By Sam Horn, Sports Editor
My name is Sam Horn. That may sound insignificant to the importance of this article, but just wait — it gets better.
In 1987, the Boston Red Sox took to the baseball diamond, but there was something different about the team on that July 25 evening. A new player had been called up and was seeking fame at the major league level.
That player’s name was Sam Horn. No, it was not me. I am not a former professional baseball player, nor am I almost 50 years old. I only wish I could swing a baseball bat as well as any of the Pacific Lutheran University baseball players, let alone a major leaguer.
Standing at 6 feet 5 inches, the powerful first baseman named Sam Horn became a rising star with the Red Sox and eventually ended his eight-year career with the Texas Rangers in 1995.
Even though Horn didn’t get voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, I was inspired by the fact someone in professional sports actually has the same name as me. I can only imagine how average citizens named Jennifer Aniston or George Clooney feel.
Ever since I was able to watch archive footage of Sam Horn taking his cuts with the Boston Red Sox, I have become quite attached to the Red Sox organization. I despise everything New York Yankee-related and wish Alex Rodriguez would just admit to being baseball’s biggest villain.
The Boston Red Sox ended the 2013 regular season tied with the St. Louis Cardinals for the best record in baseball at 97-65. The Boston Red Sox enter the playoffs with the most runs scored with 853. That far surpasses the offensive juggernaut that was the Detroit Tigers, who scored 796 runs during the regular season. Based on their statistics alone, the Red Sox seem poised to make a World Series entrance.
Even if the Boston Red Sox don’t advance to the World Series, I commend them for getting this far in the playoffs. Watching the Red Sox this year has been a joy, and I have been a supporter of their beard madness — please see Mike Napoli, Dustin Pedroia, Jonny Gomes, Ryan Dempster, Jarrod Saltalamacchia, David Ross and Mike Carp.
The Red Sox faced the Detroit Tigers Sunday in Game 2 of the American League Championship Series on Oct. 13. Throughout most of the night, the Red Sox bats were dormant. There were no eruptions and no earthquakes from Fenway Park. Down 5-1 in the bottom of the eighth inning, the Red Sox seemed aimed for a disastrous offensive outing.
The Tigers’ dominant starting pitcher, Max Scherzer, a sure Cy Young award winner, was keeping the Red Sox offense at bay.
The Red Sox couldn’t muster enough firepower to outlast the dangerous Detroit Tigers. Well, until David Ortiz stepped up to the plate. With one swing of the bat, Big Papi knotted up the game at 5-5.
The ball rocketed off of Ortiz’s bat with such force that it propelled over the fence near the bullpen in deep right field. Even Torii Hunter’s leap of faith couldn’t stop the ball from flying over the fence.
Fenway Park exploded into cacophony. While there are no active volcanoes near the Green Monster, there was an eruption. Ortiz saved the Red Sox from certain death. Not only would the Red Sox be down 2-0 in the ALCS if Ortiz didn’t hit the grand slam, but Boston would be heading into Detroit down 2-0. That’s a death sentence.
After Ortiz blasted the grand slam, Jarrod Saltalamacchia backed up Ortiz’s effort with a walk-off single in the bottom of the ninth. The Red Sox are alive and still functioning, and I could not be any prouder after they won 6-5 against Detroit late Sunday night.
Even though I live on the other side of the country, I will always bleed red and white. It also doesn’t hurt that my favorite color is green and the famed Green Monster is, well, green.
My name is Sam Horn and I will forever be a Boston Red Sox fan. I will continuously take pride in the fact that I support one of the league’s premier teams. Now, if only I could grow a mountainous beard like Mike Napoli to show my true love for the Boston Red Sox.