Thursday, June 21, 2007

East Bank Saloon and the World Series Sweep

In 1975 the Boston Red Sox were defeated by Cincinnati in the World Series. It was their second trip to the World Series since the curse of the Bambino began in 1919. Had I been old enough at the time to drive across the Morrison Bridge in 1975, I would have noticed this vacant old building on the East side of the river, a brick mausoleum to past businesses that once occupied the site: a bank, a shoe store, a pharmacy, even a restaurant.

Built in 1896 by Nathaniel West, the same man mostly responsible for the construction of the Morrison Bridge, the East Bank Saloon was resurrected in 1978. The same owners run the Saloon to this day. This bar is a mixture of the old and the new. Original brick still line the walls, antique lamps and chairs fill both bar and restaurant. Yet the East Bank maintains this old world character while also existing as one of the best sports bars in towns.

In 2003 the Red Sox made it back into the American League Championship Series. Their hopes of reversing the curse were dashed in game 7 of that year. When their last out was made, I watched a young man, perhaps of Boston decent, slam his fist into one of the brick walls out of sheer agony for the loss of his team, breaking his hand in the process.

In 2004 I happened into the East Bank for Game 4 of the World Series. There again was this same young man, and on this night that same fist was clenched around a bottle of Bud while screaming and high-fiving everyone in the bar, including myself. The curse was lifted as the Red Sox won the series that night.

While watching the celebration in Boston on the television, and the celebration that surrounded me, I felt neither one way nor the other about the winner and the loser of that series. I simply sat in my booth by the window watching the cars pass down Grand Avenue.

I wondered to myself, if Lovejoy had won that coin toss back in 1843 instead of Pettygrove, and this town has been given the name of Boston instead of Portland, would I have been more excited for the Red Sox on that October evening?

Other recent articles:

Hesitation, Cognac and Consequences at the Sapphire Hotel

Wishing for More than Kells Could Serve

The First Strip Club of Portland

Add to Technorati Favorites

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It was a venue for local, live folk music for awhile in the early '80's!