For any rookie baseball player visiting Fenway Park it is always is a special moment. For Royals rookie reliever Tim Collins it certainly is a special trip he will likely never forget.
Collins from nearby Worcester, Massachusetts, grew up cheering for the Red Sox and now has the opportunity to face the favorite team from his childhood as an opposing pitcher.
"I guess you could say I'm coming home. I'm only about 35, 40 minutes from here -- if you drive fast," Collins said. "And usually the people in Boston do drive fast."
It's rare that a rookie out of the bullpen has many reporters following them around, however as Collins returned home the local media wanted to hear from Collins more than any other Kansas City player. He spent roughly an hour talking to the press.
Collins, who we profiled in May, has faced long odds and an equally long journey in just making the major leagues. With his background it becomes easy to forget he is just 21-years old.
As for the Collins family, his father Larry was at Fenway on Monday evening proudly displaying a Royals shirt, but Larry Collins is still loyal to his Red Sox.
"I'd like to see the Red Sox win the World Series," Larry Collins said, "but I want the Royals to sweep the Red Sox this week."
As for Collins' response to this father-
"I'm OK with him rooting for the Red Sox," the younger Collins said, "but hopefully when we're playing them, he's rooting for us."
Though many of Collins' friends and family were still cheering for Boston, they certainly had to be proud of Tim's first appearance in Boston on Monday evening as he pitched a scoreless one-two-three seventh inning last night.