There’s a tradition in Boston – every year on Patriots Day, a state holiday in Massachusetts that commemorates the battles of Lexington and Concord, the Red Sox start their games in the morning. The earlier start time was originally designed to accommodate the biggest sporting event of the day, the Boston Marathon, and allow fans to see its conclusion. By law, Patriots Day is fixed on the third Monday in April.
On Patriots Day 2007, one fan celebrated the occasion by forcefully sharing his pizza with another fan. This showing of patriotic hospitality was immortalized by the reaction of NESN commentators, Don Orsillo and Jerry Remy, and entered Red Sox lore as the “Here Comes the Pizza” incident.
Patriots Day 2007 began as a rainy affair and the original 10 AM start time would be delayed by over two hours. At 12:18 pm, the 7-2 Red Sox took the field to take on the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Ace pitcher Josh Beckett took the mound for the Sox against Angels’s Ervin Santana, a matchup that had been rained out the day before.
The Angels struck first with a home run by former Red Sox player Orlando Cabrera in the top of the first. That would be the only run that Josh Beckett would give up in this start. The Red Sox wasted no time jumping out to a lead by scoring 6 runs in the bottom of the first to take a 6-1 lead. David Ortiz provided the dot on the exclamation point with a 4th inning home run.
By the 7th inning, the game looked to be a sure win for the Red Sox who had a 7-1 lead. It was then however that this otherwise nondescript game entered the annals of Red Sox lore. JD Drew hit a foul ball to the third base side and into the stands. Angels right fielder Garrett Anderson went after the ball, making contact with a fan in the stands and causing him to spill his beer. As if losing his beer wasn’t bad enough, the fan found himself getting hit with an airborne pizza. If you haven’t seen the incident, view the video above because it is well worth it. Orsillo and Remy are at their best here.
The Angels would score again in the top of the 9th when Howie Kendrick hit a solo shot off of Kyle Snyder. They would fail to mount a comeback and the Sox would win, 7-2. Josh Beckett would pick up the win to bring his season total to 3-0. His ERA would move to an impressive 1.50.
That’s the story of Patriots Day 2007, the day when a slice of pizza created a moment in history.