"Big Neil" Kelleher; Ticket to Frank Malzone

I grew up two trolley stops from Fenway Park. Some afternoons,my dad would give me a buck. The trolly was a nickle each way, general admission was fifty cents. That left a surplus of forty cents - good for a dog, a scorecard and popcorn. In those days, popcorn came in a funneled container.After you snarfed down the year old popcorn, you could punch the bottom out of the funnel and shout through it. "Big Neil" Kelleher was the father of my close pal, "Little Neil" Kelleher. As a bartender at Traver's Tavern, Big Neil would be given Sox tickets right on the third base dugout.With these cardboard sacraments Billy C. and Little Neil would go to the game. Third baseman for the Carmine Hose in those days was Frank Malzone. "Malzie" was a rock steady player. Nothing special, not flashy. I guess a ham and egger would better describe him. Forty years later, I met him at McCoy Stadium, where he spends a lot of time hanging in the owner's box. Friendly, affable and brave enough to wear his Sox World Series ring in public, he is shown here with Rick Medeiros, Director of PawSox Security. Rick is another great guy and someone I look forward to seeing at McCoy. A bear of a man with an even bigger heart, he is one that I am glad is on my side.

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