For 40 years, Al Rocci had a dream job, getting paid to watch baseball and meet the biggest legends of the sport.
As the Boston Red Sox prepare to host Game 1 of the World Series Tuesday night, it’s safe to say there are few people who have seen more Sox games in their lives than Rocci, who turned 101 on Tuesday.
Born in 1917, Rocci is the oldest living former Red Sox employee. He worked as an usher at Fenway Park from 1936 to 1975.
For all the years he worked as an usher, Rocci had front row seats to see some of baseball's biggest stars, many of whom would become his friends.
"I've been very lucky," Rocci said. "I favored them all, I liked them all."
Recounting all his years working for the Red Sox is an interesting trip down memory lane.
"(There's) nothing like it," Rocci said. "You know, I enjoyed every bit of it every day."
Rocci, who now lives in a Wakefield nursing home, built a Red Sox shrine inside his Medford home where he lived for 66 years.
Years' worth of Red Sox history fills the room, where many of the players featured became Rocci's friends, like Ted Williams, Johnny Pesky and Babe Ruth.
"Babe Ruth was No. 1, no question about it," Rocci said. "Babe Ruth, there's nobody like it, he was the best of all times."
"Everything revolved around the schedule, it was never even thought of, 'Oh we won't go,' it was just automatic, you know," said Carol Rocci, Al's daughter.
Carol Rocci, Al's daughter, said baseball was a family affair. Her parents were married for 67 years and she says the only thing that kept her father away from Fenway Park was serving his country.
"The only games he ever missed at Fenway he was in the Army in World War II, he was overseas," Carol Rocci said. "It took a war to get him away from the games."
But Rocci's love for sports didn't end when he retired from the Red Sox in 1975. He then went to work for the Patriots -- also as an usher -- for another 40 years. Rocci also worked for the Boston Braves.
"I can't explain the feeling and how lucky I've been, I've been very lucky," Rocci said.
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