Thursday, January 16, 2014

YOU In A Red Sox Team Picture! Maybe....

We all (we some, anyway) know that for the past couple of years, the Red Sox have been doing "take your photo with a current player" once per homestand. But just now, after reading about how the team will have three Sunday night national games in the first half of the 2014 season, I looked at the schedule and noticed this for the Sunday, April 20th game:

On-field Photo Day
Photo Day with the 2014 team on the field
All fans in attendance

Whoa, Ginga! The whole team? So, what, all 35,000 of us stand next to 25 of them for one group photo? Or the whole team just stands there together and waits as each fan comes up and hops into the group shot? Or are they just telling us that this will be a day where they take a team photo on the field and if we want we can watch it from the stands? And with it being a Sunday night game now, I would assume it would happen before the game and not after. But aren't he players kinda busy? I guess if it's at the time when one of them normally runs to the Yawkey Way Store for the normal player/fan photo thing, they're not. Did anyone remember reading anything about this? I'm very curious about the logistics of this thing.

Also note the Sunday night game in question will be at 7:05 instead of 8:05, since the next morning is the Pats' Day game. Gonna be a rough one for those guys. I bet Gomes just stays up all night.

This is what they call the day when fans can stand on the warning track pre-game as the players walk by and stop for photos, fistbumps etc.
That must get crowded... I don't remember this, how long have they been doing it?
They did it last year. Basically, they let you lineup at 11:45 for a 1:30 game along the warning track / foul territory, you'd stake out a place behind the rope, and all the players circled around taking pictures with fans. Get there early, make sure you are in the park earlier than 11:45, and stake out a decent place somewhere on the first base line. It wasn't as crowded as you would think because it's 2 hours before gametime.

Jackie Bradley Jr. was super-super nice about photos and was taking them long after almost every other player had disappeared. My son got super shy just at the point he could have taken a picture with JBJr, so I didn't come out with any good player pictures. All the players except the starting pitcher were out there, but some of the bigger names were harder to get pictures with and didn't stay as long.

We did get to touch the base of the green monster and take some photos catching a ball against it though.
I think the first one was 2010. I wouldn't say you have to be on the first base line, since some players head the other way around the field. The first year Mike Cameron was slow as molasses because he stopped for photos with everyone. When he reached me and Cyn--we were in front of the visitors bullpen--the staff were about to physically drag him away. He threw his hands up--"They said no more pictures!" I yelled: "How 'bout a hug?" He cracked up--and ran over to us. Cyn got a hug. It was awesome. It appears I only put up two photos that day: one of Mike (because he TOOK most of the photos with folks, with their cameras, as selfies, before we called them that, I think!) and one of a shot into the Sox bullpen (because it cracked me up that they had a photo I took of Mani Martinez in there, labeled "Ship's Slave."

... But actually, now that I think of it, they did one in October 2009, because that's when Steve T. Ferret got his photo with Papi:
I see they have all their nicknames by their photos. That's cool they used yours. The two at very top right could be any one of our shots.

As for this day, I'm trying to figure out how I could have been missing this for five-plus years!
The first one I know of was in 2004, back when it was part of what they used to call "Kids' Opening Weekend". I got pics with Williamson, Foulke, and Wake (whom I specifically singled out when he walked by as part of a group so he would know we didn't blame him for the Boone homer.) Wow, that was a long time ago!

I went again in '06 and got pics with Trot, Jermaine Van Buren, and Tito.

I was there for one in Sept. of '12, too. Got pics with Middlebrooks (with his wrist in a cast), Atchison, and - don't laugh, but he was making sure everyone had pictures of him - Bobby V.

The one in '13 had a little gate-opening-time controversy. I was outside Gate A, and they wouldn't open the gates until 12:05 despite it being a weekend. When we got in, there were tons of fans already around the warning track, and most of the players were heading in - meaning some gate somewhere had opened at 11:35. But we still got to see Ross, Mortensen, Miller, and Lackey.

The predecessor to these, I believe, was "Meet-and-greet Night" at the second home game of 2002. But that had the players in the concourse and at the ticket windows after gates had already opened, leading to logistics issues, which I'm sure is why they decided to move them outdoors to the warning track in following years.
Wow, now I'm really wondering how I've never heard of this, or come across it even by accident, considering I almost always get to games around when gates open. I've been to similar things, like I remember when players greeted us at the gates once, and then there was the time they all entered the park through the stands, and the time they threw baseballs to the crowd. But never to this thing. I should try and go this year.... Thanks.
Isn't April 20 Easter Sunday?

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