Red Sox Recall: The feet that saved Fleet Street

The Guru
Contributing Writer

Red Sox Recall is a new weekly feature focusing on the vast array of colorful characters that have played for and against the Red Sox, poignant moments in Sox lore and other, perhaps forgotten, memories that make up the rich history of the Olde Town Team.

They may be the most important pair of feet in Boston Red Sox history. They are the feet that stole a base, saved a season and buried a curse forever. Those feet are on display at Fenway Park. Sort of.

Over the winter, Rhode Island School of Design artist Douglas Borkman traveled to the San Diego Padres spring training facility in Arizona. He was not there to escape the cold, wind and snow, but to sculpt a pair of famous feet.

Those feet belong to Padres first base coach Dave Roberts.

The Dave Roberts who famously stole second base in the 2004 American League Championship Series propelling the Red Sox out of a 0-3 deficit to the Yankees and eventually to their first World Series championship in 86 years.

Inside Gates B and C at Fenway Park this season is a display created by Borkman of handprints and footprints of Red Sox legends, including Yaz, Fisk, Rice and Dave Roberts.

"I was excited. To be paired with a lot of the Red Sox greats”, Roberts said. "To get my feet cast and molded and having a place at Fenway Park is pretty special to me."

Roberts told the Padres website he gladly offered a mold of his famous feet, the ones that were responsible for stealing the most important base in Red Sox history.

Roberts said he will visit the display this week while the Padres take on the Red Sox for a three-game series that starts Tuesday.

Roberts, who is widely regarded as one of the nicest guys in baseball, was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2010. He's now cancer free. Roberts told the San Diego Times,“It was chemotherapy for six months and then the radiation just knocked it out. But it was tough going through that."

Even in the heat of July, Red Sox fans won’t soon forget that cool October night when Dave Roberts sprinted 90 feet and conquered an 86 year curse. Roberts later said, “To be part of a team that re-writes history, it doesn’t get any better.”

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