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Red Sox division title banner mystery thickens; replacement hung at Fenway Park

Iacuzzi said Wednesday by phone that he and his buddies spotted an object wrapped up on McGrath Highway in Somerville Monday morning.
Iacuzzi said Wednesday by phone that he and his buddies spotted an object wrapped up on McGrath Highway in Somerville Monday morning.

Call it a pinch hitter.

The Red Sox put up a replacement division title banner Friday morning outside Fenway Park and have stored the original flag that temporarily went missing earlier in the week.

Meanwhile, a short-lived police investigation into the disappearance of Banner No. 1 was closed Friday with no arrests.

Tony Lafuente, a former Somerville alderman whose company made both banners, had confirmed Friday morning that he filed a report with local police in an effort to figure out “what happened.”

But at 1:45 p.m., Somerville Deputy Police Chief James Stanford said the investigation had “been closed at the request of the complainant. The SPD is no longer looking into the matter. No charges have been filed.”


Lafuente said his company took the new banner to the ballpark Friday.

Zineb Curran, a Red Sox spokeswoman, said the team put up the new banner around 7:30 a.m. Friday, following the Sox 11-6 win over the Yankees the night before to clinch the American League East championship.

Curran said in an e-mail that the original banner “is being stored. We don’t have anything to add about the police report.”

Neither did Louie Iacuzzi and James Amaral, the men who said they found the original banner Monday morning on McGrath Highway in Somerville, when reached by phone Friday.

“I’m all set,” said Iacuzzi, 44, of Malden. “Have a good day.”

Amaral was a little more expansive but still kept things close to the vest.

“At this point, I really don’t want to talk about it,” Amaral said. “The media has tried to make fools out of us.”

Iacuzzi and Amaral earned sudden notoriety Wednesday when they appeared in a Boston Globe video to recount their story of finding the original banner wrapped up on the busy highway.


Iacuzzi told the Globe that he pulled over and crossed multiple travel lanes on foot to retrieve the object, which they later discovered was the banner. He and Amaral initially said they wanted to negotiate the terms of the handover with the Red Sox but ultimately coughed up the banner Wednesday afternoon, getting nothing in return.

Amaral reiterated Friday that he and Iacuzzi “did the right thing” after finding the original banner by happenstance.

“We found it, and we returned it,” he said.

Informed of the team’s decision to put up a replacement banner, Amaral took the news in stride.

“If that’s what they have, that’s what they have,” he said. “They have nothing to lie about, like we had nothing to lie about.”

Curran, the Red Sox spokeswoman, said the team ultimately displayed a replacement banner because they “preferred to use one that was in our possession the entire time.”

Travis Andersen can be reached at travis.andersen@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @TAGlobe.