If you ask Mary Latowski why she loves the Boston Red Sox so much, she’ll tell you she has no idea, but they’ve been a big part of her life since she was 14 years old.
“And I’m still here at 102,” Latowski said Monday.
Latowski said she would listen to the games on the radio while riding the bus home from school. When she arrived, she’d head straight to her brother’s shop to give the workers there an update.
“They couldn’t wait until I got in the shop to get the scores,” Latowski recalled.
Latowski said she’s been to three different World Series games to cheer on the Red Sox, including games in 2004, 2007 and 2013. She lived through the entirety of the team’s 86-year championship drought and was hoping to attend another World Series game this season, until she had a stroke three weeks ago.
“I couldn’t even walk,” Latowski said. “But at least I can walk now. I’m not 100% but I can still walk with a walker.”
Latowski cheered the Sox on from her bed at Kent Hospital and a couple days after they won the pennant, her grandson made her a promise.
“My grandson was here on Sunday and he said, ‘Grandma, you better get ready for the fourth World Series, because I’m taking you,'” Latowski said. “I said, ‘I’ll do my best,’ and I did. So even if it’s in a wheelchair, I’ll be there.”
After weeks of recovery and rehabilitation, Latowski expects to be discharged on Tuesday so she can attend Game 2 on Wednesday. She said this is something she thought wouldn’t be possible.
“I thought I would never go,” Latowski said.
“It takes a strong individual to be able to come in completely debilitated, unable to stand, unable to sit up straight, completely dependent on all of her care, and then at 25 days have the ability to get to a Red Sox game,” Luke Davis, executive director of Rehabilitation Services at Kent Hospital, said.
Latowski said she was able to attend a game at Fenway Park last year, sitting along the first-base line and leaving with a ball caught by her favorite player.
“It’s a thrill – the biggest thrill,” she recalled. “I went last year and got a ball that Mookie Betts caught.”
Latowski said she’s grateful for the staff at Kent Hospital for helping get her back on her feet. She said no matter what life throws at her, she won’t let a health scare strike her out.
“I really tried my best so I could go, and move my feet so I could get in a car, and get out of the car and get in a wheelchair and get to Fenway Park,” Latowski said.
Latowski has seen a lot of different Red Sox teams in her 102 years, but said she believes this year’s team is the best she’s seen so far.
The Red Sox will face the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 1 on Tuesday, with first pitch scheduled for 8:09 p.m. at Fenway Park.