Lost Red Sox

I’m a Boston-born Red Sox fan. Feel my pain.

I’m not in pain because of that whole “no World Series championship since 1918” thing. We all know that ended in 2004 during The Greatest Event in the History of the Universe. I’m in pain because I live in Denver, a far, dusty outpost in the great, shining Red Sox Nation, and I don’t know where to enjoy games with my beer-swilling, expletive-spewing, vowel-elongating Boston brethren.

The handy list of nationwide Red Sox hangouts on Red Sox Connection is of little use. One of the joints recommended was the Elm at 5001 East Colfax Avenue, a place that supposedly “thrives on diehard Sox fans.” I went there for the opening-day game and there were six—count them, six—Sox fans in attendance. They were sleepy fans, at that. Sure, there were some vintage Sox caps flying behind the bar, but when one of the booze jockeys tried to CHANGE THE CHANNEL on the TV in the middle of the game, that was too much. The Elm may have once been a reliable Sox bar, but these days it seems to have gone a little “Roger Clemens,” if you know what I mean.

After that debacle, I did some more Googling and came across another candidate: the Blake Street Tavern, at 2401 Blake Street. A friend and I stopped by a few weeks ago to catch a game, but all I found were broken promises and shattered dreams. The Blake wouldn’t even show the Sox game. All 2,356 of their TVs were tuned to the “Nuggets,” a sports team I’ve never heard of but am pretty sure has never even played in Fenway Park. My grade for the Blake Street Tavern? I give it an A — as in “A-Rod,” the Antichrist of baseball.

I brought my plight to a Westword editorial meeting, pleading for advice about where to find a decent Sox hangout. I was met with troglodytic responses such as, “Nowhere!” or, “Back in Boston!” Then I remembered: only those who know what’s it’s like to have a real baseball team, those who care about true American traditions, those who have a soul, could help me on my quest.

So I turn to you, faithful readers. Those of you who’ve strode down Yawkey Way; those who’ve breathed in the magic of One True Park while bathed in the light of the eternal CITGO sign; those who’ve cried tears of pain and joy in unison with the countless ranks of red-and-blue faithful, where is your mile-high Mecca? Where do you pray to the gods named Ortiz and Schilling and now Matsuzaka? Spill your secret, and maybe I will meet you there, buy you a Samuel Adams, sing with you a few lines of “Dirty Water” and together we can keep the dream alive.

Oh, and if you happen to be a Yankees fan — go to hell. – Joel Warner

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Joel Warner is a former staff writer for Westword and International Business Times. He's also written for WIRED, Men's Journal, Men's Health, Bloomberg Businessweek, Popular Science, Slate, Grantland and many other publications. He's co-author of the 2014 book The Humor Code: A Global Search for What Makes Things Funny, published by Simon & Schuster.
Contact: Joel Warner