Didn't even bother to listen to the extra innings.
Posted by Orrin Judd at July 12, 2008 7:41 AM