BOSTON — James Beaudry sat in a chair watching Game 5 of the World Series on a TV that was across the street and through a sports bar window. He could sort of see what was going.
You might wonder how much he really likes the Boston Red Sox since he wasn't front and center at a TV, yelling and applauding as they took a 3-2 series lead, bringing them back to Boston one win away from a World Series title. But this is why you shouldn't question Beaudry's loyalties:
Right now, he's sitting along Lansdowne Street, on the north side of Fenway Park, about 25 yards from the Red Sox ticket window. He's the the first person in line to buy day-of tickets for Game 6. He's been there since 7 p.m. Monday, before Game 5 even began. He's wearing five layers of clothes because the overnight temperatures are as low as 36 degrees.
While tickets on the secondary market are so costly that they're being called the most expensive in baseball history, people like Beaudry are taking advantage of a Red Sox tradition. The team sells a small number of tickets a couple hours before first pitch.
Quantities are limited. They're usually standing-room-only or bleacher seats and they're sold one per person. But they're sold for face value, between $90 and $400 for the World Series — as opposed to the average resale price of $1,024. One pair of prime seats sold Monday for $24,000.
"I have a week off between jobs," says Beaudry, a 23-year-old software salesman who lives in Cambridge, Mass. "So I was like, what else am I going to do? Sleep out. See the Red Sox win the Series."
People walk by and ask why he and the others are in line (about a dozen people total when The Stew visited on Tuesday night). Some folks drive past and yell "Go Red Sox!" out of their car windows. Beaudry sends out updates via Twitter about the experience. He's @beaudrjb.
"The coolest part of it to me," Beaudry says. "Throughout the night people came by and gave us stuff. One lady gave us an oriental rug to sleep on. One woman gave us pillows and blankets. Her name was Emily. It just shows how the city comes together."
The people in line have made friends, gone on food and coffee runs for each other and, of course, talked baseball. You can probably guess one hot topic of conversation.
"They should have won all three games in St. Louis, but the guy made a bogus call at third base," says Paul Cote, 53, a real estate agent from Londonderry, N.H.
Had Boston won three in St. Louis, though, Cote wouldn't have gotten the chance to attend Game 6 and potentially see the Red Sox clinch a World Series at home for the first time since 1918.
"I got four kids, paying $900 for a ticket wasn't realistic," Cote says. "I said to be kids, 'If they go to the World Series, we'll go to a game and I'll sleep out to get tickets.' " His kids — ages 10 to 19 — will join him in line before Game 6.
Cote knew what to expect when he volunteered. He did this in 1986 too, when the Red Sox played the New York Mets in the Series. Back then, you could buy tickets for all the home games at once, so he saw all three in Fenway, then watched from afar as the Red Sox lost Games 6 and 7 at Shea Stadium.
"I just want to be in there," he says, about a potential World Series win at Fenway.
That almost went awry, actually. Tuesday afternoon, Boston Police came and told the people in line they had to clear out. The ticket buyers objected, but finally gave in. In the meantime, Beaudry was tweeting at the Boston PD and the city's mayor. Cote got on his phone and called city hall. About an hour later, they were told they could line back up again.
By 8:30 p.m. cops and Red Sox fans were happily coexisting. See?
— James Beaudry (@beaudrjb) October 30, 2013
Now the Red Sox need to their part. All this will be for naught if the Cardinals win Wednesday night and force a Game 7. Unless, of course, Beaudry wants to get back in line and sleep on the street outside Fenway for the third night in a row.
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