Sunday, August 07, 2011
By Harvey Frommer
(Excerpt from Remembering Fenway Park: An Oral and Narrative History of the Home of the Boston Red Sox/Abrams 2011 - - now available in stores and on-line and direct from the author)
JOHN SHANNAHAN: The summer of 1962 my uncles Patrick and Teddy took me to my first game, a weekday afternoon against the Minnesota Twins. We sat on the third base side, upper box seats. I asked my uncles which team is which. Red Sox are in the white uniforms and the Twins in the grey, they said. But in the bright summer sunny afternoon they all looked white to me.
It was Nun's Day, and it looked like there were thousands of nuns in front of us dressed in their old black habits with the white coifs around their faces. In the early 60s, Richard Cardinal Cushing would hold a Nun's Day at Fenway every year. Later on when I went to my second game at Fenway, I wondered: “How come the nuns aren’t here?”
BISHOP JOHN D’ARCY: Nun’s Day was a big day at Fenway. The nuns wore the old long habits and Cardinal Cushing -- a great, bigger-than-life Boston figure and a big baseball fan -- would come along. He'd wear a straw hat, which was common in those days, and a black suit. Back then the priests always wore black to the games, and there were a lot of priests at the games.
SISTER ANNE D’ARCY: There were probably hundreds of nuns at the game, from all different communities, and it was such a treat to meet the other sisters and take in the game from seats in the grandstand. It was kind of a like an outing where everyone could enjoy this treasure of this Red Sox team even if they were not that good.
ALAN CAMASSAR: On a beautiful June day, my wife and I were with our son at his first major league game. Two nuns in full black garb were behind us. It was a good game, but the Sox lost and my son was visibly disappointed. One of the nuns just reached over, put her hand on his shoulder and said, “Don’t cry. It’s just God’s will.”
About the author :
2011 marks Harvey Frommer's 36th consecutive year of writing sports books. A noted oral historian and sports journalist, the author of 41 sports books including the classics: "New York City Baseball,1947-1957" and "Shoeless Joe and Ragtime Baseball," his acclaimed REMEMBERING YANKEE STADIUM, an oral/narrative history was published in 2008, and the Boston Globe best seller REMEMBERING FENWAY PARK: AN ORAL AND NARRATIVE HISTORY OF THE HOME OF RED SOX NATION was published in 2011.
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