WALTHAM, Mass. - For much of the last century, the Boston Red Sox and the Chicago Cubs shared the same unsuccessful trajectory. Then the Red Sox won two World Series titles in four years while the Cubs continued to search for their first championship since 1908.

So when the BoSox Club hosted a broadcaster from the visiting Chicago Cubs during a May 20 luncheon at The Westin Waltham Boston, two Soldiers invited to the event from the Natick Soldier Systems Center got to experience a small slice of baseball history.

Sergeant Carl Philpott and Spc. Jeff Jones of the Headquarters Research and Development Detachment entered the room to a standing ovation. Then they sat, enjoyed lunch, and listened to a little baseball talk.

“On behalf of Cubs Nation, for the first time in 93 years, greetings,” said Judd Sirott, of Chicago’s radio broadcaster invited to the luncheon. He was referencing the last time the two teams played, in the 1918 World Series, won by the Red Sox.

“I think I speak for many Cub fans and people in the organization,” Sirott said. “We’re envious and we have all sorts of respect for what the Red Sox have been able to accomplish here. We can only hope that one day we are able to raise that World Series title.”

Former Red Sox player Bill Buckner, traded to Boston from the Cubs in 1984, also spoke. Buckner is in his first season as manager of the Brockton (Mass.) Rox of the Can-Am League.

Luncheon master of ceremonies Jon Rish of WEEI Radio asked him about “the play,” Buckner’s well-documented error against the New York Mets in the sixth game of the 1986 World Series. The response was witty and gracious.

“What play?” Buckner joked. “It was just like the perfect storm. The storm lasted quite a while.”
Sam Kennedy, executive vice president/chief operating officer of the Red Sox, followed Buckner and talked about the team’s recent accomplishments, including the $285 million renovation of Fenway Park.

“We’ve had many, many special moments over the last 10 years,” Kennedy said. “To play baseball in October every year is our goal.”

Darnell McDonald, Red Sox reserve outfielder, hopes to do just that. He told the audience that sitting on the bench for such a strong team can be difficult.

“It’s a tough lineup to crack,” McDonald said. “I realize what my role is. I’m just remaining patient. I know my time will come. If I’m not playing, then that’s a good thing. Our regulars are healthy and doing their thing.”

The BoSox Club, established in 1967, is the official fan organization of the Boston Red Sox. The club raises money for such worthwhile organizations as the Red Sox Foundation and the Jimmy Fund.