Curious George and the World Series champs


Back in the spring of this year, I had a mission. There was an event being held in Downtown Chicago called March to College, which was designed to get Chicago schoolchildren thinking about the higher education options available to them.

I had agreed to help man a booth at the event, and was looking for a physical manifestation of HMH, my Boston-based employer,  to have with me at the table that day. Thus, I ventured into a dark corner of my basement, went through all of the long-forgotten stuffed toys, and found the Curious George that I was looking for. George came to the event with me, and it was a big success.

After the event was over, George found a home on my desk at work. He mostly sits on a shelf with his friends, the Cat in the Hat and an ALF hand puppet. But last week, George also followed me to an event for the corporate Volunteer Week. And it was a good thing that he did.

I had donated a large box of baseball cards, for the purposes of filtering out the most recent ones to give to a charity called Cards2Kids. In setting up for the event, I rounded up a number of baseball books and other artifacts, which I have collected over my years as a baseball fan. I wanted to have a baseball atmosphere in the room, since October baseball is an all-too-rare occurrence in Chicago.

I loaded up a box with baseball books, and placed a Red Sox pennant on top. The pennant had a green shamrock on it, with a Red Sox logo inside. I had picked it up at Fenway Park a few years ago. But the box was still missing something, so I put Curious George on top. And something just looked right, so I grabbed my smartphone and snapped a picture of it. But there wasn’t any time for sorting through all of the pictures that I took on the day of the event. “I’ll get to it when I can,” I told myself.

I finally got around to it a couple of days later, as I had the radio on and was listening to Game two of the ALCS on the radio while doing some things around the house. Boston had already lost the first game of their playoff series with Detroit, and they also found themselves in a 5-0 hole in Game two. It didn’t look good for the Red Sox at that point.

I was sorting through the pictures on my phone when I came upon Curious George and the Red Sox pennant. Even though it looked bleak for the Sox at that point, I shared the picture on my Twitter account, in the hope that somebody might find it interesting.

Over the next half hour or so, the Red Sox staged a dramatic comeback by tying the game on a grand slam by David “Big Papi” Ortiz in the eighth inning, and then winning on a hit by Jarrold Saltalamacchia in the bottom of the ninth. I was happy with that turn of events, and I’m sure that all of Boston was, too.

What I didn’t realize until the next morning was that because I was indoors when sending out the Curious George tweet–and I have service issues anytime I’m indoors–the tweet was sitting in my Drafts folder as the comeback was taking place. When I discovered this, the morning after the game had ended, I sent it out again, this time successfully. I thought it was a fun image to share, just as I had when it appeared that the Red Sox were on the ropes.

I received a tweet back a few hours later, commenting on the good luck charm and how it had seemed to work for the Red Sox. I will freely admit that a Red Sox victory in Game two was the furthest thing from my mind, when I sent out the picture for the first time.

Now that the Red Sox have come all the way back to take the World Series title, it really is remarkable how completely things turned around. Perhaps Curious George and the shamrock are a good pairing, after all.

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