Fighting Irish Athletics | November 20, 2015
Paul Kelly, father of University of Notre Dame football coach Brian Kelly, remembers it like it was yesterday.
“Our first Red Sox game actually was the World Series in 1975 against the Cincinnati Reds,” Paul recalls. “We had seats in right field, by the Pesky Pole. During batting practice Ken Griffey hit a ball right to us. I put my hand up and it actually stuck, and I said, ‘Oh my God, I actually caught a ball.’ You’d think I might have broken my fingers or something, but I didn’t even feel it.
“Of course, Brian and Paul (Brian’s older brother by 11 months) were jumping up and down and were all excited. So I told them, ‘You’ve got to save this ball. This is historic. This is a World Series baseball.’ And the Red Sox hadn’t won a World Series since 1918. They said, ‘Okay, okay, okay.’ I told them, ‘You save this as a memento.’ “So I get home from work one day and Paul and Brian are out there on the hardtop driveway playing catch with the ball, and all I can see are the threads flying out of the baseball. I said, ‘Guys, what are you doing?’ They said, ‘We’re playing catch.’ I said, ‘I told you we want to save that ball.’ They said, ‘We thought it was to play catch with.’ So that killed that trophy.”