This is old news, but I caught it on ESPN last night and it’s worth sharing. Dennis Thomson was a die-hard Red Sox fan, a teenager who was at the 2003 divisional championship when Trot Nixon hit his home run to deep center. Dennis and a bunch of friends were in the stands, and one of Dennis’s friends caught the ball.
Trot came over after the game to sign the ball, and the picture (pictured here, from cbs4boston.com) ended up capturing their joy at getting to share the moment with one of their heroes.
Dennis shortly thereafter enlisted in the Air Force, but managed to make it back for Game 1 of the World Series in 2004. And on the day that the Red Sox paraded through downtown Boston as the World Champions, his Jeep was hit by a drunk driver on a Mississippi highway. He died a few weeks later.
This past winter, the Red Sox put up the billboard to announce the fact that tickets were on sale, oblivious to the story behind the individual pictured. It’s quite a story, and Mr. & Mrs. Thomson’s reaction speaks volumes about who they are and the man they raised. Watch it on ESPN.com.