DENVER -- No ball flap this time.
Jason Varitek caught the final pitch from Jonathan Papelbon, a
strikeout of pinch-hitter Seth Smith that sealed the second World
Series title in four years for the Boston Red Sox, and the catcher
tucked the ball in his back pocket.
"I'll give it back to the team," the Red Sox captain said
after the 4-3 victory over Colorado on Sunday night that gave
Boston a sweep of the Series. "Maybe we won't have a controversy
In 2004, first baseman Doug Mientkiewicz caught the final out, a
grounder to pitcher Keith Foulke off the bat of the St. Louis
Cardinals' Edgar Renteria. Mientkiewicz claimed the ball as his
own, the Red Sox took him to court and it took 17 months to settle
the dispute. After loaning the ball to the Red Sox for a year,
Mientkiewicz gave it to the Hall of Fame.
Red Sox president Larry Lucchino said the team was prepared for
"We have a club archivist who should be in here, should have
retrieved it already," Lucchino said in the middle of the
celebration in the visiting clubhouse in Coors Field. "An
archivist made an effort the last time, unsuccessfully. But I'm
sure we'll be more successful."
Varitek said he had stored the ball in a safe place.
Mientkiewicz, now with the New York Yankees, said he regretted
"Me, my family, went through hell and back. It should have been
handled differently," he said when the settlement was announced.
"I can put my [World Series] ring back on with pride now."