1997 NEWS

1997 News > Boston Tea Party


By Bill Zack, ChopTalk

Tom Glavine knew he was in trouble the moment the interleague schedule was released last year.

There it was in bold print: Atlanta Braves at Boston Red Sox, Aug. 29-31.

"My mom's phone started ringing the day it was announced," Glavine said. "I'm guessing I'll need over 50 tickets."

The trip to Fenway Park will be a homecoming for Glavine and Mark Wohlers, who grew up within easy driving distance of the famed old ballpark. Glavine, a rabid Red Sox fan, lived 25 miles down the road in Billerica. Wohlers, a devout Yankees fan, was in Holyoke, about 90 miles away.

"I can't wait," Glavine said. "I went to a lot of games there and always dreamed of playing there."

Said Wohlers, "I don't know how I'll feel. I haven't given it much thought. I'm glad we have a chance to play there before they tear it down. It's one stadium that when you see it, you know what stadium it is. You don't necessarily have to be a baseball fan to know that."

Glavine was a schoolboy hockey star in Billerica and played in Boston Garden before the old arena was torn down. But the only time he was ever inside Fenway Park, aside from sitting in the stands, came when he was a teenager and helped a friend load the Red Sox luggage aboard a truck before the start of a road trip.

"I got a chance to go in the locker room and see a lot of the guys," Glavine remembered. "It was the early '80s and Jim Rice and Roger Clemens and Wade Boggs and Dwight Evans were there, guys that I'd watched for years, so it was pretty neat."

Wohlers says he grew up a Yankees fan because his dad rooted for the team. He remembers attending only one game at Fenway Park, a game against the Orioles, and came away with Ken Singleton's autograph on a program.

"I still have it," Wohlers said. The interleague trip means family reunions for Glavine and Wohlers, who will have to scramble for tickets from teammates to cover the parents, cousins, aunts, uncles and assorted friends they expect to see.

"It will be three days of entertaining, as well as playing baseball," Wohlers said. "I don't want to say it's a headache, but there's less things on your mind usually when you go on the road."

Glavine will only consider the trip a success if he gets to pitch. He is uncertain how the rotation will fall, so he's keeping his fingers crossed that his turn comes. If not, he may have to twist an arm or two.

"I'm sure (Leo Mazzone) is well aware that I'd love to pitch there," Glavine said. "Maybe we can shift things a little bit. Hopefully, it will work out.