Fans streamed into Modell's in Medford early Sunday morning to buy gear just hours after the Red Sox won the American League pennant. Credit: Michael Naughton/Metro
Despite a game that finished after midnight, and celebrations that ended in the wee hours of the morning, Boston Red Sox fans lined up by the dozens to be some of the first to get their hands on championship gear.
The line outside of Modell's in Medford was about 100 deep more than half an hour before the store's scheduled opening Sunday.
Seeing the line, Spencer Hawkes, a district manger, decided to open up about 45 minutes early.
"They went right for the locker room T-shirts and hats that the players were wearing [Saturday] night. That seems to be the biggest seller right now," he said.
The Red Sox beat the Detroit Tigers in Game 6 of the American League Championship Series in game that finished just after midnight on Sunday. Modell's opened up right after the game ended, closed for a few hours and then opened just after 8 a.m.
Fans rifled through a special display set up in the store that included blue and red shirts, hats, shot glasses and stickers.
Barbara Saul of Revere showed up wearing a Red Sox visor, shirt, jacket and shoes, but still wanted the new championship items.
"Phenomenal," she said of the team's win, her eyes widening. "From worst to first."
Holding three hats, pennants and examining shirt sizes, Christine, who did not want to give her last name, said she comes after every championship win to buy gear for her nephews. She was up late watching the game, but that didn't stop her from getting to the store early.
"It was a little getting started this morning, but it's good stuff," she said.
The Sox, who had a dismal season last year, finished first in the division this year and will now face the St. Louis Cardinals in the World Series. Game 1 is Wednesday.
Aaron Howell, of Marblehead, was mulling over shirt sizes Sunday morning and his prediction for the World Series.
"I hope they smoke 'em," he said. "It's going to be a tough one."
The region is expected to experience an economic boost not just from merchandise sales, but also from people coming in for the World Series who use hotels and taxis and eat at bars and restaurants.
"All of this adds up in a very positive way for the local economy," said Charles Rudnick, a spokesman for the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce.
The Chamber projects that each World Series home game will generate between $9 million and $10 million in income for the city and region. That means, if the World Series is forced to go to a Game 7, the region could see as much as $40 million in additional income.
"We're never going to root for the Red Sox to lose; however, if they do go into Game 6 and 7, there's a silver lining," Rudnick said. "That's another terrific injection into the local economy."