In the bar car of a Connecticut-bound New Haven Railroad train following a Yankee-Red Sox confrontation, Jim Powers breaks into song: ''Who's better than his brother Joe? Dominic DiMaggio...'', thereby attracting the attention of like-minded Sox fan Henry Berry. The two become friends and fellow pillars of the BLOHARDs. Red Sox miraculously win the pennant.
First bus trip to the Fens for opening day. Sox lose by a score of 9-2. Cocktail at the Howard Johnson on Boylston St. costs $1.25
BLOHARD get-togethers are held up to thrice-yearly at Manhattan's Danny's Hideaway, a super-chic steakhouse/nightclub.
Bus trip to home opener marred by rainout. Assemblage retires to Jacob Wirth restaurant for food and drink. Two revelers fail to return home on bus, earning trip coordinator Henry Berry the undying emnity of their wives. Henry is subsequently meticulous about making sure all hands are present and accounted for prior to departure from Boston.
Meetings occur at the Lexington Hotel
BLOHARD banner, symbol of organizational sovereignty, disappears under mysterious circumstances.
In his final year as Red Sox radio announcer, Jon Miller addresses a horde of BLOHARDS. Miller imagines a breakfast meeting of Yankee PA announcer Bob Shepard, and his imortal, albeit deceased, Boston counterpart, Shem Feller2...
Shepard (portentiously):''I'll take the #2 - over easy. #2.''
Feller:''I'll take four bloody Marys.''
At the year's first luncheon, Marty Barrett tells, as a rookie, of trying to pull the hidden ball trick on Bobby Grich, and of having Grich calmly tell him that if he (Barret) ever tried it again, he (Grich) would rip his (Barrett's) eyes out.
The second lunch of the year is the setting for a prolonged Socratic dialog during which BLOHARD-For-Life Joe Cosgriff prevails on Sox skipper John MacNamara to bat Boggs before, not after Evans in the order.
Shortly following his 20 strikeout performance against the Mariners, Roger Clemens speaks to a crowd of 300 at a BLOHARD lunch held at the McGraw Hill executive dining room. Clemens goes on the have first-ballot hall of fame career.
Long-time BLOHARD treasurer Walter Teitz, famous for his Treasurer's reports, dies in his basement, stamp collection in his lap, as the Sox drop a game in extra innings to the Tigers.
Butch Hobson, newly-appointed as manager of the Red Sox, essentially challenges a by-now age-enfeebled Henry Berry3 to a fist fight during an early April BLOHARD confab at the McGraw Hill building. Berry's crime? Gentle mockery of Hobson's mentor Don Zimmer. In three subsequent seasons as Sox skipper, Hobson fails to ever bring the team in above .500.
During his entire tenure as the Red Sox' most feared slugger, Mo Vaughn never once addresses the BLOHARDs. Career ends mired in injury and bitter disappointment.
Dan Duquette, newly appointed as Red Sox general manager, lunches with the BLOHARDS. Notwithstanding his reputation, he is gracious, relaxed and funny. The Red Sox subsequently win the AL East in his second year on the job.
Henry Berry dies at the age of 70.
Under the steady hand of Dick Strobridge, the BLOHARDS enjoy dinner and a game at Shea Stadium as the Sox play the Mets for the first time since 1986. Down early, and subjected to innumerable replays of Buckner's gaffe, we gain a measure of redemption by winning 8-4.
Continuing a streak which begins with Dick Williams and is interrupted only by Kevin Kennedy, Jimy Williams speaks to BLOHARDS4. Immensely likeable, during a 45 minute conversation, he never once gives a straightforward answer to any remotely controversial question. Performance rivals that of Casey Stengel in famous congressional testimony. Kennedy, incidentally, ends his Red Sox career being unceremoniously fired.
T. Maloof, Blohard treasurer, disappears under mysterious circumstances, taking with him all relevant records. Number of purported lifetime-dues-paying BLOHARDS skyrockets.
During his tenure as the Red Sox' most feared slugger, Manny Ramirez never once addresses the BLOHARDS. He is subsequently placed on unconditional waivers.
Sox home opener is rained out, rescheduled for next day and rained out again. Game is ultmately played in July. Cocktail at the Howard Johnson on Boylston St. costs $4.50.
Standing in for his deceased and unlamented doppleganger Joe Castiglioni, Red Sox radio announcer Joe Castiglione conducts a highly informative and entertaining get-together. Noted film critic Jeffrey Lyons, radio personality Ed Randall and Sox VP for Baseball Operations Mike Port also speak. Port subsequently wins the coveted Roland Hemond Meritorious Service Award.
What is there to say? Our June meeting featured the Sox' entire roster of executive vice presidents, while the September meeting featured the entire coaching staff, and the return of the Bambino. Then, in November, we partied with the trophy. It was all so much fun, that we're bound and determined to do it again.
With the passage of time, and the fading of memories, it is has proven impossible to precisely date certain events in BLOHARD history. We have been very kindly assisted in our attempts to recreate the early years by Dick Bresciani, Red Sox VP for Publications and Archives who makes the following observations:
The club's first year was 1963, during Johnny Pesky's tenure as Sox manager. While this makes a lot of sense, and is consistent with reports of Pesky's having addressed the group, your webmaster was awarded an autographed copy of David Halberstam's The Teammates at a recent lunch for having ''correctly'' stated that the organization began in 1967. Facts be damned, 1967 it is!
Feller, incidentally, has a website dedicated to his memory.
Hobson's beef was not with Henry, but rather with another long-time Blohard who, after a couple of drinks, made a number of uncalled for comments about Don Zimmer. (Bresciani again) Definitely possible, although several attendees have recollections of Henry's traditional slide show as having been the source of contention. In any event, Berry's commentary was typically biting. A regular highpoint was the image of a horse's back end which accompanied the bestowal of the ''George Steinbrenner Horse's Ass Award.''
Following his 1999 visit, Jimy was so incensed by a member's ''inappropriate diatribe'' about Dennis Eckersley that he vowed never to return. There's a lot more where this came from. Like the time Dick himself, who's been our patron saint since 1972, almost pulled the plug on any further cooperation with the BLOHARDs. Or the time one of John Harrington's deputies was subjected to an almost incoherent torrent of venom. So, what is it about us? Why do we leave people who want exactly what we want - people whose careers depend on giving us what we want - why do we leave them feeling like we're the enemy? It's not just us either. You ever listen to WEEI? All you can say is that we care. Oh, boy do we care! If Royals fans got together the way we do when their team came to town, they'd probably be very polite. All four of them. Which isn't intended to excuse the odd episode of bad behavior on our part, just to explain it.