The first Boston Red Sox visit to Nationals Park brought with it “jarring accents, green t-shirts and the unaccustomed whiff of a fan base that expects to win,” writes the Washington Post’s Dan Steinberg, who probably experienced a similar vibe when the Orioles hosted the Red Sox on a more routine basis. And with such mania for the AL East leaders well outside of their own market, it stands to reason some entrepreneurial sort would seek to organize a kiddie kamp devoted to Red Sox worship.
Welcome to the first day of the first year of Red Sox Camp — the official summer camps of the Boston Red Sox — in, yes, Bethesda, Maryland. It’s believed to be the first team-branded MLB camp outside of a team’s home market. The camp was open for up to 125 kids ages 5-13; it sold out. In, yes, Bethesda.
“Obviously it’s a loyal group of people, and they’ll travel far and wide to touch anything that has Red Sox on it,” said Brendan Sullivan, the co-founder and executive director of Red Sox Camps, which is doing nine sessions of camps featuring 1,000 campers in Boston, in addition to this current week at the Norwood School in Montgomery County. “There are very few teams that have the fan base to do this. Kids cling to the message a little bit more when you’ve got Boston Red Sox across your chest, and we’re taking advantage of that
The Bethesda campers all receive a “soup to nuts” Red Sox uniform, complete with stirrups and pants, belts and jersey. The coaches — about half of whom came down from the Boston area for the week — all wear Red Sox apparel. Many of the families pull up in cars covered with Red Sox stuff, and parents sit in the stands wearing Red Sox hats. The campers will also be taking a trip to Camden Yards on Tuesday, where they’ll get a VIP tour and meet with Dustin Pedroia.