Rhodes’ First Family Trip to Mecca!!

{written by: our big papi}

For some devout fanatics it is a life time goal to worship at Mecca. I’ve heard stories of Muslims traveling for weeks to kneel to the East in prayer in this sacred city. July 28th was that day for us… of course I’d been to Mecca many times but never with my entire family.

Our trip started hours before on the internet where we watched StubHub faithfully for the impending ticket prices slashed because of the rain. Shortly before they closed the sales it happened and we were able to get all 6 of us within 4 rows of the field just behind the on deck circle for the price that it normally costs for 1. It’s miracles like this that confirm my belief in God! J

The ever prepared Janey had us perfectly attired (no doubt thinking of every photograph she was planning on taking that evening). We wasted no time to get there and took in the whole pregame rituals including a little batting practice, , final stretches, ceremonial pitches, the anthem and the reading of the lineups.

And then the game was on. It was perfect… a close game that had dazzling defensive plays, excellent pitching and of course some offense. Unique to Fenway is the honorary military mention in the 6th for local military members. This time we had a four star general there, David Petraeus from New Hampshire, just returned from Afghanistan and sitting about 7-8 seats from us. In the seventh we had the stretch and sang “Take me out to the ballgame!” Then in the 8th another unique Fenway tradition (since 2003 I think) singing Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline”. Of course the Rhodes kids had this song memorized with the Fenway special “bum, bum, bum” and “So good! So good!” lines. We chanted “Yankees Suck a few times” (even though we weren’t playing them… again… tradition regardless where the Sox are playing!) as well as the ubiquitous “Let’s go Red Sox! Bum, bum, bu bu, bum” throughout the game! But the highlight of the night for me is always when Papelbon comes out. The stadium is quiet and then you hear the opening beats of “Shipping up to Boston” by the Drop Kick Murphy’s. Again, the Rhodes’ kids were well versed. Seeing Papelbon jog in while this song plays has got to be intimidating for the visiting team.

The night was perfect! PERFECT! PEFECT! PERFECT! Even though we had several rain delays that took us until 3am (kids were all bright eyed and attentive the entire game). Probably my favorite part of the night and what would be equivalent to our fellow Mormon friends (albeit more faithful than us) hearing, “Dad, I’m going on a mission!” or to a Jewish father hearing, “Dad, I’ve found the perfect girl and her dad’s a Rabi!” was in about the 7th when Sela asked, “Dad, is that Big Papi up to bat?” I said, “No, that is Yamaica Navarro!” She sighed and said, “OH, I love Big Papi! He’s my favorite player!” Me too baby!! Me too!!

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