Hub Fans Bid Trot Adieu
The weather is obviously no dirt dog. It did a disservice to one Christopher Trotman Nixon yesterday, on a day when he deserved sunshine and a game that went the full nine. Instead, a long and soggy day ended for Trot when David Murphy ran out to right field to replace him. As he exited, the cheers that chased him to the dugout came from those who recognize and appreciate the singular way Trot has played the game for the Sox: with passion, dedication, loyalty and humility; with talent but more often determination; with a willingness to put his team before himself or his body. His postgame comments showed his appreciation for Boston and its fans. Trot was a stand-up, count-on-me guy since he was drafted in '93, even as he battled through injuries caused by hard training and harder playing, even as he aggravated those injuries trying to come back too soon to help the only Major League team he's ever known. I know there's no chance he'll be back next year, and that makes me as sad as I was excited on October 4, 2003- Trot's defining moment in Boston. I'll never forget that homer, the one that sent Fenway into hysterics (and this was before Papi's innumerable walkoffs, so this was still a real "Holy Shit!" kinda moment), the one that sent me leaping around our apartment on a rainy Saturday night. It was the most electrifying Red Sox moment since Hendu's blast in game five in '86. And he did it hobbling on a bum leg, pinch hitting for Kapler, a moment perfectly crystallizing his time in Boston even as the ball soared towards centerfield and into the jubilant, ecstatic, waiting arms of history. Though Trot has worn his dirty, dusty, pine-tar smeared Red Sox uniform for probably the last time, I'll continue to wear my beat-up old red Nixon #7 t-shirt, the one I was wearing on those two most magic of nights, Octobers 20 & 27, 2004, and everytime I do, I'll remember the player I called my favorite. He'd loathe the sentiment, but he'd probably appreciate the fact that the name and numbers on the back are cracking, showing wear and tear, showing age, but still there, where they belong, comfortable and strong.