The Boston Red Sox sent a heartfelt, beautiful message to fans after the season ended
No matter how every MLB season ends, when it ends, baseball teams thank their fans. Sometimes, it’s heartwarming, the cherry on top of a successful sundae of a season. Other times, it’s frustrating to be thanked for sticking with something that didn’t go the distance.
But on Monday, the Boston Red Sox shared what has to be the best end-of-season message to fans of all time.
This was no “[Team name] fans are the best in the world, see you next season!” It was not canned or generic, nor was it thrown out into the social media-verse seconds after the soul-crushing loss to the Houston Astros.
The message was heartfelt, thoughtful, intelligent, and personal.
No one knew how the 2021 season was going to go for the Red Sox, on the field or in the stands. The 2020 season was mercifully short, and it was almost a relief to not be allowed into Fenway to watch the team finish fifth in the division, playing some of the worst baseball in recent franchise history.
But ‘people will come.’ And on a chilly Opening Day when the Sox had the lowest capacity of any MLB ballpark, 12% of the Fenway Faithful returned to watch the team go 0-3 in their first series in front of fans in the stands since 2019.
Then, they went on a nine-game win streak and spent 85 days in first place. They defied the odds game after game, winning 92 when they were projected to win 80. They toppled the Yankees in the Wild Card and the Rays in the American League Division Series. In the ALCS, they became the first team in MLB postseason history to hit two grand slams in a postseason game, and then they hit another the following night.
The best baseball seasons are the unexpected ones. The ones when projections are mediocre but excitement is high and possibilities endless.
That’s what 2021 was for the Boston Red Sox.
It had flavors of 2004, 2007, 2013, and 2018, but it was also a season unto itself. There was something astounding about how this team got beaten down every which way but kept getting back up, right until the end.
I think a huge part of that was that fans were back in the stands. Even after one of the worst years in Red Sox history and in the history of humanity, Red Sox Nation just wanted to come home. And they breathed life back into the ballpark. The team fed on their energy, and the fans fed on their success, and the fiery symbiotic relationship that has existed for over a century returned to Fenway. The passion and energy of fans during extra innings in Game 3 of the ALDS was unlike anything I’ve ever experienced before.
In the movie Fever Pitch, Jimmy Fallon’s character is asked a question that knocks him out: “You love the Sox, but have they ever loved you back?”
The line has stuck with me since I saw it in theaters as a kid. As an adult, I know sports fans are often seen as dollar amounts to their Mr. Krabs-esque money-hungry sports franchises. But in my heart, I believe that the Red Sox know they have the best fan base in sports, the ones who show up rain or shine, after the worst heartbreaks, despite unimaginable loss, ready to believe again.
Today’s thank-you note to Red Sox Nation proved that the Sox do love us back.
At least, their social team does.