My first pro baseball game occurred when I was eight years old. Lucky for me, cousin Steve was around to get me to the game.
We had to find our way from Putnam Square in Cambridge to Kenmore Square and Fenway Park in Boston. This was no challenge for cousin Steve who picked me up at home and walked me without hesitation up Mass Ave. into Harvard Square and down into the earth and the really scary, loud and crowded subway station. Off underground for forever and then light and safety over the Charles River, but immediately back into the depths for a dash to Park Street. Here the logistics became mind boggling.
We had to change trains to a different line. I am talking tunnels only, barely lit with nothing but giant adults jostling every which way. I was tempted to grab Steve's hand. I knew in my eight year old soul that this would not be cool. That would hardly be macho.
We struggled to the trolley line, and off on the right train, in the right direction for Kenmore Square. Steve, bless him, got it all right on the first try. Then we struggled back up to the street and off to the ball park, just visible down the street.
If the subway was crowed, Fenway Park was a mob scene. Stalwart Steve got us to the ticket counter and bought us a couple of tickets for the days ballgame. Then off to our seats on the first base line. He also scored us some hot dogs and we could settle in. Very good hot dogs I might add. During the game, Steve did a commentary for me which included the current batting average of each of the Red Sox. The folks seated around us started to look at Steve, the midget, a little funny at that point.
Oh, by the way, the Sox won and Ted Williams hit a home run. My hero remains Cousin Steve who also got us home with no problem. Thank God for Ted Williams and thank God for Steve who, by the way, is a full eight months older than I. That was more than fifty years ago, and I still count on Steve.