In the summer of 1986, the Sox signed Tom Seaver. The guy didn’t have much in the tank at that stage, and we already had young Roger Clemens mowing down batters like his name was John Deere, but it was Tom F@#king Seaver—a living legend, Mr. Mets himself—on the Boston Red Sox! And that was enough to add yet another bit of magic to that fateful season.

I vaguely remember watching The Seev’s first game in a Sox uni, and the bizarre yet warm feeling it gave me, like the first time I saw Ms. Natalie, the 26 year-old gym teacher at my school, doing jumping jacks.

John Smoltz ain’t no Tom Seaver, but he’s certainly one of the more iconic players of our time. An eight-time All Star, Cy Young winner, World Series champion and only the second player since our own D-Eck to score both a 50-save and 20-win season—achievements that help us overlook the fact that the guy is also an admitted friend of Jeff Foxworthy. And as his first start for the Red Sox draws closer, I’m giddy with the same sort of anticipation I haven’t felt since the Seaver Experiment.

I can’t bloody wait for the first pitch. And I’m sure you can’t either.