Happy 79th Birthday Fergie . And thank you
” Never forget this day son ”
Sonny Murphy, My Dad
Fenway 1976 I was just nine years old. And my father was only 51, we sat in the grandstands. Me my dad my Uncle Charlie and my cousins Richard, Danny and Bobby’O. The Sox were playing the Angels and Fergie Jenkins was on the mound. I was coming off my first heartbreak as a Boston fan: the 75 World Series. That fall the sox traded for Fergie. And my dad was ecstatic. you see Ferguson Jenkins was his favorite pitcher. and according to my dad with him the Sox were going to win the series this year. That seems to hurt more now than it did then.
You see boys and girls, In 1976 that was a bolder statement than it is today. But my pop was convinced his hero would push them over the top. Fergie was a seven‐time 20‐ Game Winner and the Red Sox got him from the Texas Rangers according to my dad for ” A Bag Of Balls ” Juan Beniquez, Steve Barr, and an undisclosed cash, plus minor league prospect to be named later. Thats a bag of balls. My dad thought it was the steal of the century. My uncles kidded him all winter long about his bold prediction, there wasn’t a Sunday where we didn’t hear them spout off laughing in unison “But Sonny says” over the roast beast when the discussion turned from the Patriots or Bruins to the Sox, and it always turned to the Sox. I grew up with sports radio before there was sports radio. We just called it Sunday dinner.
My Uncles were Jokers
They liked to rib one another, but especially my dad. you see they were more than his brothers in law. My dad grew up with six sisters. He was stuck right in the middle. Three older and three younger. talk about a nightmare. But once they all started to get married he had a group of brothers. guys to go to Sox and Bruins and Patriots games with. go to the pub with. Hell just Guys to be guys with.
In 1975 my father went to every Red Sox post season game with one of them. including game six of the World Series. That was also the year my father had been diagnosed with cancer. My uncles kidding and jibing their brother took on a new meaning, they knew he didn’t have long on this earth. But they wanted things to be as they always were. I still love them for it.
Happy Birthday Fergie , and thank you. tank you for giving me a day with my dad I will never forget. In November of 1976 my father passed away. He never got to see the Sox win a word Series . In December 1977, Haywood Sullivan traded future the Hall of Famer to the Texas Rangers for the immortal John Poloni and cash. Jenkins promptly went 18-8 with a 3.04 ERA for the Rangers in 1978. Im glad my father didn’t see this.
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