2012 Red Sox Road Trip
Sunday, January 22, 2012 – Solomon Pond Mall, Marlborough, MA
Red Sox Road Trip
The weekend before the start of ticket sales for the 2012 season, the Red Sox held their annual road trip, taking the World Series trophies and ticket vouchers to locations around New England. This year the schedule worked well for me so that I didn’t have to drive to New Hampshire or Maine, heading instead to the Solomon Pond Mall in Marlborough, MA. In past years, the event gave us the chance to have our picture taken with one of the World Series trophies and get a voucher for a pair of tickets in a pre-sale during the coming week. This year the vouchers allowed up to four tickets, and the event also contained a display of Red Sox memorabilia and appearances by players.
I got to the mall early, so I was up near the front of the line. After filling out a form for a raffle of an Opening Day VIP package and picking up my ticket voucher, my first stop was the autograph table where Red Sox infielder Mike Aviles was seated. While he served in a backup role last year, even seeing some time in the outfield, the news had broken the night before that Marco Scutaro had been traded, meaning unless there was another move soon, Aviles would likely be the team’s starting shortstop. I brought along a photo I had taken from behind home plate before a game last year. Before he signed, he paused and said, “This is a really good picture.” I knew that he had joined the team at the trade deadline last year, and that the picture was from a game in August, so I told him, “That was from the game with the triple play.” It cracked me up when he answered excitedly, “Oh, the triple play? I was at that game!” He had posed with several people in front of me, and the line was moving slowly because it took everyone a while to fill out the raffle form, so I asked if he’d take a picture with me, and he obliged. I think I’ve got a new favorite player! (Yes, I know they’re all in my top 25, but he just shot up in the ranks.)
Next was a table containing Red Sox memorabilia from the Fenway Park Archives display at the ballpark. Among other things, they had some bowling pins from the bowling alley that used to be under Fenway, the bat used by Bill Mueller when he hit the walk-off home run off Mariano Rivera in the game with the Tek/A-Rod brawl in 2004, the jersey worn by Carl Yastrzemski at the Ted Williams memorial tribute in 2002, and a 1999 All-Star Game ball signed by Pedro Martinez.
The final table held the 2007 World Series trophy. (The ‘04 trophy was on a different leg of the road trip.) The whole time we were going through the line people were singing the National Anthem as an audition for the “Sing your way to Fenway” contest. After I finished, I went up to the second floor to get some pictures from above. I waited around a little while longer, because Rich Gedman, the former catcher who’s now a coach in the minors, was also supposed to be appearing, but he didn’t end up showing while I was there.