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Red Sox to the Smithsonian

With the Boston Red Sox set to make their first trip to D.C. to face the Nationals this week, it looks like it's time for everyone to cash in.

"The Nation" will be swarming Nationals Park for a three-game series that begins tomorrow night and tickets are getting scooped up. The Nats already appear to have sold out the cheaper seats in the upper deck and the better part of the outfield for the opener.

But the Nationals aren't the only D.C. institution trying to draw in Red Sox fans. It was announced today that memorabilia from Boston's 2007 World Series would be held on display starting tomorrow at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History.

The temporary exhibition only lasts through Sunday and will feature the jersey worn by pitcher Jon Lester in the fourth and final game of Boston's sweep of the Colorado Rockies amongst other items.

Knowing that Boston fans are in abundance in this area and travel well (especially now that schools are out), this could just be a case of some brilliant marketing. "In town for the series? Come on down to the museum and see some Red Sox gear and stick around for some more history!"

But does this seem like pandering to the crowd or simply taking advantage of a rabid fan base? Further, the 2007 World Series? That's the lesser of the two for Boston fans and, frankly, the series wasn't terribly exciting unless you were a Red Sox or Rockies fan.

Personally, I'm just curious to see if Boston fans will now flock to the museum to see World Series artifacts. So yeah, any Red Sox fans out there let us know if the Smithsonian has lured you. But I'm also wondering, is this a new low for any host city trying to cater to a visiting team's fans?

By CJ Holley  |  June 22, 2009; 3:29 PM ET
Categories:  Nationals , Red Sox  | Tags: 2007 world series, boston red sox, colorado rockies, smithsonian, washington nationals, world series  
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As a Sox fan living in DC, what I experienced trying to purchase these tickets has ensured that I will NEVER go to another Nationals game again...unless its a series with the Sox of course. From the silly "lottery" to an overloaded server and then to find out that I could only get 400 level seats or pay $60 a seat. I never have this much trouble at Camden! Nats--this is why your stadium is 1/4 full. Poor customer service!

Posted by: gskulte | June 22, 2009 3:55 PM | Report abuse

well, there are, what, 78 other games a year that you could attend, nearly all of them with outstanding seat selection. Or are you a fan of the Red Sox, and not actually a fan of baseball?

Posted by: RedBirdie | June 22, 2009 3:59 PM | Report abuse

We're Red Sox fans living in DC too, and we bought 2 10-ticket plans to ensure that we'd get tickets for the Sox series. We've thoroughly enjoyed going to Nationals Park and rooting for the Nats - but this week we're Sox fans first.

And in answer to your question, CJ: no, I don't think it's cynical, it's just marketing. Most of the people who visit DC go to the Smithsonians anyway - why not make sure there's something there they want to see? (Now, if they charged extra for it, *that* would be cynical.)

Posted by: EinDC | June 22, 2009 4:34 PM | Report abuse

95% of "the Nation" never rooted for the Red Sox before they won the 2004 WS. Maybe the Smithsonian should have a pre-2000 Red Sox exhibit - that would be the first time any of their "fans" had seen anything from last century.

Posted by: baddabing1 | June 22, 2009 5:10 PM | Report abuse

Not a Sox fan as far as pandering see Stan Kasten's radio invite to Phillies Phans for the Nats home opener.

I do agree re. the collection. On reading that paragraph my first thought was, who cares about the 2007 WS?

Also, I received an email from the Nats last week, I believe it was, telling me that a limited number of single-game seats were still available for the game (I wasn't interested). They milked the series for all it was worth but the preseason lottery and game plans were not the only way to get Sox tix. As Redbirdie stated, there are also plenty of seats for other games at Nats Park, and I have and will attend those.

baddabing, maybe at the game they can have "trivia" questions for the nouveau Sox fans, including such challenging items as "please name the current roster of the team."

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | June 22, 2009 7:22 PM | Report abuse

How 'bout the Red Sox (2nd syllable pronounced, "Sox" and not SAWX) donate Dwight Evans' 1980+ stance to the museum?

Dwight was better than Rice, overall, and one of the greatest RF'ers ever (Clemente, Kaline, Dwight).!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Posted by: MikeNelmsReturns | June 23, 2009 1:57 AM | Report abuse

"95% of the Nation never rooted for the Sox before 2004"...Baddabing1 (the user ID says it all - Yankee fan), where did you come up with that number? Sox have always had a loyal following as you well know. That's the fact.

Son, you gotta learn to deal your jealously or else you'll continue to spout off more stupid (and unsubstantiated) claims.

Posted by: glavin08 | June 23, 2009 6:08 AM | Report abuse

I would have thought it could indicate a Jersey locale and a Mets fan. Or a Sopranos fan. Also, you disrespected the Bing, glavin. ;-)

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | June 23, 2009 6:41 AM | Report abuse

Glavin - you have to learn to not feed them. You must have heard this swipe before. You have to realize most of the 9000 claim to have never gone to Baltimore, so they would not know what a travel series is or who actually shows up for Red Sox road games.

As why the '07 exhibit, I'll go with taking advantage of an influx of people with a particular interest. I suppose if there were a monument or museum dedication, the Smithsonian might have an exhibit focused on a topic of interest. The simple truth is the Red Sox travel well. In some ways, I liked '07 more because '04 seemed a little flukey. And any excuse to tell Jon Lester's story is fine by me.

Posted by: jca-CrystalCity | June 23, 2009 8:21 AM | Report abuse

CJ - Per Amalie Benjamin, apparently , it's not jsut 2007 stuff. It's various Red Sox items, including a 3d base bag from the 2004 World Series.

"The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History will have a public presentation this morning of artifacts donated by the Red Sox. Included are a jersey worn by Jon Lester in Game 4 of the 2007 World Series, and a third base bag used in the 2004 World Series. They will be on display through Sunday . . . "

Posted by: jca-CrystalCity | June 23, 2009 9:05 AM | Report abuse

I'm a Red Sox fan (Nationals fan second), but I live in the DC area, so I don't know if I count as being "lured." I'll definitely be making an effort to get to the Smithsonian before this display ends, though. And I don't view it as a "new low" at all; I think it's just the result of smart (or at least sensible) marketing, and it's a reasonable display whether the Sox are in town or not. The Museum of American History already has historic baseball memorabilia, and surely the 2004 Red Sox World Series win was historic. The 2007 Series was less so, but I think that Jon Lester's jersey represents another sort of historic triumph -- namely, Lester's coming all the way from a cancer diagnosis (followed by chemotherapy) in 2006 to pitch for the win in the final game of the World Series in 2007.

Posted by: maximosjason | June 24, 2009 9:07 AM | Report abuse

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