The Boston Red Sox will induct 6 people into this year’s Hall of Fame. 4 beloved players, 1 dedicated staff member, and finally, ‘The Mayor of Fenway’ himself, Arthur D’Angelo.
It is possible that you have never heard of Arthur D’Angelo and yet own one of his company’s products. Mr. D’Angelo (along with his brother) is co-founder of ‘47, the sports memorabilia enterprise that started as two young boys peddling souvenirs on the streets outside of Fenway in 1947.
The story of ‘47 is an amazing one that shows the value of hard work, American spirit, and a business started out of passion. The D’Angelo boys had a passion for the city that they had adopted as home after emigrating from Italy, and that city came with a passion for sports, specifically baseball and the Boston Red Sox. Truth be told, I am wearing one of his hats while writing this. My faded blue Boston Red Sox ‘47 cap identifies me as a fan and while he may not be a household name, Mr. D'Angelo was able to help me be the fan I am and spread the love of all things Fenway wherever I go. He helped bridge the gap between fans and team with products that allow anyone to take pride in their favorite team and feel connected to the heroes that come with it.
He will be inducted with 4 former players: Kevin Youkilis, Derek Lowe, Mike Lowell, and John "Buck" Freeman who played a combined 30 seasons for Boston, with Buck's coming from 1900-1907 where he twice lead the league in Home Runs and RBI's and helped win the World Series in 1903.
Youkilis, Lowe and Lowell are all fondly remembered as being members of World Series teams as well (Lowe in 04, Lowell in 07 and Youk in both) and furthermore there are a plethora of memorable moments for all three when running through the laurels of Red Sox history. From Lowe’s No hitter and amazing postseason performance, the World Series MVP level play of Lowell, or hearing a deafening “YOOOUUUKKKK” whenever the “Greek God of Walks” came up to bat, there is no shortage of evidence to point to when deciding the deservedness of these 3 great names and their place among the Red Sox Hall of Fame.
The last member of this class is staffer Alphonso “Al” Green who has worked for the team for 44 years and has been a well known figure at Fenway for decades.
It’s always fun to hear people argue about who should or should not be in a Hall of Fame. We know that Lowe, Lowell, and Youk should be in because of the hoarse cheers that could be heard during late inning heroics in each of their respective careers, additionally "Buck" Freeman celebrates the history of a sport that we know and love having played over a century ago and being a league leader at the time.
However, one cannot ignore the dedication of a staff member such as Alphonso Green or the connections for fans provided by a businessman like Arthur D’Angelo. Whether it was just 44 years of smiling service or being given the chance to wear a favorite hat to work and show off one’s fandom, both these men deserve to be honored alongside the players they helped us support.