BOSTON -- If the Red Sox win Game 6 on Wednesday night at Fenway Park, it will be the first time since 1918 they clinched a World Series at home. Back then the Green Monster didn't exist, hot dogs cost 10 cents and tickets cost $1.50.
That's a far cry from the $24,000 one man paid on StubHub on Monday night for a pair of seats in the first row of a dugout box between home plate and one of the on-deck circles.
Tickets for Game 6 were undoubtedly the most expensive baseball tickets in history. Resale prices for standing-room-only tickets topped $900, bleacher seats $1,600 and seats close to the action $10,000. The fact that Fenway has just 38,400 seats, considerably fewer than the more modern ballparks, helped drive up prices.
Fans began queuing along Lansdowne Street at 7 p.m. ET on Monday, prior to the start of Game 5, to be first in line for the approximately 700 tickets released prior to each game. They were mostly standing-room seats, but they were sold for face value -- ranging from $125 to $375.
"We don't take for granted the passion that our fans have, and I think our guys get it," said manager John Farrell. "They understand their place here, and they understand what the Red Sox mean to this region, particularly this city. I think there's kind of a rekindled relationship between this team and the fans that has grown out of the personalities that are here now."
Farrell is also aware of the history.
"When you consider that an event like this hasn't been here in a couple of generations, there's a lot of people that are willing to take some extra cash and try to be a part of it," he said.
But just how much?
Chris Clark, of Marshfield, Mass., paid $2,000 per ticket for loge seats behind third base and brought his 9-year-old son, Brady, to the game. Clark was in St. Louis in 2004 when the Red Sox won the World Series there, and he jumped at the chance to be in Fenway for Game 6.
"I could have resold these tickets and made money, but this could be history in the making," Clark said. "I had a chance to give my son an epic father-son moment that he'll remember forever."
Paul Marino brought his son Joseph, who drove up from Fairfield University in Connecticut to attend the game. They paid $1,800 for each of their tickets in Loge Box 105, behind first base; the kicker, though, is that they have had season tickets for 17 years, but they share the seats with another pair. Game 6 wasn't their night, so they had to purchase their own.
"It's been 95 years since we've won a World Series at home, so there was no way I was going to miss this," said the elder Marino. "I would have killed to be here, so I wasn't surprised at all that the tickets were so expensive."
Stephanie Kelly flew in from San Diego to attend the game with her cousin Chris Kelley, who rode a bus up from Manhattan. Kelly paid $700 for her standing-room-only ticket; Kelley paid $560.
"Our cousins who live here in Boston are all watching the game in a bar," Kelley said, "but we wanted to be in the ballpark."
It wasn't only Sox fans spending an arm and a leg to be inside Fenway. Jim and Joetta Keltner flew in from Springfield, Mo., to see their Cardinals play; Jim was even brave enough to wear a Yadier Molina jersey. They bought their tickets the moment the Cardinals won the National League Championship Series and paid $1,200 each to sit in the State Street Pavilion Club, high above the first-base line. They even had breakfast next to former Cardinals manager Tony La Russa at the Westin on Wednesday morning.
Others were lucky enough to get into the building without spending any extra money. Craig Moran, from Dracut, Mass., has season tickets, and thus was in his customary spot in Loge Box 128 behind home plate. To the chagrin of his buddies, he brought his longtime girlfriend, Kristina Dumont, and never even considered selling his seats.
"I sell some of my seats during the season, and I could have gotten about $5,000 per seat on StubHub, but no amount of money could stop me from seeing history here tonight," Moran said. "It's very possible that this will never happen again in my lifetime."
Mike D'Ambra, of Providence, R.I., felt the same way. He got four seats in Field Box 26, directly behind the Red Sox dugout, from his aunt's company.
"I called Ace Tickets around 3 o'clock this afternoon, just to see, but they weren't buying any tickets back," D'Ambra said. "I wouldn't have sold them anyway."