Results tagged ‘ Red Sox Nation ’

A record for the fans

Wilson_90.jpgBy Julie Wilson

When the Boston Red Sox open the 2011 season, the team, the city of Boston, and Red Sox Nation will continue to build on a record that they set back in 2008.

03-02-11-Wilson_Fenway.jpgThe record for most consecutive sellouts by a team is one that truly belongs to the fans. Red Sox fans have had plenty of reasons to keep coming back since the streak began in 2003. Two World Series titles and the notoriety of keeping the 600-plus game streak alive should be enough to draw the crowds in spite of their somewhat disappointing 2010 season.

As a kid growing up in Cleveland, I experienced firsthand the joy of being a part of the previously held record of 455 games. From June 12,1995 until April 4th, 2001, I was a junior high schooler and then a high school student who could not get enough of the Indians, and I was far from alone in a city desperate for a championship. There was an incredible aura surrounding the city of Cleveland as each night 40,000 or more fans packed the stands at Jacobs Field.

If you didn’t have tickets before the season started, you needed to know someone, or even know someone who knew someone, if you wanted a shot at getting into a game. In spite of the constant struggle to get tickets, my father made sure that we at least made it to Opening Day each season, and often finagled a way to get tickets to a handful of other games throughout each year.

03-02-11-Wilson_Jacobs.jpgIn total, some 19,324,248 fans passed through the gates during those seven magical seasons. Knowing that my dad and I likely account for about 100 of these individuals gives me an enormous sense of pride. Cleveland fans have not had much to celebrate in recent years and yet we keep coming back. Maybe not at the rate of 40,000 a night, but the love is certainly still there.

Each time I set foot in the renamed Progressive Field, I still get a tingle down my spine from the retired number “455–The Fans” that hangs out above right center field. There is no record that is more meaningful to me as one of the faithful who contributed to that streak.

It’s memories like these that will be brought to life in the Hall of Fame’s new One for the Books exhibit. The exhibit opens Memorial Day Weekend in Cooperstown.

Julie Wilson is the manager of school programming for the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.

Red Sox Nation in your classroom

Wade_90.jpgBy Anna Wade

As the baseball season winds down over the next two weeks, classrooms across the country are gearing up for a busy season of learning before the holidays. Today, at the Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, I was able to give a broadcasting legend a bit of history about the programs and lessons we provide on a daily basis.

10-25-10-Wade_Smith.jpgIt is easy to look forward to Monday morning at work when you meet incredible people with a passion for what they do. This morning, I was lucky enough to share time with the radio voice of the Boston Red Sox, Joe Castiglione, and his wife Jan. Both were interested in learning more about the Hall of Fame’s education programs, and I was happy to learn more about an historic career in broadcasting one of my favorite teams.

As I toured the couple through our galleries, I was inspired to see their passion and interest in the field of education. In addition to broadcasting, Joe is an author, a lecturer, and dedicated alum of nearby Colgate University in Hamilton, N.Y. Jan, a former educator, described her career teaching and using baseball as a platform to engage her students.

As we walked through the Museum, we found our way to the ten o’clock videoconference with seventh grade students from Roslyn Heights, N.Y. For Joe and Jan, the videoconference was an opportunity to see our programs in action. As the students learned the history of the Hall of Fame and studied the famous career of Lou Gehrig, I was busy explaining how we were able to connect with students and how we structured the program to include an interactive script that allowed students to demonstrate their acting skills while learning history.

We reviewed the curriculum, including civil rights, math, science, women’s history, and economics. When I mentioned the communication arts program focused on the history of broadcasting and announcing, there was a light in Joe’s eyes. The lesson asks students to recreate famous calls from baseball’s great announcers. What Joe already knew, and our students find out quickly as they try their hand at this profession, is that announcing is a labor of love and requires the utmost in focus, clarity, articulation, and knowledge of the game.

As the museum’s education director, I have the exceptional opportunity to work with an incredible team of staff on a daily basis. Throughout the year, I work with talented teachers and students teaching core subjects through the lens of baseball. It is rare when you have a job that allows you to share your passion with others and be inspired by the dedication of so many. Thankfully, this morning, a legendary connection between baseball and education stopped by my office before heading back to Boston.

Anna Wade is the director of museum education at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.

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