Red Sox sellout streak snapped
Red Sox Nation came up short Wednesday night at Fenway Park. And we're not talking about honoring Rico Petrocelli.
After 794 consecutive sellouts — 820 if you include the postseason — the venerable venue failed to fill as Boston hosted AL East rival Baltimore.
The official attendance for Wednesday's 8-5 loss to the Orioles was 30,862 — capacity for night games is 37,493.
Tonight marks conclusion of 794 straight sell outs & 820 w/ postseason at Fenway Park. Both are the longest in Major League sports (1 of 2)— Boston Red Sox (@RedSox) April 10, 2013
From all of us, we thank you for your commitment, devotion, & loyalty to the #RedSox.(2 of 2)— Boston Red Sox (@RedSox) April 10, 2013
As of 10:36 a.m. ET, people were still able to purchase tickets for the game in the coveted Green Monster seats.
The last time Fenway wasn't officially considered sold out — that means tickets sold, not fannies in actual seats — was May 14, 2003.
Grady Little was the Red Sox manager. And just to make it clear that this has been gory as well as glory, Little was one of four men to manage the team during the streak (Terry Francona, Bobby Valentine and John Farrell).
The streak began when the Curse of the Bambino was in full force. And it reigned through not one, but two World Series titles for Boston. The first was hailed by a team full of "idiots" who loved drinking their Jack.
And who can forget Pedro Martinez firing up the Fenway faithful in 2003, throwing ancient Don Zimmer to the ground in another round with the hated Yankees.
But that was a mere appetizer compared to how the Red Sox whetted their fans' appetites for destruction the following season, becoming the first MLB team to come back from a 3-0 deficit to win the ALCS, beating the Yankees and eventually Boston's first World Series since 1918.
It's been a great run as the venue keeps growing — the Monster seats, Conigliaro's Corner — and still maintains its unique feel.
In addition to being a haven for baseball purists, Fenway was the site of the NHL's Winter Classic in 2010 — the Boston Bruins beat the Philadelphia Flyers 2-1 in overtime. Plus, it has played host to sold-out summer concerts since 2003.
One local act even made the Green Monster part of its performance during one of the concerts.
And nothing summed up a Fenway summer more than Bruce Springsteen's entrance in 2012.
The run of 820 broke the record of 814 set by the NBA's Portland Trail Blazers. Boston's streak of 794 regular-season sellouts also is the longest in major pro sports history. The previous longest regular-season streak in MLB history was 455 set by the Cleveland Indians from 1995-2001.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.