By Bobby Sisk, WBZ-TV

BOSTON (CBS) – After most of the sold-out crowd at the Red Sox-Orioles game headed home, a faithful group waited for players to pass from Fenway Park to The House of Blues. Among them, 10-year-old Jonathan Rears, a baseball fanatic who knows this team inside and out. “I think their pitching lineup is a really good lineup this year,” he said.

Jonathan brought his book of Sox player photos to get signed. But it was an autograph from Pitcher Clay Buchholz on Jonathan’s jersey that led to a heartfelt thank you. “I’m stoked. Thank you,” he said to Buchholz. “He was probably one of the nicest guys,” Jonathan added.

Gallery: Red Sox Home Opener

Buchholz, who signed for a few more fans, said this year’s team is a good group of guys. “All the new guys they brought in. It’s been a fun spring,” he said. We asked him about a fan’s earlier prediction to WBZ that the Red Sox will end up in the World Series this year. “Bold statement… bold statement, but I like it though. So that’s what everybody is here for, all the new guys. They know how to be a part of a championship club. It’s going to be good,” he said.

New outfielder Jonny Gomes had this to say to fans who seem excited about the season ahead. “We appreciate the support and we’ll continue putting a good show on,” he said. Inside The House of Blues, The Red Sox Foundation gave Gomes and other players, including three members of the World Series winning 2004 team, an official welcome home. Daniel Nava, who had a great game in the opener, received probably the loudest cheer from the crowd.

The fundraiser included a spoof the “The Match Game,” the game show from the 60’s and 70’s. New England native Mike O’Malley served as emcee.

“My grandfather brought me to my first game here when they were still showing games in black and white,” said long-time fan Jim O’Reilly. “I like this team. It’s one I can cheer for more than last year. These guys seem like a lot of good guys who at least enjoy playing baseball. I can’t say that about teams from the past couple of years,” O’Reilly said.


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