I have been to 2 Red Sox games so far this season. I went to the opening game of the 2008 season between the A’s and the Red Sox in Tokyo. This post will not cover that game, however.

This post is all about the game on 4/9. Well, sort of. I have been in Tokyo on and off since September 2007, and last night was one of the first times I have hung out with my little brother Chris. Chris and I have been paired through the Big Brothers program since January 2006, and I felt bad that I haven’t been able to see him much since I left to go to Tokyo in September.

The Big Brothers program will occasionally check in on you (sounds very ominous, doesn’t it?) at regular intervals to see how your relationship is going with your “little”. They checked in on me my first week back, and I asked them if they had any ideas for things to do over the next two weeks. Just by chance, they had two tickets to the Red Sox game available and I quickly snatched them up. Chris was ecstatic to find out that we would be going to the game.

It was great to see him for the first time in a couple months, and it was obvious he was excited right off the bat. He wouldn’t walk right next to me on the walk to the T from his house. He was climbing on every building and walkway next to the sidewalk, which usually is a good indicator for how good of a mood he is in. We got to the game about an hour early and got to see some of batting practice before the stadium filled up. By the time the game started, he could barely sit still. He isn’t at the age yet where he can sit through an entire game. He was almost as interested in the vendors walking around the park selling hot dogs, cotton candy, and foam fingers. It was obvious, however, how much he was loving it. As is our ritual at Red Sox games, Chris got vanilla and chocolate soft serve in a helmet cup. After devouring the ice cream and then cleaning out the bowl, he was wearing it underneath his black winter hat. Priceless.

Here’s a video of him dancing to music being played in-between innings.

We had to leave the game early so that Chris could get to bed, so we weren’t able to see the game finish. That was probably for the best as it freaks me out to travel on the T with him when it’s really crowded. In the end, it didn’t matter that the Red Sox lost to the Tigers – I was really glad because Chris had a great time.

If you’ve thought of volunteering as a mentor to a young child – I highly recommend it. You can directly see the results from taking a small chunk out of your week. Four of my coworkers volunteer as Big Brothers – and I know from talking with them that they are saying the same thing I am. Make sure you have the time free and that you can devote at least a year to the relationship. If you think you can do that – go for it, it is a great experience for everybody involved.

I have to mention that the tickets were donated by the Dow Chemical Company. A big thank you to them, so buy some chemicals or something.

Chris making a funny face