“When I finally did this thing,” Flavin said, “it was a wake up call to me. I had loved these poems and the lyrical connection. I started writing them, and I loved doing them. I loved the Red Sox all my life. I tell people I was born a Red Sox fan and baptized a Catholic.”
Flavin, a 22-year veteran of Boston television, recited some poems and told more than a few stories about the Red Sox and the game he loves as part of a City Club of San Diego event at Michelle and Bill Lerach’s beautiful La Jolla Farms estate.
The well-attended event was organized by San Diego native George Mitrovich, president of the City Club and the Denver Forum and chair of the Red Sox & Great Fenway Park Writers Series. Mitrovitch invited Red Sox fans young and old to hear Flavin do what he does best — humorously recite his favorite poems as he weaves the history and emotion of the game throughout the words.
The 224-page book is published by HarperCollins.
“When I was in the third grade,” Flavin said at an interview at the La Valencia Hotel before his appearance, “I made a discovery. It was a poem by Ernest Lawrence Thayer called ‘Casey at the Bat.’ I loved the story of it, and it was about baseball. I loved the music of it as the words took you inexorably to the conclusion. I loved hearing and saying it more than reading it. I learned the poem on my own. It became part of my act, and I would recite it for anyone who would listen.”
That iconic poem was the inspiration for the poetry Flavin would write about the Red Sox and baseball for the next 15 years.
Ted Williams, a native of San Diego and in Flavin’s opinion the greatest hitter in the history of baseball, had an important influence on Flavin, as is evident by the number of poems and stories around him. Flavin got to know Williams through his pals on the team – centerfielder Dom DiMaggio, a hero of Flavin’s and to whom the book is dedicated, and player-manager Johnny Pesky.
“I’m taking the road trip of a lifetime,” Flavin begins, “and I’m with Dom DiMaggio and Johnny Pesky. We all drove down to Florida to visit with Ted, who was gravely ill. I had to do something to justify my presence among these mythic heroes of my boyhood. So we’re in Ted’s living room, and I do a rewrite in my head of ‘Casey at the Bat.’ I made it about Ted, and the Red Sox and recited it for the three of them. I knew ‘Casey at the Bat’ cold, so it was easy to do. Ted loved it, and every time he saw me, he asked me to do ‘Teddy at the Bat.’”
Flavin also has a deep admiration for “the man with the vision,” as he refers to Larry Lucchino, former Red Sox CEO and a longtime La Jolla resident. Lucchino, who is mentioned often in the book, led the efforts to restore Fenway Park to more than its original grandeur, modernized it and brought it back to life, giving a great gift to the community of Boston. But Flavin considers Lucchino’s impact on baseball to be far greater than just one park.
“Larry’s great legacy to the game,” he explained, “is what he’s done for ballparks. Baltimore is a perfect example of that. He studied what it was about the older parks that people loved and folded that into Camden Yards. He built a retro modern park that has all the bells and whistles but also the traditional aspect to it as well.
“Larry came to San Diego and built Petco Park, a beautiful facility that would not have been built without Larry. They were all Larry Lucchino’s doing. Those three ballparks and what he has done for the community in those three places, Baltimore, San Diego and Boston, should put him in the Hall of Fame as an executive.”
It was Lucchino who asked Flavin to be the poet laureate of the Red Sox, the only team to have one. Even with the season completed — and long after the Sox were in contention — Flavin is still high on the game he loves and preparing for next season.
“When you love something the way fans love baseball,” he said, “you don’t stop just when your team isn’t winning. Baseball is still being played, and I’m still watching. I’ll be ready for spring training, like all baseball fans. We can’t help ourselves.”
Like most Bostonians, I am D-O-N-E with winter. Just as the Red Sox are gearing up for the new season, I’m hitting the market for some spring wardrobe. I stopped by ROSTER in Faneuil Hall to pick up a ‘47Brand cap. Ironically, something happened as I was putting on a Boston Red Sox hat for the first time in my life. I felt as if I had finally become a citizen of Boston, Massachusetts. The experience seemed more official than receiving my driver’s license from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
If you know anything about me, you know that I am all in for Boston. I was so proud to be wearing apparel that represents Boston-based brands (Red Sox, Twins Enterprises, and ROSTER Stores) that I instagramed an image with hashtags #FranchiseTag #Boston soon after I left store.
The B cap is a distinctive sign of Boston culture, just as cowboy hats are for the western part of the country.
True or False? People are often profiled depending on what they wear-those who wear cowboy hats are thought to drive pick-up trucks, to listen to country music and to speak with a western accent. Someone in a B cap would be branded with the Boston accent, outstanding schools, world-class hospitals, winning sport teams, and record snow falls.
How would you like to be profiled in your Boston Red Sox hat?
Garment washed Boston Red Sox clean up with a broken-in look and feel.
Someone who likes to kick it old school.
By the way, the Garment Washed cap is more my speed.
Jeff Lahens (DressCode Boston) caught up with his friend actor Jay Harrington, star of the USA Network show Benched, for a quick interview on Twitter. Here’s a transcript of what the Boston area native is up to and what he thinks his character’s chances are in a TV pickup game of street basketball.
Jay Harrington retweeted a Tweet you were mentioned in:
Dec 29: TODAY, 1PM EST join the chat via @styleboston w/ BOSTON’s own @jayharrington3 of @BenchedUSA #styleboston #BenchedUSA
Q: @styleboston: what’s your relationship w/New England? #BenchedUSA #styleboston
A: Grew up in Wellesley Ma love to visit as often as possible U could say it’s a serious long dist 1
Q: Where do you live now?
A: Santa Monica, Calif.
Q: How do you rep #Boston in LA and NYC?
A: .@RedSox trailer hitch on my truck
Q: We’ve learned that you’re a @SyracuseU alumnus. What did you study?
A: drama @SU_VPA @SUDrama_VPA
Q: Where did you go to high school? What sports did you play?
A: Wellesley High, hockey
Q: Do you bleed Orange for @Cuse or Green for @Celtics? 🙂
Q: What character do you play @BenchedUSA?
A: Phil Quinlan part attorney part gambler
Q: Tell us about @BenchedUSA.
A: Honest look at life of public dfndrs,workplace ensemble comedy
Q: PHIL @BenchedUSA vs HARVEY @Suits_USA on the basketball court. Who wins?
A: Phil #whosgotnext
Q: PHIL @BenchedUSA vs JACK MCCOY in the court room. Who wins?
A: Sam Waterston ftw, but Phil at the bar
Q: When discussing fashionable cities, Boston is rarely mentioned. How do you feel about that?
A: #Boston has TONS of style! W/ so many diff universities and cultures repping individual tastes together in an amazing city!
Q: What are 3 words to describe Phil’s style @BenchedUSA?
A: last min, hungover chic
Q: Who are your style icons?
A: Cary Grant was the man #whosgotnext
Q: Who is the best looking man on TV right now?
A: Ted Danson & scrawny arms @RobLowe
Q: Favorite TV shows when you were growing up?
A: $6 Million Man, Family Ties, Batman w/ @TheRealAdamWest
Q: Name your favorite restaurants/bars in Boston?
A: Clark’s Faneuil Hall, @LibertyHotel
Q: What’s a must-see or must-do in Boston?
A: #FreedomTrail, #CapeCod, @RedSox #FenwayPark
Q: Who will the @Patriots play in the Superbowl this year? 🙂
Editor’s note: The last exchange prompted @RhettNFL to Tweet: The Pats are in the Super Bowl already??? To which Jay Harrington replied: My New Year’s Resolution – to be positive.
Thank you for joining me on my first food-related blog post. I am thrilled to dip my pen, or keyboard, into the culinary arts – and what better way to start my new career than a witty blog post about my second favorite thing in life (next to sports of course)…food.
As many of you already know, I am an avid home cook. To foster this, I am attending culinary school in January (Cambridge School of Culinary Arts) and I recently finished a food-related project in Los Angeles. I also wrote my first cookbook over the summer, “Bullied Into Cooking,” which helps support an anti-bullying campaign in all 134 Boston Public schools. I’m in the process of writing my second book that will be out in early December.
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Funny things start to happen once you’ve been on the dating sites for a while. You start to get the “out-of-town gentleman caller.” These are guys who say they will “conveniently be in town for business” on such and such a date and wonder if you’d like to get together. At first this sounded like the perfect scenario to me. They were here for a couple days, we’d have a dinner, maybe more, and they go away and never come back. Or, they are married.
The first gentleman caller was going to be in town around the time of the Boston Marathon (which I was running). I told him as such and that I might not be much fun and certainly wouldn’t be very mobile but he said no worries. Well, the date was to be on a Wednesday and as soon as I woke up on Tuesday after the MONDAY marathon I knew I was in no shape to do anything. I messaged him in kind. His response? “Figures.” My response: “dude, really? I just ran a bunch of miles and my legs are killing me.” His retort? “Predictable.” So the next time a man from out of town came along, I was wary. But I figured I’d give it another try.
The first question I asked Cinderella (my name for him, this will become clear in a minute) was “are you married?” His answer was no. I’m pretty sure I brought it up a few more times until I was convinced. He seemed normal enough after our chat so I agreed to a date – a month in advance. He was a planner this one. Maybe this is crazy? I felt I was being proactive, filling up the ol’ calendar, making shit happen in my dating world. We texted and messaged a few times, we even talked on the phone. He seemed like an honest to goodness normal person.
The day of the date arrived – the plan was dinner and a Red Sox game. I had gotten the tickets myself so I wouldn’t feel beholden to him: always be mindful of the money put out vs. what you’re supposed to put out ratio. He arrived to dinner before me and at first site I knew there would be no putting out that night. However, I was going to give this date 100 percent – I would listen, I would talk a bit about myself and see what worked. So I listened to him tell me about his TWO failed marriages and the myriad reasons for their failures. He brought up church and the Big J a lot, which for some reason made my use of the f-word increase exponentially. I didn’t do it on purpose, if you have faith, I support it, but I just couldn’t stop it. It was beyond me.
Next stop, Fenway. Before we go any further it’s important that I tell you I told him before the date began that I get up at 3 a.m. and I would be leaving so as to get home by 9. Period. These are my rules on school nights. Like it or lump it and he agreed. It was an incredible night to be at Fenway, it was the 10th anniversary of the World Series win. I was like a kid at well, a ballgame, and so we didn’t chat much during the festivities. The game started, we got beers, and I started staring at the clock waiting for the witching hour at which I’d turn into a pumpkin.
At 8:30 sharp I said I had to leave. I encouraged him to stay, to enjoy the game, to be sure to have a Fenway Frank. He walked me to the Yawkey Way exit, gave me a hug and asked me if I’d ever come to Maryland. Ugh. Yes, you read that right. I left him at Fenway.
A week after the date, I received a hand-written thank you card. It was awkward and strange and just a little weird. He also said he’d be sending me a gift. A month later I received a box from Amazon including… wait for it… Ray Donovan Season 1 on DVD. Such a romantic guy! Needless to say, I haven’t talked to him since.
Looking forward to sharing my stories and getting your advice…K
Boston celebrities accompanied by adorable and ADOPTABLE dogs strutting their stuff down the runway? Sign me up! We attended the Rescue the Runway event sponsored by Audrey’s Rescue Angels & Durty Harry’s Doggie Boutique at the gorgeous ballroom in Colonnade Hotel.
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Last year, GQ magazine gave Boston the scarlet letter of Worst Dressed City in the U.S. Here at Styleboson, we were beyond moderately offended by being described as “undergraduate hoodie monsters” dressing like “proprietors of his or her very own meth lab” at “the biggest frat party on Lansdowne.” Ouch, that came out of left field. We are ok with the obnoxious sports fan label but frat bro? Oh no they didn’t.
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EDITOR AT LARGE
CHIEF FASHION CORRESPONDENT
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