Let me tell you a story. As with most stories that people “remember like it was yesterday,” I’m sure I’ll get most of the details wrong. But, the general idea will be correct. It was the 1999 ALCS game 5. Fenway Park. The Red Sox are trailing late in an elimination game. Looking at the line score from game five, I’m going to say eighth inning. The Sox were behind, but mounting a rally. The Yankees needed to make a pitching change. While the pitcher was coming to the mound, a player came out of the Red Sox dugout, and made his way to the Sox bullpen. Everyone in the bleachers went crazy when we realized it was Pedro Martinez! The savior was coming! And he was taking off his warm-up jacket! This was it. The Sox would finish off the rally. Once they had the lead, Pedro was going to finish off the win. Then, the Sox would have Ramon Martinez go in game six and Pedro again in game seven. The Sox were going to the World Series! As Pedro was in the ‘pen, “Mambo No. 5” came over the sound system. Pedro started dancing around the bullpen mound, as only Pedro could. Of course, the Sox didn’t rally. They lost, and the Yankees celebrated the AL championship on the field that night. But, Pedro’s dancing is my lasting image of the game. It was as about as intense of a situation you could be in. He was being asked to save the season for the Sox, and he’s literally dancing on the mound as he warms up. That’s Pedro in a nutshell. And that’s why Mambo No. 5 always brings a smile to my face.
Anyone else have a song that invokes a specific Red Sox memory?