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October 26, 2013

No. 1 Red Sox fan is from Danvers

DANVERS — In his playing days, Phil Morse was a right-handed hitting first-baseman for The Plains, a team in the old Danvers Twilight League.

Today, the 72-year-old Morse is a retired businessman, a grandfather and ... oh, yes ... one of the owners of the Boston Red Sox, who head into Game 3 of the World Series today against the St. Louis Cardinals.

The Danvers native tries to play down his role with the team, but if you do an Internet search for the Red Sox front office, his name appears near the top. Vice Chairman Philip H. Morse is listed right under Principal Owner John Henry, Chairman Tom Werner, and President and CEO Larry Lucchino.

“I’ve really taken a step back and spent a lot more time with the grandkids,” said Morse, who for a decade served on the stadium committee, which oversaw the expansion and improvements to Fenway Park.

Morse made his fortune when he sold a medical device company to Pfizer Inc. He declined to state his investment in the Red Sox, although published estimates in 2002 put it at $25 million or more.

Now living in Lake George, N.Y., and Maine, Morse made it to Fenway Park a few dozen times this year. Even when he wasn’t in the ballpark, he kept a close watch on this Cinderella team.

“I’ve seen every game, whether at the park or on TV,” he said.

Morse took several of his grandchildren to the World Series opener Wednesday night along with his brother, Jim, and some old friends — Larry Duffy and Barry Robertson, who played football with him at Danvers High in 1959, and Alan Riley, a football player and fraternity brother at the University of Maine.

“We were on the Budweiser right-field roof area,” Morse wrote in an email. “It was great getting together.”

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