World Series trophy's visit to Berkshires a home run
Photo Gallery: 2013 World Series trophy tour
LEE - A huge Boston Red Sox fan, Brady Cook was thrilled to have her picture taken on Monday with the team's 2013 World Series trophy.
"It's a good experience, not something you see every day," said the sixth-grader at St. Mary's School in Lee.
In fact, the entire student body and staff at St. Mary's posed with the championship award of Major League Baseball, one of three scheduled stops for the trophy in the Berkshires.
The trophy was also on public display in North Adams and Pittsfield, the third time in 10 years the Red Sox organization has toured its championship hardware. The trophy visited the county and most of New England following Boston's World Series titles in 2004 and 2007.
The Lee visit included a special surprise guest, Wally the Green Monster, the Red Sox team mascot, who was a big hit with the youngsters from kindergarten through eighth grade.
"The noise from the children when he came into the gym was special," said St. Mary's Principal Jane Furey.
Since Boston beat the St. Louis Cardinals for the World Series crown in late October, the trophy has traveled across the country and to Japan as Red Sox Nation has gone global, according to Red Sox employee Mike Walker.
Walker and Eli Kaufman are two of seven team ambassadors and security personnel who escort the trophy, which is in constant demand on its tours -- primarily around New England.
"It has its own phone line and secretary to schedule the visits," Walker said.
The trophy caretakers travel in a red Ford Explorer adorned with the team logo and "World Championship Trophy Tour" printed on the vehicle. Wally has his own transportation, a Volvo XC-90 with his likeness plastered on the car.
The trophy, designed by Tiffany, travels in a cloth bag, well secured in the back seat of the Ford.
"We seat belt it in, like a person," Walker said.
Following the two-hour stopover in Lee, Wally returned to Fenway Park while the trophy headed north where the excited Red Sox faithful continually filed through Mount Greylock Bowl and Golf in North Adams between 3 and 5 p.m.
"It's great to see so many people here," said Mt. Greylock Bowl Manager Jim Shaker. "It's been a steady flow of people since [2:50]."
Among the diehard fans were Allysha Frost who ventured out with her 6-month-old son, Liam, and her cousin Jocelyn, 7.
"I just found out about it [Monday] afternoon and said, ‘I'm packing up the baby and we're walking over,' " said Frost.
After Lori Parrino had her picture taken with the trophy, she stepped out of frame and held up a cut-out of Ashley Riordan's face so her co-worker at Brayton Elementary School could "pose" for a photo, too.
"[Riordan] is my assistant at school," Parrino explained with a grin. "She couldn't make it today. She thinks I'm nuts!"
The final leg of the tour landed the trophy at The Infield in Pittsfield where another long line lasted from 6-8 p.m. Owner Mike Massery was pleased his persistence paid off in bringing the trophy to his indoor multi-sport complex on Lyman Street.
"Everyone was so appreciative, smiling and having a good time," said Massery, a life-long Sox fan.
Brian Lennon and his 10-year-old son Josh added a photo with the 2013 trophy to their collection of father-son snapshots that include 2007 and 2004, the latter a year after Josh was born.
"We have a wall filling up with pictures and we can't wait to have another," said Brian Lennon.
A photo with the 2014 trophy may be in the cards, if Paige Barry's power of positive thinking wills Boston toward repeating as World Series champs.
"I think they can win this year -- I have faith in them," said the seventh grader at St. Mary's School.
The trophy returned to Fenway Park late Monday night and was locked up tight until another visit to its adoring fans.
Berkshire Eagle staff writer Ed Damon contributed to the story.
To reach Dick Lindsay:
or (413) 496-6233