While Anfield rocked and Liverpool blinded Barcelona to reach the Champions League final, another sports team on the other side of the world stopped and watched.
The Boston Red Sox were in the middle of the batting training prior to their game against the Baltimore Orioles. Bats and gloves went down. Their sister's side drew something spectacular and it had to be seen. After Divock Origi sent Liverpool to Madrid, manager Alex Cora told his players to get inspiration from what the Reds had just achieved.
The prevailing World Series winners and the now kings of Europe, 3,000 miles apart, have one important link. That is, except for the color that gives the Boston side its name.
Liverpool celebrates after winning the Champions League with a win against Tottenham Hotspur in Madrid in early June
The Boston Red Sox catch their fourth World Series since the end of the & # 39; Bambino Curse & # 39; in 2004 and the elevator trophy in Los Angeles
The two sporting giants are owned by John W. Henry (right) and Fenway Sports Group, who bought Liverpool in 2010
It owns John W. Henry and Fenway Sports Group.
But much has also been shared between the two parties. They are two historically successful teams that until recently had difficulty matching that past with the current glory.
And their grounds are milestones in their own rights. Fenway Park is one of the most famous stadiums of baseball.
Take the Green Monster for example. It is a giant wall in the left field that is unique to Fenway. & # 39; You have Big Ben & # 39 ;, Red Sox historian Gordon Edes told Sportsmail during a recent visit: & # 39; Paris has the Eiffel Tower. We have the Green Monster & # 39 ;.
It is comparable to the Kop op Anfield, a unique facet in a field that defines a sports team.
Fenway Park, the long-term home of the Boston Red Sox, has been known for years as one of America & # 39; s largest sites
It corresponds to the Kop at Anfield, which is considered to be one of Liverpool's cultural attractions and English football
BOSTON RED SOX
World Series titles (9): 1903, 1912, 1915, 1916, 1918, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2018
Pennants (14): 1903, 1904, 1912, 1915, 1916, 1918, 1946, 1967, 1975, 1986, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2018
Income in 2018: $ 516 million (£ 404 million)
Terrain: Fenway Park (37,755 places)
Manager: Alex Cora
Major players: Mookie Betts, Andrew Benintendi, Hanley Ramirez
Back to Henry himself. He had a mixed reception in his time as the owner of Liverpool – something boring since they won their sixth Champions League. But he got the same distrust when he came to Fenway Park.
The 69-year-old owned the Florida Marlins, a groundbreaking Major League Baseball-side, for three years before being sold. They were nothing compared to the Red Sox, one of the biggest names in baseball.
Not that everything was fine in Fenway. The curse of the Bambino – with which the Red Sox Babe sold Ruth and did not win the World Series for 86 years – hung over the place.
There were also plans for the demolition of the historic site with the intention of building a new stadium next door.
Instead, Henry proposed plans to renovate Fenway for approximately $ 300 million – similar to how notions of leaving Anfield have been suspended under FSG.
Their Main Stand expansion went so well because Henry and Co have just been there before.
The Boston Red Sox and the Brooklyn Robins face each other during the 1916 World Series at Fenway Park, which won the Red Sox
A general view of Fenway Park and the famous Green Monster, which was covered with advertisements in the past
Now the advertisement corresponds to the overall design of the Green Monster, on which the Henry regime had installed it
First division titles (18): 1900-01, 1905-06, 1921-22, 1922-23, 1946-47, 1963-64, 1965-66, 1972-73, 1975-76, 1976-77, 1978-79 1979-80, 1981-82, 1982-83, 1983-84, 1985-86, 1987-88, 1989-90
European Cup / Champions League (6): 1977, 1978, 1981, 1984, 2005, 2019
Other important awards: 18
Income (2017-18 season): £ 455 million
Earth: Anfield (54,074 capacity)
Manager: Jurgen Klopp
Major players: Virgil van Dijk, Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane
Henry knew the value of the Green Monster, for example. Instead of knocking him over, he saved him and added seats on top for the first time in his 90-year history. People there pay hundreds of dollars for tickets.
Money ball was also the popular subject at the time of his arrival. Henry was always obsessed with numbers, even before he earned his money as a commodity trader.
When he talked about the spell when he took over the family farm, his neighbor Rex Twist said: “Most farmers want to talk about their tractors. The only thing John spoke about were the market and prices. & # 39;
So Henry left and recruited sabermetrics pioneer Bill James to give his team a new statistical approach to recruitment.
That was copied on Merseyside when the initially maligned Michael Edwards got a huge role in signing sessions. His model did not work in the beginning, but has paid off in recent years. Few will deny that recent market movements in Liverpool have been brilliant.
Just like Liverpool on Virgil van Dijk and Alisson, the Red Sox also spent heavily where needed. As Professor Andrew Zimbalist of Smith College in 1999, Massechusetts said: & # 39; (Henry) believes the best way to achieve success with a sports franchise is to place a winning team on the pitch. & # 39;
Back across the pond, Henry entered the Red Sox in 2002 and stated that his goal was to break the curse of the Bambino & # 39 ;. He achieved it within just two years.
The Red Sox became the first team ever to come back from a 3-0 deficit to win when they conquered the New York Yankees – their opponents in the London Series later this week – in the American League Championship Series.
A goal for Henry when he arrived at the Red Sox was to have the & # 39; Curse of the Bambino & # 39; to end – which began after the sale of Babe Ruth
After an 86-year guard, the Red Sox finally captured the World Series with a victory over the St. Louis Cardinals in 2004
It took two years for the Red Sox to be owned by Fenway Sports Group to take the trophy – they won it four times
LINDA PIZZUTI HENRY
John W. Henry & # 39; s wife Linda is loved by both Fenway Park and Anfield.
At Fenway, they are excited about the fact that she helped set up a roof garden at the top of the Green Monster, which supplies some of the products used in the executive facilities.
And while Liverpool celebrated its season with a round of the field in May, they scored a goal for the Cup to fulfill a $ 10,000 charity stakes with FSG co-owner Tom Werner.
She then defeated the St. Louis Cardinals in the 2004 Series itself to capture the title for the first time since 1918.
Not that they stopped there. They took the World Series again in 2007, 2013 and 2018. There is an argument that the Red Sox, who came as a cursed team in the century, is now the baseball dynasty of the new millennium.
The connection in a sporting sense with Liverpool can be seen. They may have taken almost a decade to win a great honor from their owners, but the Champions League triumph feels like the beginning of something.
Even before the final in Madrid, Henry made it clear that he wanted more next season: & # 39; (The Champions League final) is not making up for this, but winning the Premier League means an even bigger goal next year.
& # 39; Something like going back to the Champions League final this year was something our team focused on. We will win next year (the competition). & # 39;
Back in Boston, there was a sense of irony that some were stuck behind the scenes of the club at an event commemorating the sale of the century, Ruth & # 39; s departure for the Yankees, along with the final.
The celebrations in Anfield like Liverpool picked up the Champions League trophy for the sixth time in their history
A banner is unrolled over the Green Monster as the Red Sox is celebrated taking the World Series against the previous campaign
Several told Sportsmail that they would have preferred to watch Liverpool.
In Boston, they prepare to welcome the Reds to Fenway Park in the summer when they visit Seville. It is reasonable to say that they are enthusiastic about their arrival. New England now has as much enthusiasm for Liverpool as parts of the old world.
Henry himself sees the comparisons between the two sides: & When I think of how special Anfield is and how special Liverpool is, everyone around the world is talking about Liverpool, it is because of the crowd.
& # 39; Similar to the Boston Red Sox. We have such incredible fans. So & # 39; n literate and passionate fans that if you look at what's going on at Anfield, you want to row for this club. & # 39;
Liverpool played Roma in a pre-season game at Fenway Park in 2014 and will compete against Seville there on July 21 this summer
Jurgen Klopp nailed his colors to the mast when he was wearing a Red Sox cap on vacation in Mexico last week.
Not that he is an expert: & # 39; I don't understand that game. I apologize. & # 39;
Thanks to Henry, this has now become a story of two sports cities. Both Liverpool and the Red Sox thrive under his stewardship. Not that Henry would take the credit.
A source near Henry told the Guardian in 2010: & # 39; There is no way he would go to Liverpool and say, "Look at me, I am a great opportunity and I will prove it by one of the most famous football clubs in the world. " This is not about his ego. & # 39;
Yet Henry deserves praise. Thanks to him, both the Red Sox and Liverpool should be designated as one of the teams of the next decade.
Watch the MLB London Series: Boston Red Sox against New York Yankees live on BT Sport 1 on Saturday June 29 and Sunday June 30. Go to bt.com/sport
Jurgen Klopp, manager of Liverpool, was even pictured on a Boston Red Sox hat during a vacation in Mexico last week
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