Ric Flair, a 16-time world heavyweight wrestling champion that has entertained fans for nearly 40 years, surprised the Sox with an impromptu visit that accomplished the unaccomplishable — it rendered Dustin Pedroia speechless.
Pedroia, who teamed with Josh Reddick to purchase an autographed Flair robe that has hung above Pedroia’s locker for months, was given an authentic championship belt from the champ. Many of the players came over to lift it, commenting on the incredible weight of the thing, unlike the light toy model that also hung over Pedroia's locker.
After Flair took photos with Pedroia and Reddick, he called Terry Francona "coach" and then departed with a trademark "Wooooooo," leaving behind a group of grown men giggling like little boys.
"We had no clue," Reddick said. "We were both just sitting there and we turned around and there he was in the flesh."
Reddick and Pedroia bought the robe, one that Flair used to wear during his signature entrances, through an eBay auction earlier in the year. It is red and says "Nature Boy," Flair's nickname, on the back.
It has been a fixture ever since and alongside the belt is one of the first things you see upon visiting the clubhouse. But it's small potatoes compared to a visit by the wrestling legend himself. Reddick hopes the Sox can take a cue from Flair's ability to let loose, something the club could use right about now.
"The best thing about him is his entrance," Reddick said. "He comes in with all these flashy robes. This one [above the lockers] is low-key for him. He comes in, it's kind of like bedazzled, I guess you could say. His entrance is one of the best ones in wrestling. He comes out with the cockiest get-out and screaming like we just heard him scream in the locker room, and doing his patented little dance. He does it during the matches as well. Whatever it takes to get the crowd going."
Or the team.
"Like Pedey said, we may never lose another one all year," Reddick said. "We all know we've had a rough month but anything to take that kind of weight off of our shoulders. It could help us out a lot. I think that did a lot of good for the whole team, not just me and Pedey."