Welcome to the party, newbies.
The Boston Red Sox are apparently strict believers in the whole "hook ‘em while they’re young" philosophy of marketing. But for them it’s more like, "hook ‘em before they’re even born." See, Beth Israel Hospital in Boston, the official hospital of the Boston Red Sox, is making every new baby born at the hospital a member of ... you guessed it, Red Sox Nation.
According to the hospital’s Web site, the family of every baby delivered at the hospital gets a Red Sox baby cap and canvas bag, and a certificate for a free tour of the park (redeemable on the child’s fifth birthday). “Help to keep the spirit alive and have a Red Sox baby at BIDMC!” the press release concludes.
We wonder how many parents are choosing to have their kids at good old Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center just for the free Sox Swag? We also wonder what the newborns have to say about this whole indoctrination business. And while it's impossible to get a newborn baby to sit down for an interview (or talk, if you want to get all biological), we figured if a kid could talk, he might share the following thoughts on the whole thing:
SportsCenter.com: Hi Connor. Thanks again for speaking with us today and welcome to the world!
Connor Hickey: Thanks so much. I’m glad I could help. It's much brighter out here than I imagined.
SC.com: Great. Now, you were just born at Beth Israel hospital, correct?
CH: That’s what they tell me.
CH: That’s not a joke. I have no cognitive ability whatsoever.
SC.com: Oh, sorry. Um, anyway. With you being born at Beth Israel, you are now, by default, a member of Red Sox Nation, right?
CH: Correct again.
SC.com: And what was that process like?
CH: Pretty simple, actually. I just, you know, got born, then a nice lady came in and gave my mother a little Red Sox cap to keep my head warm and a tote bag thing.
SC.com: Like a canvas tote?
CH: No, no. One of those drawstring plastic ones.
SC.com: Like the kind people take to the gym?
CH: I know, right? When I heard tote – and I had just learned to hear, mind you, so I wasn’t really sure how the whole thing worked – I was expecting one of those nice L.L. Bean-type ones. Monogrammed maybe. So that was a little disappointing. Quite frankly, if that’s the way things run over at “Red Sox Nation” I’m not 100 percent sure it’s an organization of which I’d like to be a part.
SC.com: You wish you had a little say in the matter?
CH: I really do. And I’m not even the worst-case scenario.
SC.com: How you do mean?
CH: Well, you see I really wasn’t going to have a choice in the matter. Both of my parents are from Boston, their parents are from Boston … I mean, my name is Connor Hickey. The odds that I’d grow up to be a Red Sox fan are pretty high. In fact I’ve already been to a game at Fenway —
SC.com: I’m sorry?
CH: Yes. Well, I was a fetus, but the point is, someone bought me a Red Sox onesie before I had fully-functioning lungs, so I probably wasn’t going to be an Orioles fan if you know what I mean.
SC.com: Uh huh.
CH: But I was at Beth Israel with a kid, and his parents were just in town on vacation. They’re from Vienna. Vienna, Austria. And I don’t even think they like baseball. So, for someone like him, you know, now he’s part of this organization that he doesn’t really belong in, something he probably doesn’t even believe in, and, uh, that’s a pretty big cross to bear.
SC.com: But isn’t it kind of just a joke. All in good fun?
CH: I’d like to think that. I really would. But we’re dealing with children who are a blank slate. And this is their first encounter with the concept of personal choice and free will. It’s going to shape the very concept of liberty as these “Red Sox Babies” know it. I believe it was Thomas Hobbes that said, “a free man is he that is not hindered to do what he hath the will to do,” and, you know, he pretty much established the foundation for Western political philosophy, so … .
SC.com: Oh. We’re not that familiar with his teachings. But do you really think getting a little hat and bag is going to shape the way …
CH: … And a certificate for a Fenway tour! When I’m 5! That’s locking me in. Look, I’m just saying a person has the right to act of his own free will. I mean, isn’t that the notion that this very country was founded on? And here, in a hospital that sits on the very grounds on which our nation was founded and fought for, you deny hundreds of citizens their own liberty? Don’t these people watch “Lost”?
SC.com: Uh, “Lost”?
CH: Yes. “Lost.” Free will. Choice. Jacob. Man in Black and all that? It all matters! EVERYTHING MATTERS!
SC.com: Oh, sorry. We, uh, kind of lost interest around season four.
CH: … I think this interview is over.
SC.com: Oh, sorry! We didn’t mean to offend! … It’s just they kept bringing in new characters! And seriously, time …
SC.com: OK! That’s about all we have time for today. We thank Connor very much for his, um, viewpoints.
CH: “Give me liberty, or give me death!”
SC.com: Man, for a fictional baby, you're quite well-read.