10/21/2004 3:01 PM ET
Getting down to business
Red Sox merchants gearing up for World Series
By Alan Ginsberg / Special to MLB.com
|Red Sox owner John Henry displays the AL trophy as he and the rest of the team return to Fenway Park early Thursday morning. (Spencer Leonard/AP)
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BOSTON -- The initial high and accompanying raucous celebration immediately following the Red Sox's 10-3 victory over the Yankees in Game 7 of the ALCS Wednesday night may have died down, but the area around Fenway Park was still bustling Thursday morning as local businesses began their preparations for a World Series in Boston in earnest.
Across the street from Gate A, Peter Martineau, the manager of the Boston Beer Works at 61 Brookline Ave., struggled to anticipate what the next week would be like. The Beer Works did not exist in 1986, the last time the Sox played in the World Series, so all he had to go on was the atmosphere during Wednesday night's clincher, Boston's fourth straight win after falling behind the Yankees 3-0.
"It was unbelievable," Martineau said. "As cold as it was ... we had people waiting outside for over two, three hours.
"These people just weren't going anywhere."
Some people didn't make it into the establishment until the eighth or ninth inning, Martineau added, while others simply remained outside -- nine- or 10-deep, he said -- watching the TVs through the windows.
But while Martineau had time to catch his breath and prepare, the excitement generated by the American League pennant had already hit Arthur D'Angelo in full force. D'Angelo, who owns Twins Enterprise, which operates The Souvenir Store on Yawkey Way, said he didn't sleep Wednesday night.
"I can't even think about it. I'm so mentally drained," D'Angelo said.
D'Angelo started printing T-shirts and making hats with American League champions and World Series logos as soon as Game 7 ended. Eight to 12 hours later, he had approximately 20,000 shirts to sell from extra tables he had set up in the middle of his store and was prepared to print more.
The impromptu celebration surrounding Fenway on Wednesday night made it hard for D'Angelo to get to work.
"I wanted to come in. My wife says, 'What are you, crazy?'" said D'Angelo, who waited until 2:30 a.m. to come to work. "I came in the back way. I didn't even want to bother with the front doors."
D'Angelo, who entered the souvenir business selling pennants from a pushcart with his twin brother, Henry, after getting out of the Army in 1946, estimated that business during the World Series would account for 15 percent of his annual revenue.
Of course, some of that depends on how the Red Sox fare.
"During the ... games that we had here with the Yankees, business was terrible," D'Angelo said. "People were turned down after 3-0.
"They felt we had no chances whatsoever."
The same was true for Martineau.
"Being the pessimistic Red Sox fans that most of us are, we didn't expect to have those extra sales" from the World Series, he said.
Now, attention has turned entirely toward them. Soon, D'Angelo will donate his remaining merchandise hyping the Red Sox-Yankees ALCS showdown to charity.
"That's past tense already," he said.
Of course, the World Series windfall should more than make up for those losses.
But for longtime New Englanders like D'Angelo and Martineau, the American League pennant isn't about boosting sales.
"The revenue's the revenue, but you're born and raised here. You're a Red Sox fan first and foremost," Martineau said.
"I'm almost 80 years old. The money's a factor, but it's not a big factor," D'Angelo said. "I'm a fan."
Alan Ginsberg is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.