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Wednesday, September 14, 2011

200 for Wake, 1 for Wisnia

A big night all around for Fenway Reflections Tuesday. Pedroia, Ellsbury, and Co. made sure Tim Wakefield got all the runs he needed -- and then some -- to capture his 200th career victory, and the Fenway Centennial book tour kicked off at the Burlington, Mass. Barnes & Noble.

The fourth-biggest B&N in the country (who knew?) was a beautiful lead-off location and staffer Katelyn McDermott (above, with the author) was a wonderful host. She even had her own Fenway story to share; as a 6-year-old, she found out her father was taking her 4-year-old brother to his first Red Sox game, and she convinced him it wasn't fair -- she was the oldest, so she deserved to go. He agreed to take her, and every year since on her birthday the two have headed to Yawkey Way together.

Some other fun stories from customers: Joe Colameta recalled sitting atop a billboard beyond left-center field as a 15-year-old during the heat of the '78 pennant race, and when asked how he and his buddies got up to the top, he laughed and said, "I don't remember. I must have blocked it out due to the fear."  Then there was Matt Diamond, who spoke of the one night he didn't mind having to sit diagonal to fit his large frame into the cramped right-field grandstand seats.

"I was with my father and brother, sitting in Section 15 about 13 rows up," Diamond recalled. "Jon Lester was pitching real heat -- he was just amazing -- and we all kept looking at each other saying, 'Is he going to do it? Is he going to do it?' In the whole section, nobody was saying the words we were thinking -- we all just kept looking at each other and smiling. And he did it; he pitched a no-hitter. It was amazing. Fenway just exploded, and I'll never forget the experience as long as I live. People stayed and cheered and sang as he waved his cap to everybody."

The night's youngest book recipient was an unborn boy nicknamed "The Nugget" -- who will be getting one courtesy of grandma, with the inscription, "Welcome to life as a Red Sox fan" -- but people of all ages already out of the womb enjoyed the evening. Next stop: the Walpole B&N Wednesday night, where the rumor is that "Walpole Joe" Morgan may make an appearance. A discussion and Q&A starting at 7 p.m., with signing to follow. Hope to see you there.

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