BOSTON -- Wade Boggs stood in front of his locker and told reporters that the game he just competed in was not the best part of returning to Fenway Park."The game is kind of secondary," Boggs said, "but rehashing all the old stories and seeing the guys again, it's fun."Boggs
BOSTON -- Wade Boggs stood in front of his locker and told reporters that the game he just competed in was not the best part of returning to Fenway Park.
"The game is kind of secondary," Boggs said, "but rehashing all the old stories and seeing the guys again, it's fun."
Boggs was one of 27 former Red Sox players who returned to Fenway Park on Sunday to compete in the team's first Alumni Game since 1993. Team Tiant, managed by Luis Tiant, defeated Dwight Evans' Team Dewey, 2-0, holding the team hitless.
A raucous Red Sox crowd greeted the players. Pedro Martinez was the last of the alumni to be introduced, and he was awarded the loudest applause.
"I was excited to get back to my mound," Martinez said. "I was just saying that it doesn't feel all that strange. It feels very familiar to be back on that mound and just take a moment to look at your fanbase, to look at your people, the people that clapped for you, that supported you, it's really special."
But against his second batter, Martinez faced misfortune.
Julio Lugo stepped up to bat in what he said was his first time playing baseball since retirement. But Lugo was not entirely out of practice -- thanks to the a softball league he plays in -- and it showed.
He whacked a Martinez fastball for a two-run home run that sailed over the Green Monster, giving Team Tiant a lead it would not relinquish.
"Man, it's special," Lugo said. "Just getting to hit against Pedro any time is special, because not a lot of people around the league can get a hit off Pedro. About time I got one."
As Lugo jogged around the bases, he exchanged words with Martinez. Lugo laughed when remembering what he said, but wouldn't reveal the joke. Martinez wasn't too torn up about the home run, though.
"It's all fun," Martinez said. "I'm getting more used to doing that more often because my kids are now taking me deep all the time."
Bill Lee made an appearance on the mound in the second inning, when he allowed two singles against batters who were later erased in a double play. It was the first of two DPs to transpire, as a tightening defense kept any other players from scoring runs.
Then again, it wasn't about the competition. For Boggs, it was about seeing the fans one more time, catching up with old friends, and of course, showing current players how they fit into Red Sox history. He couldn't help but reflect when he saw the current Red Sox and Braves players watching the Alumni Game from the dugouts.
"My first Old Timers game when I was with New York, I walk in and there's Joe DiMaggio and Mickey Mantle and you're going [wide-eyed]," Boggs said. "And naturally, we had it in '84 and it was Ted [Williams] and Bobby Doerr and Hall of Famers like that. I'm glad the Red Sox brought it back. It gives the older fan the perspective and brings back some memories for them."
Blake Richardson is a reporter for MLB.com based in Boston.