You’ve probably seen him. He makes appearances on the Red Sox instagram. He can be seen in the background of the clubhouse. He was there for the celebration when the Sox clinched the AL East. Sometimes he wears T-shirts, and most recently, he sprouted a full beard overnight.
He’s the lucky cigar store Indian, and he goes everywhere with the Sox thanks to Jake Peavy. So how did he get to be a part of the team? Well, here’s the story from Peavy, via the Globe’s Pete Abraham, because I can’t do it any justice myself:
"We went through a rough stretch there where we lost two of three in Toronto. We had to go home for just a weekend series. Things got ugly there Sunday night and we ended up losing the series to the Yankees.
We went out to San Francisco, and things were just kind of, it wasn't that same attitude and the travel had kind of worn us down. I was walking to the field on the day of my start and walked past a smoke shop, a tobacco/liquor store. And I'm Indian, my heritage is American Indian. And I walked by and saw just in the glass window this fellow looking at me. And I looked at him and he looked at me. And I just kept walking.
Chief, in all his glory (Photo via Red Sox instagram)
I took a few more steps, and I kind of looked back and he was still looking at me. And he said, 'Am I not one of the boys? Look at me, I'm your people.’ I said, 'You know what, you are one of the boys.' I did a U‑turn and I went in and asked how much he cost. There was no price tag on him. I told the guy there was a price tag on everything in life.
We did some negotiating, and I carried him on to the ballpark and brought him in. We had some guys banged up at the time. Came up with some elaborate story about how he had some healing spirit, so he started in the training room getting some guys right. And he made his first appearance that night in San Francisco and we ended up losing that game that I pitched.
We had a serious team talk with him and told him if he didn't show up tomorrow with a little bit better attitude and show us his powers, then we were going to have to lose him on the plane ride to LA. But he showed up in a big way, Douby [Felix Doubront] pitched well that day, and we took him to L.A. He showed up for us there in L.A., we won that big series, he got on the flight back with us.
Now he's got a couple of jerseys on. He helped Jacoby get back from his injury, because Jacoby has got some Indian in him. They had a good talk. He got Jacoby back for us. He's got a beard now, he grew out a beard to get on the same page as the rest of the guys. There he is, Chief. He's going to ride on my Duck Boat if we win the World Series."
So that’s the story of Chief, the cigar store Indian. Peavy and Chief seem to have a great relationship, so let’s hope that Chief pulls through with his healing spirit and helps fuel Peavy to victory tonight, which would punch the Sox’s ticket to the ALCS. And here’s to hoping Chief gets that Duck Boat ride, too.