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Mariano Rivera played his first game at Fenway Park on July 16, 1996. He was a set-up reliever then and pitched two innings against the Red Sox. Joe Girardi, who manages the Yankees now, was the catcher.
John Basmajian can’t remember for sure, but he probably was at the game that day. The guy everybody at Fenway calls “Baz” has been working at the park for 46 years selling tickets.
In the years since, surely their paths crossed. If you count the postseason, Rivera has walked into Fenway Park more than any ballpark other than the two in New York he has called home. Baz? He’s as much a part of Fenway as the Pesky Pole.
On Saturday, the two career baseball men finally met.