09/08/2008 9:13 PM ET
Red Sox fans break MLB record for most consecutive sellouts
Special fan festivities celebrate record-breaking 456th consecutive sellout
Today fans of Red Sox Nation set a new Major League Baseball record for consecutive regular season home sellouts at 456 games. The streak began on May 15, 2003. Sox fans broke the previous record of 455 consecutive games set by the Cleveland Indians from June 12, 1995 through April 4, 2001. The Red Sox held a number of special events at Fenway Park to celebrate the fans' accomplishment.
"We want to say thank you to our fans for being here night after night and day after day no matter the weather -- no matter the score. This kind of fan commitment is humbling. We do not take this lightly and hope always to be worthy of such support," said John W. Henry, Principal Owner. "Not for one moment do we ever forget that it is the dedicated members of Red Sox Nation who have created the magic associated with Fenway Park around the world."
Upon entry to Monday's game fans were greeted at the Fenway Park gates by current Red Sox players Sean Casey, Alex Cora, Manny Delcarmen, Devern Hansack, Mark Kotsay, Javier Lopez, Jed Lowrie, Justin Masterson, David Pauley, Chris Smith, Mike Timlin, Tim Wakefield and Kevin Youkilis; Red Sox owners John Henry, Tom Werner and Larrry Lucchino; Red Sox alumni Johnny Pesky, Luis Tiant, Dwight Evans, Jerry Remy, Dennis "Oil Can" Boyd and Jim Corsi; and Red Sox broadcasters Joe Castiglione and Dave O'Brien. They were joined by mascots Wally the Green Monster and both Lefty and Righty.
Every fan also received a special commemorative ticket celebrating the historic achievement. The front of each oversized ticket features the date and "456th Consecutive Sellout" in large print, and states "The Bearer of this Ticket has Broken the MLB Consecutive Sellout Streak." Significant numbers and achievements that occurred during the streak are on the perimeter. On the back is a special note from Red Sox owners John W. Henry, Tom Werner and Larry Lucchino thanking fans for their continued support.
During Monday's pregame ceremonies, the Ceremonial First Pitch was thrown by three representatives of Red Sox Nation: 86 year-old Dora Giglio, of Quincy, Mass., who holds the oldest known season ticket account, which began in 1935; Kevin Pierro, a 5-year-old Red Sox fan from Norfolk, Mass., who was born at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center on May 15, 2003, the day the streak began; and Maurice Polite, from Springfield, Mass., a Red Sox fan who was chosen at random from today's crowd to represent all Red Sox fans. The pitches were caught by three of the four Red Sox players who have been in a Boston uniform since the streak began -- David Ortiz, Mike Timlin, and Tim Wakefield. Jason Varitek, the fourth member of this special group, was in the bullpen warming up Monday's starting pitcher, Jon Lester, at the time of the First Pitch ceremonies.
The two words that start every game at Fenway Park, "Play Ball," were shouted by four youngsters also born at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center on May 15, 2003: Teddy English from Needham, Mass.; Abigail Weiss from Lexington, Mass.; Michael Gunning of Canton, Mass.; and Christian Trodden of Belmont, Mass.
In a unique gesture of thanks, as the team took the field at the start of the game, Red Sox players, coaches, and ownership tossed special commemorative baseballs into the sellout crowd. Each baseball was engraved with "Thank You - 456 Consecutive Sellouts" and was either autographed by a current Red Sox player, coach, or by members of Red Sox ownership.
When the game became official at the bottom of the fifth inning, the Red Sox played a special congratulatory video for the fans who helped break this record. The video featured comments from Red Sox players and ownership and marked the official moment the new record was set.
The Red Sox are running special "thank you" television and print advertisements in local Boston media. Tuesday's editions of both the Boston Globe and Boston Herald will include a full page print ad listing 456 reasons the Red Sox organization give thanks to their fans for their support during the record-breaking streak. A television spot featuring Red Sox players and owners saying "thank you" to fans debuted tonight on NESN and will be broadcast during games over the next few days. Both ads were produced in collaboration with Red Sox Video Productions and Conover Tuttle Pace, Boston-based advertising and public relations agency, and will be posted on RedSox.com.