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The CARETAKERS
Interviews by Elizabeth McGarr
November 24, 2011
BEHIND THE SCENES AND IN THE STANDS, BEFORE GAMES AND DURING THEM, IS A WORLD OF PEOPLE WHO KEEP FENWAY SPARKLING—AND KEEP ITS SPIRIT ALIVE
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November 24, 2011

The Caretakers

BEHIND THE SCENES AND IN THE STANDS, BEFORE GAMES AND DURING THEM, IS A WORLD OF PEOPLE WHO KEEP FENWAY SPARKLING—AND KEEP ITS SPIRIT ALIVE

FACES OF FENWAY

CHRISTIAN ELIAS Scoreboard Operator 1991--present

THERE ARE FOUR OR FIVE SLOTS WE USE to watch the game. They run the length of the scoreboard, and they're small. We can't see the centerfield scoreboard and part of the bleachers, but in terms of the field action, we are as close as we can be. We're standing where players are standing in leftfield in other parks. We hear the outfielders communicating, positioning themselves and stuff. I think I have the best seat in the house.

Around the time the Sox built an addition to the scoreboard to include NL scores [2003], we got a computer. When I first started, we didn't have cellphones, and we didn't even have a phone down there to call our families and say it's extra innings and we'd be late. Just an old house phone. It was someone's job on the fifth floor in the control room to call down the scores between innings from this old huge computer up there. Now we're online; we use multiple sites to confirm out-of-town scores.

Mike Greenwell was the first leftfielder in my tenure to visit us between pitching changes. He always talked baseball. Manny Ramirez never talked baseball, not even when he visited us during the World Series. Opposing players see me open the scoreboard, and before I can turn on the lights they're out there asking questions. The younger players say, 'So-and-so told me the first thing I had to do when I got to Fenway is check out this place and sign my name.'

There are many hundreds of signatures back there on our concrete wall. The tradition began long before I started. The oldest signature is from the '50s: Jimmy Piersall. We let all the players sign. Andy Pettitte carved his name into the cement. Barry Larkin and Mariano Rivera signed in chalk. Johnny Damon and Roy Halladay signed with a Sharpie. Whatever shows up on the concrete.

FACES OF FENWAY

LYNNE SMITH Season-Ticket Holder 1988--present

I HAD ONE HAT THAT I USED TO WEAR TO THE games, and all of a sudden I had this idea that I wanted to do something different for the All-Star Game in 1999. One of my friends, Terri Ramirez, was a seamstress. She made the hat, and people just loved it, so I figured I would wear it all the time. It has all the team helmets on it, and it has the Green Monster, but it doesn't have the seats because it was done before the seats were put on the Green Monster. It lights up, and it has a little cardboard CITGO sign. A couple of years ago a lot of the teams changed their logos, so I got new helmets. It's all up-to-date.

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