BOSTON — Eleven-year-old Owen Flynn woke up at 5 a.m. Thursday morning, boarded a plane in Orlando with his dad and flew to Boston to watch his first World Series game.
Owen and his dad, Freddy Flynn, were sitting atop the Green Monster, in front-row seats, when Big Papi's homer off Michael Wacha left his bat.
"I saw it coming toward me and I just ran toward the ball," Owen said. "I tore my hat off, stuck out my hat and it landed right here. I just jumped on it. It was just so exciting."
He didn't catch it. But he pounced on it. It was his, all the way.
The Red Sox were down 1-0 when Ortiz came to bat. This is it, Freddy told Owen, Papi's going to hit one right now. They were right about the homer — Ortiz's 17th in the postseason career — but wrong about the location.
"We were thinking that way," Freddy said, pointing to right field.
"He's a lefty," Owen said.
Freddy grew up in Boston and has the thick accent to prove it. He moved to Orlando in 1989 at age 19, but the accent never went away. Neither did his love for the Sox. He brings his son back each year for a game. Earlier this season, Owen got chosen to be an honorary bat boy before a game. He was spotted outside the stadium and picked at random.
Some kids have all the luck. No, really. This is Owen's eighth ball.
"Most guys who come here, who grew up Red Sox fans, never get a baseball," Freddy said. "My son, every time he comes to a game, he always ends up getting a ball ... He's the luckiest kid in the world."
Freddy caught one once. It was 1980, a homer off the bat of Reid Nichols. "Only time I ever caught a ball in my life."
That's the dream, though, right? You want your kids to do the things that you couldn't. That's why you hop on a plane early in one morning, fly up the east coast and buy some World Series seats that retail for $235 a pop.
"I love the fact that I'm at the World Series," Freddy said. "But to be able to come here with my son, for a dad that's a dream come true."
Sounds like father and son are both going home with a cherished souvenir.
"I'm probably going to frame it," Owen said, looking down at the ball.
Kid, you can't frame a ball.
"I will find a way," he said. "I will find a way."
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