In The Home Stretch...
Updated: Apr 23
The smell of freshly brewed coffee starts to linger my way after the barista finishes making a new pot for the long line of college students that seemingly need their daily dose of caffeine to power through schoolwork. Jazz music plays faintly in the background, and other than the on and off again sounds of beverages being made, it is quiet.
As I am sitting at a corner table in Mill Mountain Coffee shop, my mind begins to have Déjà vu. Ten months ago I could have painted the same picture. Only this time, a thin layer of ice isn’t covering every inch of the street and the sun shines bright until almost 8 p.m.
But, the biggest difference is the emotions running loose in my brain.
Earlier this year, I sat in this exact spot and wrote about the nerves that filled my body as opening day of my first minor league season rapidly approached. I remember feeling every bit of excited, confident and anxious for what was to come. I think back to how I internally agreed to pace myself, and take it one day at a time to get through the next few months.
And then I blinked…
Once the first home stand was completed I figured it would feel like forever before we crossed the finish line. That right there was the most inaccurate thought I could have put in my head.
Now that I am down to the final home stand, the emotions of sadness, pride and happiness have begun to take over. It is the feeling of happiness mixed with pride knowing that I am close to being able to say I made it through my first ever minor league season. But mostly, it is the sadness of knowing it is the last week of games and that there will be several goodbyes to say once all is said and done.
Emotionally, this week may be the toughest of all.
The gloominess probably sounds silly as I obviously knew my internship was going to have to come to an end one way or another. However, I didn’t even think about how much of an affect this particular place and group of people would have on me.
I’ll miss this staff that is full of characters, who fully accepted me as I am, has constantly made me laugh, and motivated me to be my best self from the very beginning.
It’s the way the lyrics to Sweet Caroline will never sound the same after sixth months of singing the tune with season ticket holders that called me nicknames like “Mizzou” or “Texas.” It will never be lost on me how much they cared to not only get to know more about me, but consistently greeted me with a smile each game as soon as they walked through the front gates.
Most importantly, I’ll miss the feeling of sporting the Red Sox logo as an employee. Being able to say that I once worked for the organization that shaped my love for the game is a feeling of pride that cannot be replicated. While I never Imagined working for the Red Sox would take me to a city such as Salem, Virginia, I can’t imagine having it any other way.
I may shed a few tears this time, but I can’t wait to run it back with you for one last home stand, Red Sox Nation.