Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Fenway Memories: The Derek Lowe Poster Incident

Now that Christmas is over, and we're less than 50 days away from the release of There Goes Ted Williams and the new Fenway Centennial edition of Zachary's Ball, I thought I'd turn my attention toward baseball, and start sharing some of my favorite Fenway Park memories here on my blog.

This first one is from 2001, when the Massachusetts Teachers Association used my book, Zachary's Ball, on promotional materials for their Red Sox Reading Game. Posters and bookmarks featuring Red Sox pitcher Derek Lowe reading Zachary's Ball were distributed to every school in Massachusetts, and kids could enter to win tickets to a Red Sox game, just by reading a few books. (I've got some exciting news to share about this program, but I'll save that for later...) The poster was also printed as a full-page ad in the Boston Globe. This was my very first book, and as a lifelong Red Sox fan, this was all extremely exciting for me.
blurry photo of the 2001 Mass Teachers Association Red Sox Reading game poster, featuring Derek Lowe and Zachary's Ball
To top it all off, one night that spring, the MTA gave out 10,000 posters to fans at a Red Sox game. I got to participate in a pre-game event where Derek Lowe read a few pages of the book, then I did a book signing at the souvenir store during the game. The signing only went until the 6th inning or so, then I got to go watch the game. It was pretty cool to look around and see everyone with their posters. Until...

...Derek Lowe came into the game. He was the closer that season, and he was off to a shaky start. Earlier that evening, when he read Zachary's Ball, he started off by apologizing to the crowd because he had just blown two saves against the Yankees during a weekend series in New York.

So he came into the game and proceeded to blow a 2-run lead to Seattle. And the fans reacted the way you'd expect them to- they all started throwing their Derek Lowe posters onto the field. The posters were rolled up with a rubber band, so they flew surprisingly well. The game had to be stopped for several minutes while the grounds crew cleaned up the field.

Here's a picture. Notice the tiny white specs on the warning track. It looked like that all the way around the field.

Fenway Park, 2001. Fans litter field with Derek Lowe/Zachary's Ball posters.

Next time, I'll post a few pictures from the night in 1999 when I camped out at Fenway...


  1. I felt like I was Goerge Castanza on a Stienfeld espisode that night - Bob

  2. Ha! I know, it was sort of Seinfeld-esque. I'm sure I have some pictures from the pre-game event where Derek Lowe read the book, but I can't seem to find them.

  3. Imagine if Carl Everett had been on and signed the posters instead...

  4. Imagine if Carl Everett had been on and signed the posters instead...

  5. They wanted Carl Everett, but he'd already signed on with the Mass Paleontology Association...