Thursday, January 12, 2012

The Organ (Still) Does Not Lead The Charge

"There are no electronic waterfall-and-cartoon marvels that light up like a Christmas tree when a native son hits a home run. The very thought would make a Fenway fan shudder. The scoreboard [...] is operated manually by a crew recessed in a sort of forecastle behind the left-field wall. Human hands lift metal numbers and slide them into slots. When a Red Sox rally is on, the organ does not lead the charge. A Fenway fan would be insulted if it did. Fenway Park is emphatically not a fun emporium, a gag palace frantically designed to keep patrons awake. It is a place for knowledgeable fans."

--Sports Illustrated, 9/15/1975 (I was one week old!)

I remembering hearing on TV (and in the first 2 or 3 games I attended, back in the late 70s) a purely organic chant of "We want a hit, We want a hit" at Fenway. Jere, you go to far, far more games than I do, but if an organ no longer leads the charge, that is only because there is no organ. Fenway should celebrate its uniqueness and dump the pre-recorded shit in the trash. I guarantee no one would miss it; the fans would fill the void.
Just to clarify here, the organ's still there, playing light-hearted versions of the songs of yesteryear, it just isn't used to tell fans when to cheer. Nothing is. Every single "let's go Red Sox" comes from one fan starting it. Same with the classic "rhythmic clap" from the grandstand behind home plate, and the rarely heard "here we go Red Sox here we go" from the right field grandstand. (And of course your favorite, the wave.)
Allan is correct. I started going to Sox games in 1968 and the cheers I remember most are the " We want a hit" and "We want an out" cheers. When I was young the chant was always "Here we go Red Sox, here we go...clap...clap" instead of Lets go Red Sox. The other thing that the crowd would do was when there was a foul ball back on top of the screen. The screen was longer then and when the ball would roll back toward home plate the crowd would let out a "Whooooop" as it rolled back and kind of popped up at the end before falling down for the waiting batboy to catch.
The point is, the cheers/chants are STILL coming from the fans ON THEIR OWN, without the scoreboard or organ telling them to do it!

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