At first, it was just another day. What began as a simple comedic approach turned into a fountain of generosity. Let me explain by going back in time a few days…
As many baseball fans out there are aware, the Red Sox-Yankees rivalry is one of the biggest in all of sports. Also, like many, I had never had the opportunity to see this rivalry unfold live. It became clear that in order to channel that frustration, I needed to poke fun at the situation—in blog-form.
When my mind was fried and the beer glass was nothing but suds at the bottom, the end result was a post, titled “What I Would Do for Sox-Yanks Tickets”.
Yes, I just wanted to sit in one of those historical seats, not just bathing in the lights of Fenway Park, but also the passion that seeps out of each and every fan that was donning "B's" and "NY’s" on that particular day.
Then, a funny little thing happened on KP’s Blog. A message from a stranger arrived—a very kind stranger. She was offering tickets to the Yankees and Red Sox, a game that would be nationally televised on ESPN.
Wait a second, this can’t be right. This can’t be true. These tickets have to be fake. This has to be a spammer… or perhaps a practical joker.
She wrote back a second time, likely sensing the disbelief that emanated from my first response.
Her name was Bri Porter...and she really was offering tickets to that game. No strings attached—just tickets to the game. She couldn’t make it, and simply wanted someone to fill the seats...someone that would really enjoy them.
Yep, I filled that description—just as much as she filled the description of a good person.
The following day, the rhythmic sound of my doorbell danced in my ears, and minutes later, my dream had arrived, carefully wrapped in a white cardboard FedEx envelope.
As game time approached, the skies above Boston were growing angry—really angry—like Lindsay Lohan after receiving her car-insurance bill. The sky later opened. Every raindrop pelted down, exploding on the pavement—much like this writer’s hopes of catching the Sox and Yanks that night.
However, upon arrival at Fenway Park, the rain had stopped. The game was on and was only slightly delayed.
The electricity was present at Fenway Park that night, as I expected it to be. The crowd was definitely more energized to face the Yankees, and it didn’t hurt to have ESPN there filming the game’s every pitch.
From the early going, this game would be all Boston, as David Ortiz put the first Boston player into scoring position with a base hit (see below).
The Red Sox wouldn’t stop there, tacking on seven runs in the first four innings, en route to a 9-2 victory over the rival Yankees.
And once again, I was finally present to see these two teams battle each other, all thanks to a person I’ve never met before. I thank Bri again for her generosity, and with that...there was still one last thing that I needed to do.
Pay it Forward
If you’ve recently thought that there just aren’t enough good people in the world anymore, think again. Day in and day out, a person comes along willing to offer something up without thinking twice.
It can be something as heroic as donating a kidney, to something as simple as offering tickets to a game. While the two aforementioned examples are drastically different, both are powerful in their own way...and here’s why.
You see, these tickets put a smile on my face. They made my day. They helped me get through what was a real tough week. Because of that, I needed to do something in return.
That’s when I decided to “pay it forward”. Many of you have heard the concept, where instead of paying a person back, you instead give a gift to a third party.
For me, that was the obvious answer—to take this generous gift and “pay it forward”—and how to do so, well...that answer was right in front of me during the entire game.
It was a no-brainer for me to let the kindness travel, and that’s why I have made a donation to the Jimmy Fund, which raises money for children and adults with cancer (via the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston), and has been closely working with the Boston Red Sox organization for as long as I can remember, for 50 years in fact.
Once in a while, life will surprise you so much, so much that you get knocked over backwards. When knocked backwards, pay it forward. That’s what I did.