Boston Red Sox fan reeling in the glory at age 94

Boston Red Sox fan reeling in the glory at age 94

valley breeze photo by paul r. dubois Marie MaLoney is an avid Boston Red Sox fan who watches every single game. The 94-year-old is ecstatic that the team won the World Series this year and has but one regret, she’ll have to wait until next season to enjoy her favorite pasttime.

CUMBERLAND - She plans her entire day around them.

No matter what time the Boston Red Sox play, Marie Maloney is glued to her television set, even when the team travels to the West Coast and games don't begin until 10 p.m. Eastern Time.

"I know what time they are playing, so when they go to the West Coast, I get my snack ready for 10, and lock the door so no one can come in and bother me, and then I sit down and watch the game," said Maloney. "What a great season they gave us this time. It makes up for last year. Last year, they gave me heartburn."

There are many avid female fans, but not many like Maloney. She was born the year after Babe Ruth was sold to the New York Yankees.

She is 94 years old.

"They won it the year I was born, but I wasn't around yet," she said. "But I've been a fan all my life. I love the Red Sox."

Like many Sox fans, she has endured long dry spells between championships. The Sox won the World Series in 1918, but did not see another banner flying over Fenway Park until 86 years later.

"That was the best, when the Red Sox were losing three games to none against the Yankees and then won it all," she said. "I remember that."

Like most French Canadian families of her era, Marie was born to Canadian immigrants who moved to the Albion section of Lincoln and like virtually the entire neighborhood, her parents worked at the former Albion Mill.

"Except for one, all 12 of the kids in my family worked at that mill at one time or another," she said.

It was while growing up in the mill village that her affinity for baseball began. She joined a baseball team that played in Albion Park as a young teen.

"I remember that our uniforms were brown and yellow," she said. "I got to understand the game and I've been a fan since."

Her first husband, the late Thomas Hannon, was a huge baseball fan and fueled Marie's FAN-aticism by taking her to ball games at Fenway Park where she saw the likes of Hall of Famer Ted Williams play.

She's a little fuzzy on some details about past players, as most 94-year-olds are, but vividly remembers others, like Pedro Martinez and Dwight Evans, two of her favorites.

Her favorite player now?

"I love David Ortiz," she said. "What a personality on that guy. Of course, I like Pedroia and Napoli and the others, too, and especially that Ellsbury because he steals all those bases like nobody's business."

When the Red Sox won in 2004, she watched the entire proceedings with her friend, the late Pauline Bouvier, also an avid fan who experienced blindness and hearing loss in her later years.

"I would call her every single day to tell her about the game and if the Red Sox won," Marie said. "When they lost, she didn't have much to say, but I'd call anyway."

She says that she has been lucky with health. She has been hospitalized twice in her long life, the first time to give birth to her only child, Christopher Hannon, and the second a few months ago when she had to deal with pancreatitis, a problem she has overcome.

"I never had no surgeries, no hospitals, no nothing," she said. "That's what you call luck."

She lives in the Cumberland Housing Authority's housing for the elderly complex on Flat Street, which she thoroughly enjoys, and she remains self-sufficient.

"I still do all my own cooking and laundry, but I do have someone come in to help clean a couple of times a week," she said. "My knees are shot because of arthritis and I use a walker, but I still get around pretty good. I used to walk five miles every day until I was 86."

Red Sox Christmas ornaments adorn the windows of her home.

"They were supposed to be Christmas decorations, but she likes them so much that she keeps them up all year long," said Marie's granddaughter, Amanda Hannon.

If Marie could have one wish, it would be that the Red Sox play all year long. She said even though the team played as deep into the season as possible this year, she misses them already.

"You know, there's a woman here (Flat Street) who wanted to bet me $50 that the Red Sox wouldn't win the World Series this year," she said. "I said, get out of here, I'm not that far gone yet. I should have made that bet."

While she is passionate about baseball, she doesn't really care for other sports.

"I can't understand them like I understand baseball," she said.

Although she will be in their corner, she doesn't believe that the Red Sox will repeat as champions next year.

"They were good this year, but they were lucky, too, and I don't think that it will happen again," she said. "But I'll stick with them and still watch every game if I can stay alive that long."