By Sara Brown
---- — Betty Burnell of Derry has been a devoted Red Sox fan for more than 70 years. It all started when she watched how her grandparents cheered for the then-Boston Braves (now the Atlanta Braves).
“I decided then I was going to be a Boston Red Sox fan,” the 80-year-old said.
When asked what she loves most about her team, she simply says “everything.”
“Being a Red Sox fan is just in my being,” she later explains.
One of her favorite Sox memories is when Carlton Fisk hit the game-wining home run in Game 6 of 1975 World Series, which she happened to be there for.
“It was the highlight of my life,” she said. “It was so exciting to be there. Fenway was going nuts.”
Fans have also been going nuts for this team — Burnell along with them.
“They’re so much fun. They are a bunch of characters,” she said.
Their success has meant so much to Burnell, considering how the last couple of years have been for the Sox. She says watching this season has been more fun than watching in 2004, when the Red Sox finally won it after an 86 year drought.
“It’s been a lot more fun,” she said.
She believes her favorite team will go all the way this time, and win the World Series in Boston in seven games.
“This team is special. I can just feel it,” she said.
Like many a devoted fan, Burnell has some superstitions she adheres to when watching the games.
She has a little Wally doll that sits on her TV and it hasn’t moved all season.
“Sometimes if they have a bad season, I will move it around for good luck. However, it’s been in the same spot all season long,” she joked.
She also watches every game with a Red Sox blanket that her sons gave her — just in case the hometown team needs a little extra luck.
But win or lose, Burnell says she will always be a lifelong Red Sox fan.
“Some of the best times and memories involve this team. It’s a part of me,” she said.
Follow Sara Brown on Twitter @Sara_Brown_Trib. To comment on stories and see what others are saying, log on to eagletribune.com.