Red Sox officials bringing World Series trophy to Halifax
Cecil Wright expects to "blow out my index finger" snapping pictures of the World Series trophy his beloved Boston Red Sox recently won for the second time in four years.
He likely won't be alone.
Red Sox officials will bring the coveted trophy to Halifax for two days next week in recognition of the major league team's hold on thousands of Nova Scotia baseball fans.
For Wright — a fan since his father took him to his first game at Fenway Park when he was 6 — the chance to see, photograph and maybe even hold the trophy is too good to pass up.
"It's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for any fan of the Red Sox, my goodness," Wright said this week from his Halifax home. "I can't believe they have agreed to do this.
"The Yankees, those bums, would never bring it here."
Wright is a member of the Bluenose BoSox Brotherhood, a collection of more than 100 stats-spouting supporters who lobbied extensively since the team's latest World Series win in October for the trophy to come north.
Jim Prime, who co-founded the club with Dave Ritcey in 2004, headed a letter-writing campaign that eventually won over Red Sox officials.
"We wrote to anybody we could imagine who had any connection to the Halifax-Boston dynamic," Prime explained from his home in New Minas, N.S.
"I think we finally wore them down with our persistence, quite honestly. At first, there was resounding silence, but we finally got a call from an assistant to the vice-president who said we'd be in the queue and would be considered."
The team's ties to the Maritimes run deep.
Long before the emergence of the now-defunct Montreal Expos and later the Toronto Blue Jays, many baseball fans in the region latched on to the team within the closest proximity.
Although the Blue Jays have stolen some of Fenway's lustre in recent decades, the lure of the fabled park remains strong for generations of area fans.
For Bunny Bennett, a fan since the 1950s, her lone trip to see the Red Sox in the early 1980s was an unforgettable experience.
"It was so exciting," said Bennett, a female member of the Brotherhood. "I thought I was going to faint when we walked up this ramp and saw the Green Monster, honest to God."
Bennett and her husband will drive from their Kentville home to Halifax on Monday to see the trophy. Snow or shine.
"If we have to hire a snowplow, we will."
Bennett will be among a select, invitation-only group of Red Sox fans who will gather Monday night in a Halifax pizza parlour to see the trophy and meet Chuck Steedman, a Red Sox vice-president, and other team officials.
No players are expected to make the two-day trip.
The trophy will also be taken to the Nova Scotia legislature, a Halifax children's hospital, the Nova Scotia Sports Hall of Fame and a shopping mall for a public viewing before returning to Boston on Tuesday night.
Prime, the author of several books on his favourite team, said his group played up the economic, familial and historical ties between New England and Nova Scotia to convince the Red Sox that taking the trophy to Halifax should be a priority.
"Any little slant we could use, we did," Prime conceded, including the fact Nova Scotia sends a Christmas tree to Boston every year as thanks for its help following the Halifax Explosion of
"Whatever it was, we convinced them that the Red Sox are as Nova Scotian as Bay of Fundy fog and fiddles."