Sox alums revel in Fenway's joyous spirit

Sox alums revel in Fenway's joyous spirit

Sox alums revel in Fenway's joyous spirit
BOSTON -- Pedro Martinez and Kevin Millar more or less burst into the media room at Fenway Park on Friday, the "idiots" reunited and living it up with generations of Red Sox players and coaches and managers from before them.

Ike Delock (1952-63) and Jim Lonborg (1965-71) were at the park with the likes of those most recently retired, Jason Varitek and Tim Wakefield. In between were fellows like Bill Lee (1969-78), Bruce Hurst (1980-88) and Mo Vaughn (1991-98). All were here to ring in Fenway's 100th birthday.

"I was telling Kevin, when they asked me, 'What did I feel when I came in?'" Martinez said. "I feel like I'm still in the [2004] parade, because every day I come to Boston continues to be a parade. The biggest memory I have from Boston is coming down, handing out the trophy to the city of Boston, the fans and just the parade. That's the last thing I remember -- the parade. So every time since, when I come back to Boston, it's like a parade for me. Everybody is clapping. It's loud. It's intense. It's always the same atmosphere, and I call it home sweet home. A good son always comes back."

Millar and Martinez were tapped to raise a park-wide toast -- one that set the record for the largest toast in a single venue, 32,904 people -- but following a script wasn't exactly in their plans.


"I was like, 'Oh my God, Pedro had sentences this long,'" Millar said. "I said, 'No, no, no -- we're going to ad lib this.' ... It was the coolest thing I think I've done in a long time. We're on top of the dugout at Fenway Park, you've got two microphones live -- anything can come out of these mouths. And it was like, 'What are we doing?' And then we got into it and, like, wow. ... I looked at Johnny Pesky down there; it's just a cool scene, and then at the end, it was over, and they still were looking at me. I said, 'OK, it's over,' and they were still looking at me and Pedro. What a cool thing."

Millar and Martinez both reveled in the memory of the 2004 team's World Series title, Boston's first since 1918, with Martinez saying that no club -- not even the Yankees, had they somehow been brought back to face the Sox in the World Series -- would have been able to stop that group of Sox after they stormed back to win the American League Championship Series. Boston trailed, three games to none, in that ALCS against New York before taking the series and then the World Series, against the Cardinals, in four games.

Martinez confirmed this past offseason what was assumed by many -- the legendary right-hander's playing days are indeed behind him. Martinez talked about how great family life has been for him.

"After achieving what I achieved in baseball, if I was going to have to go through all of that to achieve a little bit more, I'd much rather not and give my family the quality time they needed and spend time with my kids," Martinez said. "I went to the first game with my son, my 12-year-old. And it really ticked me to see my son throw the ball wrong. If there is something I know, it's how to throw a ball. When I didn't see my son throwing the ball right, it really hit me harder than I hit Olmedo Saenz one time in the back. It did hit me harder. It bothered me to see my son didn't know how to throw a ball, because I wasn't home to teach him how to do it. So I decided to put it on a balance and see what's heavier, and my family took the edge."

Martinez said his son's mechanics are in line these days.

Hurst, a left-hander remembered best for the Red Sox's run to the 1986 World Series, has lived in Arizona for about a dozen years. He loved every moment of Friday's gala, and he even got to talk to the best southpaw currently on the Red Sox, Jon Lester.

"Whoever came up with this and the planning, all of the logistics, everything, hats off to 'em -- it was a huge success," Hurst said. "[Jon Lester] came up to me and said hello; I got to say a few words to him. That was really nice of him to do that -- very nice. Great guy, and it was unbelievable. To stand out there, that moment. ... Like I said, I'll probably never get to be in Fenway Park again, on the field. I don't think I'm going to be around for the 200th anniversary. That was an easy line, wasn't it?"

Evan Drellich is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @EvanDrellich. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.