Sunday, November 1, 2020

Baseball for Halloween

Thanks to COVID and an October 30 snowstorm in New England, Halloween didn't happen this year for us. Our neighborhood did its best to decorate yards and we carved a pumpkin, but I didn't see any kids trick-or-treating. Our city also canceled outdoor event permits for the remainder of 2020, so we knew in advance the traditional neighborhood block party would wait a year.

For lack of excitement, I searched bygone Halloweens for baseball inspiration. I remember dressing up as a Chicago Cub at least once around age 11 and wish I still owned the photos to prove it. If that happened again, count on me to be this guy.

Cubs fan in McCovey Cove, circa 2016

I did come across some baseball costumes from my 2004 trip to New York City's Halloween Parade. You might remember that was the same week Boston won their first World Series title since 1918 and parade-goers did not waste their opportunity. This couple went as two inspirational characters.

Wonder Woman & Johnny Damon

For the all personalities the Red Sox put on the field that year, from Manny Ramirez to Pedro Martinez to Curt Schilling, I think more fans identified with Johnny Damon. His shaggy hair and hey-that-guy's-better-than-you'd-think performances clicked with a lot of people.

The early 2000s brought a lot of Curse of the Bambino back to our cultural conversation. Boston vandals turned a local thoroughfare's "Reverse Curve" caution into a "Reverse The Curse" stump speech. Each time city officials painted over the scrawl, it was back to the Red Sox version with a day or two.

Boston's Storrow Drive, circa 2003-4

I'm sure this New York couple was one of many who put the curse to rest that Halloween. Perhaps he also lost a bet that involved doing all the household chores for 80+ years.

Curt Schilling's bloody sock exorcises the Babe's ghost

Here's former Governor Mitt Romney helping take down Boston's "Reversed The Curse" sign that year. (While I don't know what became of this original, you can buy recreations on etsy and elsewhere.)

Despite all of New York and Boston's bad blood, there's one Yankee costume I'd consider wearing in future years, best personified by this 1973 Topps custom card.

Anyone add some baseball flair to their Halloween?


Fuji said...

I don't think I've ever had a baseball related costume... which is surprising considering I played LL for so many years. I could have just thrown on my uniform and went out trick or treating.

Matthew Glidden said...

@Fuji Pretty sure that's what I did, with the addition of some eye black and maybe a grease pencil mustache! The small joys of youth. :-)