Many people assume that if you live in Key West and you’re a baseball fan, then you need to root for either the Marlins or the Rays. This is part of the popular misconception that Key West is part of South Florida. Trust me, I don’t care what it says on my driver’s license, Key West is a whole other world. And the Rays and Marlins are only beginning their 15th and 20th seasons respectively. Most importantly, most of the people who live down here aren’t from here. One thing most people remark on when they come down here to Key West is the number of people from the New England who have relocated here. I have two friends down here who are not only from the same part of Connecticut as me, but worked at the same restaurants I did back in Hartford, just at different times. Sometimes I’ll be talking with a group of friends and it will sound so much like home that I expect to see the leaves changing colors. And trust me, we all get a big laugh over what they call lobster down here.
It’s actually easier to be a Sox fan here than it was growing up in Connecticut. Up there you couldn’t go three feet before running into a Yankee fan screaming “1918”. Sure there are some Yankee fans down here, and there is a sizeable amount of Philadelphia Phillies fans (or should that be phans?) but make no mistake about it. This is a Red Sox island. I see Red Sox hats and shirts everywhere. Strangers will stop you on the street to talk about last night’s game. Heck, one of my friends even has the “B” logo tattooed on her arm. There’s so many of us in fact that a popular bar on Duval Street, the Lazy Gecko, is the official Southernmost Red Sox Nation bar. I was already there twice this year, to watch the retirement ceremonies for two of the beloved Sox ever, Tim Wakefield and Jason “Captain” Varitek. And I can tell you that today, Friday, April 13th, I will be there at 2:05 with several dozen of my friends to see the 101st opening day game of baseball at the Old Fens (possibly even wearing the half zip pictured below – check it out here).
The best thing about baseball? There’s a game every day and it makes the summer seem like one long weekend.