York Hospital caregivers are ready to celebrate the Red Sox Home Opener at Fenway Park today. As in previous years, the hospital’s dining team will knock it out of the park with a baseball-inspired menu and caregivers will share their enthusiasm by sporting their favorite fan gear. However, this year, York Hospital’s connection to Red Sox Nation is even closer to home, thanks to a long-hoped-for, off-season encounter between a veteran pitcher and a loyal fan.
46 Years in the Making: Two Guys Walk Into a Vaccine Clinic . . .
What do legendary Boston Red Sox pitcher Luis Tiant and Ogunquit, Maine, resident Michael Doyle have in common? A date with destiny, in the form of concurrent appointments at York Hospital’s COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic at St. Christopher’s Church in York, Maine, on February 9, 2021.
It all started back in 1975, when Red Sox fan Michael Doyle purchased a $2 bleacher seat for the October 4 American League Championship Game at Fenway Park, where the Red Sox played against the Oakland A’s. Red Sox star Luis Tiant pitched and won this first game, 7-1, and the Red Sox team went on to sweep the series, 3-0, advancing to the World Series to battle the Cincinnati Reds. The Sox took the Series to seven games, ultimately losing the last game and surrendering the dream for another year (actually, until 2004).
Mr. Doyle had been saving his game ticket since then, hoping to have it signed if he ever ran into Mr. Tiant. In fact, once he learned that Mr. Tiant had moved to Wells, Maine, Mr. Doyle started carrying the ticket in his wallet because he thought his chances of running into the pitcher were greater. Although that did not happen, on the second day of York Hospital’s vaccine clinic, the curse was broken!
While waiting during the observation period following his vaccination, Michael Doyle recognized Luis Tiant and approached him with the ticket. Mr. Tiant graciously autographed this special piece of Red Sox history and posed for a photo with Mr. Doyle, making a great memory even greater. The rest is history, and York Hospital was happy to make the assist.
Pictured here, legendary Boston Red Sox pitcher Luis Tiant poses with Michael Doyle at York Hospital’s COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic at St. Christopher’s Church in York on February 9, 2021. A long-awaited dream was fulfilled that day when Mr. Tiant autographed Mr. Doyle’s ticket from the October 4, 1975 American League Championship Game at Fenway Park.
Hope Springs Eternal
There’s a familiar phrase from the famous poem “Casey at the Bat” that expresses the wishes of baseball fans everywhere at the start of each new season. After a bleak year with the coronavirus, that same sort of infectious optimism is on display as people roll up their sleeves to get their vaccines and begin to envision post-pandemic life.
When the players take the field at Fenway and other ballparks across the nation today, those words are likely to resonate more profoundly than usual. Thanks to a shot in the arm, “hope springs eternal,” both on the field and in our clinics and communities, and there will be joy in Mudville. Play ball!
Please continue to our vaccine web page at www.yorkhospital.com/vaccines for reservation instructions and the latest updates regarding COVID-19 vaccinations in Maine. For further information about other hospital services, please contact the Community Relations Office via phone at 207-351-2385 or email at [email protected].