The 2019 Stanley Cup Final between the Boston Bruins and St. Louis Blues began in Boston with Game 1 on Monday and Game 2 on Wednesday, before the series shifts to St. Louis for Games 3 and 4 on Saturday and Monday, June 3. NHL.com writers covering the series will provide a daily Stanley Cup Final postcard from whatever city they're in. Today, staff writer Amalie Benjamin checks in from the home clubhouse at Fenway Park.
Rick Porcello walked by in a "Wrecking Krug" T-shirt. Brock Holt donned a "Don't Poke the Bear" tee. Meanwhile, in his locker in the corner of the Boston Red Sox clubhouse on Wednesday, Chris Sale had a black-and-gold jersey hanging on a hanger.
But it wasn't a Boston Bruins jersey.
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Sale, who is from Florida, was never a hockey fan. But the burgeoning sports memorabilia collector was recently offered a personalized Sidney Crosby jersey to start the hockey wing of his collection, which includes Muhammad Ali boxing gloves, a set of gloves signed 'Cassius Clay' and a horseshoe signed by the jockeys of the last six Triple Crown-winning horses.
He wasn't about to turn a Crosby jersey down.
"I'm going to have to make this a fire-proof room," Sale said. "There's some pretty cool stuff. I've done some trading along the way, too. It kind of fires me up."
Sale never played hockey as a kid growing up in Florida. It wasn't exactly on his radar, at least until played for the Chicago White Sox at the start of his career. From 2010 until 2016, Sale watched as the Chicago Blackhawks won three Stanley Cup Finals, admiring the excellence on the other side of the city.
And he made sure, when he finally made it over to United Center, to follow teammate John Danks' advice and not be late for the national anthem.
"He was like, you have to get there early," Sale said. "Do not be late for the anthem. If you don't get in for the anthem, just turn around and go home."
So what's next on Sale's list of hockey memorabilia to add?
"I've always been a big fan of [Bruins defenseman Zdeno] Chara, just because he's a big dude (6-foot-9, 250 pounds) and an enforcer, like very, very tough out there," said Sale, who is 6-6. "Tough as nails. I've always respected that about him. Kind of takes charge and sticks up for teammates that get shoved around a little bit."
So it shouldn't have come as a surprise that for the Red Sox' themed trip to New York after Game 2 on Wednesday, when the players were planning on wearing Bruins jerseys, Sale knew exactly which one he wanted: Chara.