Any town can request a trophy visit
BOSTON -- In a moment of what he called "irrational exuberance" after the Red Sox won their first World Series since 1918, team president Larry Lucchino pledged to take the trophy to each of the 351 cities and towns in Massachusetts.
"It seemed like a good idea at the time," he said, then smiled. "Frankly, it still does."
The Red Sox on Tuesday announced a partnership with the Massachusetts Lottery for a World Series Trophy Tour. The lottery will spend $225,000 of its $10 million advertising budget to sponsor the tour, which Lucchino said would stop in any community that requests a visit.
The trophy has already traveled more than 20,000 miles and been shown in 10 different states and in the Dominican Republic. The Red Sox have received requests from 66 different cities and towns in Massachusetts for a stop, and anticipate many more.
There are no scheduled plans yet. Lucchino expects January and February to be busy, with stops in big cities, small towns, senior centers, parks and other places fans gather.
Seeing the trophy up close evokes a range of reactions from Red Sox fans, he said.
"I've seen grown men cry. I've seen youngsters have a kind of joyful look on their face that stays with me quite a long time," Lucchino said. "For the most part, people are genuinely moved by it."
The trophy even affected state treasurer Tim Cahill, who serves as chairman of the state lottery.
"In the two years I've been treasurer, there's been a lot of exciting things," he said. "We've dealt with multibillion-dollar bond offerings and invested billions of dollars in pension money successfully, but I haven't been nervous except in the presence of this trophy."
The lottery will work with the team on sites, security and logistics of the tour.
Sharing the trophy is particularly significant now, Lucchino said, because it is the first for the Red Sox. When the team won its last Series in 1918, there was no trophy.
"We have a slogan around here: 'Any group of schlemiels can win once.' We gotta win more than once," he said. "But there will only be one tour where we show the first trophy."
Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press