By Sara Brown
---- — HAVERHILL — Cheryll Capodilupo has admitted to many sleepless nights due to the Red Sox’s playoff run this year.
“I am tired at work, but it’s worth it,” Capodilupo said in an interview this week.
Capodilupo has been an avid fan of the Sox since the mid-1980s.
“I love the crack of the bat. I love Fenway Park. I love everything about them,” she said.
Capodilupo, 56, who lives in the city’s Bradford section, loves the Sox so much she even named a cat she once owned “Fenway,” after America’s oldest Major League baseball park. Fenway lived to age 18 1/2 before he died a year ago.
“Everything in and on my car is Red Sox: my license plate — I have the Jimmy Fund plates and got them as soon as they came out — Red Sox teddy bears and sock monkeys,” she said.
Capodilupo says she owns countless Red Sox memorabilia. Her house sports a Sox flag outside and her TV is decorated by two Sox Christmas gnomes that stay out year round.
“I like to show my support in any way I can,” she said.
She tries to go as many games as she can and she was there when David Ortiz hit a grand slam against Detroit in game 2 of the American League Championship Series.
Even when things looked bleak and the Red Sox were down 5-1 late in the game, Capodilupo said she never thought about leaving the ball park early.
“It’s never over ‘til they win or lose,” she said.
“I got to see the grand slam by Big Papi. It was fantastic. It was so exciting,” she said.
Capodilupo is such a passionate fan that a top priority on her “bucket list” before she dies is to follow the Sox on away games to as many ball parks as she can. She’s already been to Oriole Park at Camden Yards in Baltimore, Yankee Stadium, Tropicana Field in Tampa, Fla. and the Oakland Coliseum.
And next year, she plans an August trip to St. Louis to watch Boston play the Cardinals.
“This trip was planned when the schedule came out, not even knowing about the World Series Match up,” Capodilupo said.
During her trip to Camden Yards, she and friend Jane Cheverie ran into Red Sox CEO/President Larry Lucchino CEO at a Barnes & Noble bookstore in Baltimore.
“We stopped in there to use the restroom and recognized him right away,” she said. Lucchino was so flattered, he gladly posed for a photo with the Sox fans. Capodilupo has gotten to meet other Sox personalities over the years, including Hall of Fame slugger Jim Rice, pitching ace Roger Clemens and right fielder Dwight Evans.
One of her favorite memories of her beloved team is in 1995 when Mo Vaughn rode a horse around Fenway Park when the Sox won the American League East.
What she loves most about the Sox is their sense of gamesmanship and unity.
“They are always a team (that) have each other’s backs. They always have a leader to help them as well. For years, it was Jason Varitek and now it’s Dustin Pedroia. I think that is what they were missing the last two years,” she said.
Capodilupo said she loves that most of the team is sporting beards this season.
“It shows it is a team effort,” she said. “It makes it more fun and exciting.”
The Methuen native believes the Sox will win the Series in five games.
“I got a good feeling about this,” she said. “I think this is going to be our year again.”
How will Capodilupo feel if they win the Series again?
“I will have goosebumps. I will be elated for months. It will be worth all the sleepless nights,” she joked.
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