Sunday, December 30, 2012

Me In Another Picture

June 25th, 1999. The night they taped Pedro to a pole in the dugout. And I was there! (Have I told this story before?) I never actually saw the "incident," though. Here's why....

My friend Gumby was home from one of his worldly trips. Our little tribe had recently made a baseball fan out of him, which led him to surprise us all by buying an entire set of catcher's gear. I wanted him to see Fenway Park, despite his being one of those Connecticut-default Yankee fans, so I took him up there on a Friday night.

I remember nothing about the game itself or where we sat. But toward the end, I moved us to the box seats. As I recall, we were right in the front row behind the Red Sox dugout.

In the ninth inning, there was a commotion in the stands. We heard people saying things like "tied to a pole," but we just couldn't figure out what the hell was going on.

As the game ended and the fans filed out, Gumby and I stood in the front row, with him making calls on his CELLULAR PHONE--possibly the first one I'd ever seen, outside spotting a driver on a CAR PHONE. I used his newfangled device to call either my mom or my dad as we headed to our car in the Lansdowne garage, back when it coset $20 instead of $50, and I got the news of what they'd done with Pedro. We were so close to it! But never saw it.

I have looked for pictures of this with the crowd visible, but never found any, as they're usually close-ups or side angles. I think my only chance of being in a shot of a taped-up Pedro is from the TV broadcast, but who knows if I'll ever get my hands on that.

Then the other day, I did another search, and I finally found a shot with the crowd above visible! And there we weren't! There are around 32 seats above the dugout from end to end, and the picture only shows six. We had an 18.75% chance of being in it, and we lost. So I did some touching up. (Note the empty seats in the background because I'm really lousy at drawing people.)

original photo courtesy Winslow Townson (AP)

You can tell by the fans visible that none of them can see Pedro. But I wonder, how did the news get over to our area? Was it like a game of telephone from a few sections over where they could see what was going on, or maybe from the seats right next to the edge of the dugout where somebody could peer in? Remember, the seats were flush with the dugout then, not sticking two rows out.

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Location: Rhode Island, United States