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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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The oldest Red Sox fan?

Many of the fans at the parade welcoming the Red Sox back to Boston in October after their World Series victory were no more than 20 years old. Judy Gustafson, a member of Trinity Lutheran Church, Worcester, Mass., was only 20 the last time the Red Sox won the series in 1918.

Gustafson, who at 106 just may be the oldest Sox fan in New England, put on her baseball cap and watched the parade on TV. "I was glued to the TV all morning," she said. And when the series games lasted well into the wee hours of the morning, she went to bed with a small radio close to her ear.

Although Gustafson remembers the 1918 Red Sox championship well, she didn't get as excited back then. At that time she was an avid Braves fan, when Boston had two professional baseball teams. "When the Braves left us" for Milwaukee in 1953, Gustafson said she changed her socks to red. (The Braves moved to Atlanta in 1966.)

Gustafson has attended a Red Sox home game each June for the last six years, initially with her cousin, Alfreda Peterson, 104, a member of Zion Lutheran Church, Worcester.

At Fenway the cousins were treated like royalty, with their attendance announced on the big billboard. Gustafson even met her favorite shortstop, Nomar Garciaparra. "I felt like I was talking to a celebrity," she said.

When Garciaparra was traded to the Cubs in July 2004, she briefly considered moving to Chicago. Still displayed prominently on top of the living room TV is a framed photo of Garciaparra greeting her at Fenway.


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