The pull of Boston sports and their loyal fandom is undeniable. Many have turned traitor to their own hometown and home state teams after they moved to New England to attend a university or settle with family.

So perhaps it is not unusual that 91-year-old David Fletcher Hoy III, born and raised in the Midwest, transferred his loyalties to the Boston Red Sox 18 years ago when he began to spend time in Camden and discovered his children and their families were fans.

On Saturday, July 14, Hoy realized a longtime dream when he attended his first Sox game at historic, fabled Fenway Park — thanks to the generosity of a neighbor.

And what a first game Hoy witnessed, a 6-2, extra-inning victory by the Sox over the Toronto Blue Jays, won in walk-off fashion on Xander Bogaerts' grand slam in the 10th inning.

Click to watch highlights from the game on YouTube.

Born in 1926, just 14 years after Fenway Park officially opened in 1912, Hoy's love of baseball was instilled by family. His grandfather, David Fletcher Hoy I (Davy), was a graduate of Cornell University of Ithaca, N.Y. (Class of 1891) and a loyal fan and registrar for the school’s baseball team.

In fact, Davy is honored in the famous Cornell fight song, “Give My Regards to Davy,” and, in 1922, the university named its baseball field after him.

This deep-rooted, family love for baseball stuck with Hoy III, and when he and his wife, Anne, began to summer in Camden in 1999, they settled comfortably into their Red Sox devotion.

They were loyal television viewers of the team on New England Sports Network and often spoke about making the trip together to Fenway Park to see a game and experience the historic stadium.

Unfortunately, Anne passed away earlier this year, without ever making the trip.

Hoy III, however, was determined to honor the couple's plans and, on Saturday, July 14, with the help of his neighbor, Richard Crossman, he finally stepped foot inside historic Fenway Park for the first time

After his wife’s death, Hoy III spoke with Crossman about his plans and asked for advice on how he could secure tickets to a Sox game. Hoy III had settled on July 14 as his ballgame of choice — against the Toronto Blue Jays — and was prepared to scour online resources to secure a good seat.

Crossman, as it turned out, had the connection Hoy III needed. As an insurance agent at Allen Insurance in Camden, Crossman knew that one of his insurance carrier partners, International Marine Underwriters (a brand of OneBeacon Insurance Group), had Red Sox season tickets.

So, Crossman, who attends at least one game a year with the OneBeacon Insurance Group, put in an inquiry, or special request, to his underwriting contact, Matt Pedersen, in the hope he could help. Happily, the company had available tickets to the game — nicely situated close to the action on the third-base line — and was happy to offer them to Crossman and Hoy III.

So, on Saturday, Crossman and his wife, Wendy, escorted Hoy III and Hoy III's son, John, to Fenway Park to enjoy every Sox fan’s “rite of passage,” a first time at the historic ballpark.

And what a game to see. The foursome cheered and watched as Bogaerts crushed a walk-off grand slam in the bottom of the 10th and the Sox, with the best record in baseball and in first place in the American League East Division, defeated the Blue Jays 6-2.

For Hoy III, at 91 years young, it turned out to be an all-around successful first experience at the fabled ballpark.

Much of the information for this story was provided by Sasha Aronson, marketing and communications consultant, OneBeacon Insurance Group.

Courier Publications' sports staff can be reached by email at or by phone at 594-4401.