Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Dooley Noted

Something that went pretty much unnoticed from the Red Sox' schedule of events commemorating Fenway Park's 100th birthday in 2012:


June 19, 2012

Presentation of the First Annual Lib Dooley Fan Award Elizabeth "Lib" Dooley was one of the Red Sox' most ardent and loyal fans who attended over 4000 games, never missing one between the 1944 and 1998 seasons. She was beloved by fans and players alike, who enjoyed the cookies she passed out during games.

This annual award will be presented each year to a Red Sox fan who best exemplifies and personifies what it means to be a Red Sox fan. The fan will be chosen by a committee with recommendations from Red Sox Nation of individuals they deem worthy of recognition by the club.


I'm so glad to see Lib Dooley officially recognized. By complete chance back in the 80s, my friend's dad (a Yankee fan) had access to the box next to Dooley's, and we were able to take advantage of those seats a few times. (The view can be seen in the sweet shot shown here of me as a kid with Rich Gedman in the background--a photo he would later sign for me.) So I got to listen to her talk to Tommy the bat boy and whatnot. That same friend ended up going to BC years later, and once gave Ms. Dooley a ride home from a Red Sox game, a story I still have trouble fathoming. (Why wouldn't she have a ride planned in her 50th season going to games? How did my friend know she needed a ride? Why would she bring it up with a stranger? Why did she accept a ride from a Yankee fan? I forgot to ask for more details this past weekend when I hung out with this friend at Bobby V's. Maybe it all just shows how friendly she was. Maybe you won't win this award unless you too get in a car with a college kid you've never met before.)

Anyway, my personal connection aside, do some searching on Lib Dooley. She has quite a history. (Though the "never missed a game" myth is just that--she supposedly didn't go to the ballpark when she had family events and things like that.) (Then again, maybe those reports are myths. Either way, missing a few games over 50-something years is definitely understandable.)

I too am so glad to see Lib Dooley being honored. She certainly was a true Red Sox fan. I must tell you the myth about "never missed a game" is NOT a myth. Lib was my aunt and I took care of her personal affairs. So...the story is family lore. To our knowledge there were only 2 occasions when she missed a game-one was for my brother's funeral and one was for my son's college graduation. Other than that...she was following her beloved team.

And...I think I can explain her not making arrangements for a ride home. She didn't need one. She lived in Kenmore Square and always walked to and from the park. So...she was probably being polite to accept a ride from your friend or perhaps if in her later years, she may not have been feeling her best.
Hope that helps and if you know more abt this award I would surely like to know about it. It will be awarded June 19th which is the anniversary of her death in 2000. See Shaughnessey Globe article. Great writeup about her that day. Mary L
Hi Mary! Thanks for commenting. I'm so excited that a descendant of a Royal Rooter (and of Lib!) read what I wrote. Just so you know, I wasn't doubting she went to all the games except in cases where there was no choice--I had narrowed it down to either 100 or 99.9% from what I read online, even thinking that maybe the 99.9% was wrong. And yes, the Shaughnessey article is pretty much what I hoped people would find when I implored them to do some research.

I will have to quiz my friend on where he took her that night and see if he says Kenmore. It would have been between '93 and '97 so she could have been at the point where she didn't wanna walk. But what is this parking spot my friend was getting that's closer to the park than Kenmore Square is anyway?? Maybe he parked in one of the lots right near a gate like on Lansdowne or something.

As for the Award--it's auspiciously left off the Fenway 100 web site's schedule of events. But they haven't done much updating on that page. We'll see. I'll certainly write about anything I hear about it!
In about 1997 or so, I had the chance to sit down near the field at a game, and came up the walk-way with Mrs. Dooley.. TV-38 had recently done a special on her so I knew exactly who she was, etc.. I said hello and she was very friendly and said hello.. I asked if she'd sign my ticket-stub and she was happy to do so.
It's a shame she didn't get to see the 2 World Series titles of the last decade but I'm sure she always knew deep down, that one day they'd do it.
Nice story.

To update my comment, I asked my friend and he said they sat next to her for the second half of the game, and had the best parking spot you can get that night, right at the corner of Yawkey Way on Brookline. He offered her a ride and she accepted--his memory is that she lived on Comm Ave about 1/2 mile east of Kenmore.

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