With Dan Roche filling in for Rich on Tuesday morning, the world caught a glimpse of just how deep Rochie’s love for baseball runs.
It started when Fred Toucher said he tried to “get into” the Little League World Series while on his vacation. Fred meant that he tried to care about the games, but Roche interpreted it as Fred trying to physically go to Williamsport to take in a few ballgames.
“Dan, you are such a jabroni. Do you know that? What is wrong with you?” an incredulous Fred said. “He thought that I was taking a vacation to go to the Little League World Series, and something like a flat tire made me not go, or I couldn’t get in. That is Dan Roche in a nutshell.”
Fred continued: “Here’s when you go to the Little League World Series — when your child’s playing in it.”
“I’ve always wanted to go, I never have,” Rochie said. “That’s on the bucket list with Harvard and Yale, Fred. … I would love to go. It’s cool. It’s just a cool atmosphere, it’s like baseball at its purest, and fun.”
The spirited Little League debate prompted Roche to tell the story of when he took his son to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, back when his son was a newborn.
“My son was two weeks old, and I brought him to Cooperstown and the Hall of Fame, and I brought him to the men’s room and I poured water over his forehead and I baptized him into the game,” Roche said. “And then I had him touch the Yaz plaque and the Ted Williams plaque.”
“Now did you admit this to people,” Fred asked, “or were you afraid you’d be institutionalized?”
Rochie then shared the story of his son’s birth.
“At 11:13 p.m., on May 25, 1995, in came Harry into the world, and I look up at the monitor, and Luis Alicea is rounding the bases after hitting a home run in a magical moment,” Roche said. “I pointed it to the doctor and the nurses as my son came into the world. So then I brought him over to the TV a while later, and Mo Vaughn went deep as we were watching the game.”
Roche said that he later told Alicea about the moment, and the former Sox second baseman gave Roche the home run ball and signed it.
Fred and Wallach questioned the authenticity of the baseball being the actual home run ball, at which point Rochie started fighting back.
“It’s why you guys live like you live,” Roche said. “Crushing dreams, it’s just what you do.”
Then things got downright nasty.
“Your poor wife, lugging around a two-week old,” Fred said.
“Where do you want me to go, to like Woodstock? Or the Guitar Fest, like you would go?”
Listen to the hilarity that ensued below: