With yet another record in the books, the Red Sox handed a baseball commemorating Fenway Park's 700th consecutive sellout, the longest such streak in Major League Baseball history, to each fan departing Friday's game between the Red Sox and the Rangers.
"Reaching 700 consecutive sellouts is a lesson for us all to never underestimate what the passion of Red Sox Nation can achieve," Red Sox principal owner John Henry said in a news release. "Our fans have demonstrated unwavering loyalty and support from the stands at Fenway Park every day of the regular season for more than eight years, and everyone in the organization is grateful for the their steadfast dedication."
The Cleveland Indians held the previous record of 455 straight sellouts from 1995 to 2001. The Colorado Rockies posted 203 consecutive sellouts from 1995 to 1997. The Red Sox' record began May 15, 2003, in the second year of the current group's ownership.
"Red Sox Nation gives our players and coaches a distinct competitive advantage in home games by creating a sell-out atmosphere unmatched in any other ballpark," Red Sox President/CEO Larry Lucchino said. "We are grateful for their knowledge, their passion, and their love of the Red Sox for the game of baseball."
The longest sellout streak in the four major professional North American sports is held by the Portland Trail Blazers, who sold out 744 games from 1975 to 1995. The Colorado Avalanche are third on the list with 407 sellouts from 1995 to 2006.
Players and coaches came out of the dugout during the fifth inning to acknowledge the crowd for its continue support, and a video tribute to fans from the team was played on the videoboard after the fifth inning.
Fans also received commemorative baseballs when the team reached the 500th and 600th consecutive sellout marks in 2009 and 2010, respectively.
"It is a number that at one time might have been considered unattainable, but our fans proved that 700 sellouts was a possible milestone to reach," Red Sox Chairman Tom Werner said. "It is a testament to the dedication they have for the game, for the team, and for the ballpark. As stewards of this franchise, we will continue to work hard to earn the support of our fan base, which is something we will never take for granted."