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Red Sox Nation... again?

Got a call from DFCI asking if I would "do" the WEEI/NESN radio/TV telethon in conjunction with the Boston Red Sox and the Jimmy Fund who are again fundraising for research, care and some cures for cancer patients.  Wow, will I "do" as though "do" has some professional, high-value meaning, not like "do us a favor" but more like "do your stuff".  In a heartbeat, I said, sign me up.  Last year, NESN Sports TV Network produced a commercial for this annual event where Tom Caron (better known as TC to co-workers and fans) one of Boston's most credible sports commentators came to my home.  It was like Christmas morning. I was acting like a kid to meet with him at my house!  It got better.  I'd be scheduled to meet a list of local radio and TV personalities, shows, even Sox players, on the field.  Are you kidding in the booth with Jerry Remy and Don Orsillo.  A TV show with Heidi Watney?  Book it. 

I've always felt a little strange, like I don't belong here... when I see little bald heads at the DFCI Children's clinic.   I later learned that many adult survivors have this same feeling, let the kids go first, I'll wait- something like that.  Or, hey this just isn't fair.  Give me their battle, I can hack it along with mine.  So here I am acting like one of these kids so excited to hang out Mikey Adams of WEEI's "Planet Mikey" show, or how bout an appearance on "The Big Show" with Glenn Ordway who said you're the only guy I've had on this show that has a bigger mouth than me, the ultimate compliments.  

His broadcast partner who often playe the role of the serious straight man, Michael Holley wrote a a few fabulous books, one of my favorites- about Teddy Bruschi, "Never Give Up" which coincidentally has been a slogan I've embraced for years, going back to 1966 BC - Before Cancer. Michael did great research sufficient to get close to Bill Belichick for "Patriot Reign" and "War Room" an inside look at Belichick's Art of Builiding a Perfect Team.  

This would be my first meeting with Michael, I was trying to get the courage to ask him to sign some books, but he grabbed my arm, gave a piercing look and grin and said, "How are you doing?" "Tell me about your battle".  This blew me away.  Meanwhile I had the feeling Glenn was thinking, ... "poor bastard".  But Holley was as serious as ever.  I had to change the subject, Michael I said, can you answer a confidential questions?  We were on the radio.  This was well before the news broke in October that Theo Epstein would take the GM slot with the Chicago Cubs.  Michael, can you ask your buddies from Chicago why I saw Theo quietly boarding a plane to Chicago? Michael and Glenn must have known something, because they laughed and quickly, I mean quickly changed the subject.      

I'm a few years younger than NESN's Peter Gammons, perhaps the most knowledgeable of great American sportswriters about 'the game' and 'the Sox".  All those stories about Peter's connection to the rock band scene in Boston are true.  I was elated to talk with Peter briefly about the '67 Red Sox a topic about which few of my family and friends remember anything.  Look it up.  Reminds me of my grandfather talking about No. 1 Bobby Doerr, 2B 14 seasons through 1951. Don't mention Cy Young who never got that coveted award for pitching, Gramps had all the statistics. Peter still does.  

Christmas morning continued, I met Joe Castiglione "Castig" with two of my sons-in-law.  Hey guys, how do you like this?   Acting like a long time friend, Castig says, now Jack who are these fine young men or something like that; I wasn't listening   Look at that ring.  Joe, would you mind if we got a picture.  He obliged, perfectly hanging his hand over shoulder proudly showing his Red Sox World Series Ring.  Amazing career providing radio and TV commentary about the Red Sox for more than thirty years.

Hello, Teresa, you still there?  Sorry, I was just thinking...  Of course I'll "do" my thing.  

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