Press-Republican

October 30, 2013

Red Sox are 'top shelf'

DENISE A. RAYMO
Press-Republican

PLATTSBURGH — Elizabeth Dapo’s refrigerator and walls are covered with pictures of the Boston Red Sox.

“I’ve been a fan of theirs forever,” said the 87-year-old Plattsburgh woman, who is all geared up for Game 6 tonight, when her team could win the World Series over the St. Louis Cardinals.

First pitch is at 8:07 p.m.

Boston leads the seven-game series 3-2 and returns to Fenway Park, hoping to win the Major League Baseball title in front of hometown fans for the first time since 1918.

The Red Sox became World Series victors on the road in 2004, sweeping the Cardinals in four games. They swept the Colorado Rockies in four games on the road in 2007.

“I just think they’re the greatest, especially Big Papi,” Dapo said, referring to designated hitter David Ortiz, who is batting a staggering .733 in the series heading into tonight’s game.   

“They have a group of older players, but they have some young ones who are very good, too,” she said. “I think they’re going to win it.”

‘ROBBED IN GAME 3’

Dapo said she has never seen a game at Fenway, and colon cancer prevents her from going to the ballpark now.

But she still gets a charge out of watching her team do well on TV.  

She said the Sox were robbed in game 3 when Boston’s third baseman Will Middlebrooks fell and his legs got tangled up with the Cardinals’ Allen Craig as the first baseman tried to run home on a bad throw from Sox catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia.

The umpires called obstruction against Middlebrooks, which led to the winning run in the Cardinals’ 5-4 victory in the bottom of the ninth. 

“That wasn’t fair at all,” Dapo said. “The players didn’t get a fair shake.”

But she understands close calls are part of the game.

So are rivalries, like the one between the Red Sox and New York Yankees.

However, Dapo sees things a little differently than most other members of Red Sox Nation.

“Big Papi’s a great guy, but there is also a player on the Yankees I like a lot, Derek Jeter,” she said. “He seems like a good guy. Even if they play on a nasty team, there are good guys.”

‘I SHOULD KNOW’

She’s pretty outspoken about the management of the Red Sox, too.

“We’ve got a good manager in there now (John Farrell), but that Bobby Valentine they had in there last year? Because of him, they got pounded,” Dapo said.

“He belongs in an old folks’ home, and I should know because I’m an old woman.

“I call (Red Sox second baseman) Dustin Pedroia ‘the little grease ball’ because I had a cousin ... who looked like him, and I called him Grease Ball,” she laughed. “I have pictures of them plastered all over.

“They are top shelf,” said Dapo, who is also a rabid fan of the Buffalo Bills.

When she worked as a cook at a hotel in Geneseo, she prepared meals for the National Football League team’s players when they were in town, “so I got to meet those guys. Oh, were they big men, and they ate a lot.”

She also likes watching the NFL’s Indianapolis Colts and was a fan of baseball’s Los Angeles Angels back in the 1960s when they were the California Angels, when “The Singing Cowboy” Gene Autry owned the team.

But the Red Sox are her favorites by far.

And if she were in the dugout tonight, she said, “I’d say, ‘Go, boys! Go! Take it all out there!’

“I’d say, ‘Do your best ‘cause I’ll love you even if you don’t win’.”

Email Denise A. Raymo:draymo@pressrepublican.com