Despite the new fall chill, the pub was warm from the bodies huddled around each table and crowding the bar. Bartenders flitted between the taps and the kitchen window, which was rapidly putting forth steaming batches of chips and The Very Best Burger in Town. Someone had taken great care to decorate for Halloween, but most of the patrons had baseball on their minds, and each would occasionally glance up at the lone, dark flatscreen, hoping that World Series fever had penetrated the thick red walls here. A typical night here features traditional seisun, but tonight the musicians’ regular table was empty (no view of the TV from there), and everyone’s spirits brightened when the bartender finally flicked on FOX at a quarter past 8.
The man next to us had a radio in one hand, a bag of peanuts in the other. He left a worn Sox hat in his place when he stepped away to use the bathroom. Soon his friends arrived, and filled the standing room between the tables and the bar as the game was underway. Soon we had only a vague notion of our surroundings; it was us and the game, we gasped together with each close call and near-home run, and we celebrated as things started to look up. There were people new to town (the British woman behind me had just been to her first game) and lifers (our neighbor said his family had been in Cambridge for over 100 years). It was not 2004, and not Fenway, but it would certainly do for an October night in Boston.