Dave Reardon

Points East

By Dave Reardon

Tuesday, October 19, 1999

Red Sox fans
love punishment

HEY, Chowdaheads: The latest Red Sox choke, completed last night, has nothing to do with bad mojo - just bad defense and bad hitting with runners on base.

There are no baseball gods at work denying Boston and Red Sox Nation their first World Series championship since World War I. Some of the umpires' calls in this ALCS didn't help, but you gotta admit, Pedro Martinez' strike zone in Game 3 was wider than Rich Garces' waistline.

As a Red Sox fan - even though I jump on and off the bandwagon like a mama san with a monthly TheBus pass - it is my right to complain.

My first vague memories are of the '67 World Series, which the Red Sox lost in seven, of course. I made it through '75 (Joe Morgan) and '78 (Bucky Dent) on tears and beers. But Buckner in '86 was the Straw that broke my heart - and probably caused me to start writing these bad mixed metaphors.

So I find it amazing when I meet true Red Sox loyalists. Some of them go back to the 1946 Series, when the Greatest Hitter of All-Time didn't.

If you run into any of these people today, be kind.


Your children know Mickey Campaniello as "Mr. Mick." He goes to Oahu elementary schools, teaching youngsters how to live happy, healthy lives.

The best advice Mr. Mick could give a kid is to not make the same mistake he did: Do not become a Boston Red Sox fan.

That is, unless the tyke is prepared for a lifetime of masochism, unfulfilled promise and general all-purpose anguish.

"They get our hopes up, and then we die," says Campaniello, originally from Worcester, Mass.


John Clivio is a real estate appraiser in Honolulu who grew up in Boston and is the most intense Red Sox fan I know.

"When they win a series like they did against Cleveland, it's to take you to another series, where you can get a higher level of pain," says the son of a longtime Boston Celtics employee. "I remember in 1986, jumping up and down and going crazy, thinking they had it locked. Then Buckner makes the error. I don't pre-celebrate anymore."


Nancy Barry, a fundraising consultant who came to Hawaii 33 years ago, recalls when the Red Sox literally brought traffic to a halt.

"It was in 1967. Yaz came up with the bases loaded and two outs, and no one would drive into the Sumner Tunnel, because they wouldn't be able to hear the radio."

Nancy's son, John, is a Mets fan. He took it easy on Mom in '86.

"I don't mind taking risks," Nancy says. "I guess that's why I'm still a Red Sox fan."


Jack Sullivan, Hawaii's "Mr. Soccer," likes other sports, too. His cousin, Maureen, is married to Red Sox president John Harrington, and Sullivan was fairly tight with the Yawkeys.

When Sullivan was growing up in Beantown, the Braves were there, too. Like the Red Sox, they also teased the fans by rarely winning the big one.

Sullivan seems to be the only Red Sox fan who has forgiven Buckner.

"The most painful for me? It's always the one that's right in my face," he says. "But after you live with pain for a long time, it dulls. You get used to it. Today's pain, you're not used to.

"But I'm not giving up on these guys. They're too exciting."

The way the Red Sox kicked the ball around this series, how could Uncle Jack not be thrilled?

Dave Reardon, who covered sports in Hawaii
from 1977 to 1998, is a sportswriter at the
Gainesville Sun. E-mail

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