Red Sox fans have had their ups and downs throughout the years but they have always shown their adoration for the team. Baseball enthusiasts strive for that beloved autograph, hoping to be the lucky one to catch the star’s attention. With the all-star break upon us, here is a look at some of the dedicated followers. - Leanne Burden Seidel and Lisa Tuite
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April 8, 1959: Ted Williams wore a Thomas collar as he left New England Baptist Hospital where he had been hospitalized for 11 days for a neck ailment. Williams made it a point to visit all of the working personnel at the hospital, shaking hands and having a word with each nurse, doctor, and technician he encountered. When he arrived at the street, he autographed papers for two young girls.
Dan Goshtigian/Globe Staff
May 22, 1966: Red Sox pitcher Earl Wilson signed autographs for young fans at the annual Globe-Red Sox baseball clinic. Over 4,000 youngsters watched manager Billy Herman run a group of his players through drills to the delight of the young fans who ranged in age from little leaguers to high school players. Then Earl Wilson, Ken Sanders, and Jose Santiago moved out to the bullpen and talked to those youngsters interested in pitching and catching.
Frank O'Brien/Globe Staff
Sept. 7, 1967: A young Boston fan in Washington sought an autograph from Russ Gibson, as he, Gary Bell and Darrell Brandon left D.C. stadium after the game. The Sox split a doubleheader with the Senators, losing 5-2 in the first game and then winning the nightcap, 6-4.
Dan Gostigian/Globe Staff
Aug. 18, 1974: James E. McClish, a Red Sox fan from Newport, R.I., decided to celebrate his 50th birthday at Fenway Park by buying ice cream for fellow fans and players. He handed out ice cream bars to players in the dugout and to fans in his vicinity. It cost him $100, but it was a birthday he would remember.
Dan Sheehan/ Globe Staff
Oct. 8, 1975: Red Sox centerfielder Fred Lynn got the attention of the celebratory crowd gathered at Logan airport for the team arrival at 7:30 a.m. He got help from a state troopers as he wended his way through the fans who welcomed home the team after they won their first American League pennant in 8 years. Fred Lynn won both the American League Rookie of the Year award and the Most Valuable Player, a feat which had never previously been accomplished.
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June 25, 1978: Red Sox pitcher Dennis Eckersley signed autographs before the Sox game with the Baltimore Orioles. Not to worry, he wasn't wearing out his pitching arm as Luis Tiant was the starter and got the 8-3 win over the Birds.
Bill Brett/Globe Staff
September 1, 1986: Red Sox third baseman Wade Boggs signed autographs before the game with the Texas Rangers. The Sox, in first place, beat the Rangers 6-4. The fan enthusiasm for the Sox didn't wane as the Sox ultimately defeated the California Angels to win the American League Championship. Unfortunately they lost the World Series to the New York Mets, but 750,000 fans still turned out for a parade in their honor.