Homework: Your Personal Sports Stories

Last Saturday, All Things Considered invited listeners to send in favorite personal sports stories. In one submission, a married couple responded with the tale of a time they let the World Series decide whether or not they'd have another child.

JACKI LYDEN, host:

Ouch. Last week in the middle of the World Series, we asked listeners to send us their favorite, actually true, unembellished sports story. We like this one about some really high stakes.

Mr. CHARLIE ISENMAN(ph) (Resident, Shrewsbury, Massachusetts): My name is Charlie Isenman and I live in Shrewsbury, Massachusetts.

Ms. BETSY HUDSON(ph) (Resident, Shrewsbury, Massachusetts): I'm Betsy Hudson and I live with Charlie.

Mr. ISENMAN: The year was in 1999. And Betsy and I had been discussing having a third child, and Betsy was pretty jazzed but not quite adamant, I think it's fair to say.

Ms. HUDSON: Well, I was pretty adamant. We couldn't get him off the sense.

Mr. ISENMAN: Okay. Anyway, we were going back and forth, and Betsy said, well, we should look for a sign, which would tell us what to do.

Ms. HUDSON: Charlie had this idea about the Red Sox. He said if they won the World Series, we'd have the baby, and if they didn't win the World Series we wouldn't. And I thought, well, that doesn't sound so hard.

Mr. ISENMAN: Well, the Red Sox had had a good year and they were just about to start the first round of the playoffs. But I felt really guilty because she wasn't aware of the misery of being a Red Sox fan. They hadn't won a World title at that time in 81 years, and they had a national reputation of knocking on the door and then breaking your heart to the last minute - a well-deserved reputation, I might add.

Ms. HUDSON: I didn't know about that. I had to watch every second of every game, and I don't know where the kids were.

Mr. ISENMAN: I'd be cleaning the kitchen and putting the kids to bed, and occasionally she'd yell out of the television room. What's a bark, or how come the pitchers don't bat?

Well, the Red Sox lost the first two games of that series, and it didn't look good. But then they rallied back.

Ms. HUDSON: Yea.

Mr. ISENMAN: And they won three straight.

Ms. HUDSON: It was a sign.

Mr. ISENMAN: And Betsy got really excited.

Ms. HUDSON: Very, very. Ah, I was out of my mind. I was excited.

Mr. ISENMAN: But then the second round was, of course, against the hated Yankees, and they really went down without much of a fight. They lost that series in five games.

Ms. HUDSON: And I was totally stunned. I went out and I talked to my daughters and we decided we were going to get a puppy.

Mr. ISENMAN: But as a result of it Betsy became a huge Red Sox fan. And that was not really fair because in those eight years the Sox have subsequently won two world championships. And people have been born, lived full lives and died before that and never seen one world championship.

(Soundbite of music)

LYDEN: Well, listeners Charlie Isenman and Betsy Hudson still roots for the Red Sox from their home in Shrewsbury, Massachusetts. They've been married 13 years enjoying, they say, their two wonderful daughters.

Here's your next Homework assignment for Veterans' Day next weekend. Send us a story of a war memento in your family, maybe one related to a loss, maybe one related to a homecoming. And you can send your e-mail to homework@npr.org. And make sure you include a phone number or you can call in your story to the Homework hotline, listen up, 202-408-5183. That's 202-408-5183.

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