Blog Entry

"Nuf Ced" McGreevy and the Royal Rooters

Posted on: March 31, 2009 9:32 am
Edited on: March 31, 2009 12:58 pm
  •  
 

Michael T. "Nuf Ced" Mcgreevy was the vocal leader of the Royal Rooters, a colorful Boston Fanbase, and one of the most knowledgeable baseball men ever. McGreevy's birthdate and birthplace are unknown, though it has been guessed that he was born between the 1850's and the 1860's, somewhere in Massachusetts. Despite not playing proffesional baseball, Mcgreevy became a very good amatuer player and was very succesful in life.

By his early 30's he was a wealthy buisnessman and opened a saloon called "Third Base." The Third Base, which got it's name because, like third base, was your last stop before home. Everyone came there, including politicians, fans, ballplayers, entertainers, union leaders, blue collar workers, intellectuals and radicals. The Third Base was three blocks away from the Huntington Avenue Grounds. Huntington Grounds, found at the corner of Tremont and Ruggles Streets, was the home of the original Boston Americans who later went on to become known as the Boston Red Sox in 1908. Fenway Park was not opened until 1912.

So how did McGreevy get the nickname "Nuf Ced"?

At the saloon, the topic of discussion, or rether debate, was baseball, and usually abot the local teams. McGreevy would always outsmart other fans in the bar and after proving someone wrong, he would holler, "Nuf Ced!" He was not just known throughout Boston, he was a very famous and likeable guy around the baseball community. With McGreevy and the Royal Rooters, baseball in Boston would become great.

And who were the Royal Rooters?

The Royal Rooters were a fanbase in Boston in the late 1890's and ealy 1900's. Arriving well before game time they would stand in front of the main entrance and harass (push, shove and knock down) any fan trying to get in that they deemed to be rooters for the opposing team. At this point many of them were drunk (it would be worse later on). Inside the park they would fight with themselves and nearby fans who took exception to their remarks. And their remarks usually took account of somebody's mother, sexual practices, the so called legitimacy of your birth and various functions of your body and and lack there of.

The Umpire was their bitter enemy. He could do no right as far as Boston was concerned. There would be very few games when they wouldn't come rushing down onto the field and rough up the Umpire for some call that went against Boston. Opposing players would be manhandled as well. Most of the time, after an incident of this sort, some of the Rooters would end up in jail. They would usually be set free the next day because of the political connections that McGreevy had around town.

While McGreevy was certainly the spiritual leader (in both libations and foundations) of the Royal Rooters, John F. "Honey Fitz' Fitzgerald, the maternal grandfather of John F. Kennedy, served as chairman for a while, and during that time, M.J. Regan  was the secretary. Other members included C.J. Lavis, L. Watson, T.S. Dooley, J. Kennam and W. Cahill among others.

When the Rooters were first formed they looked around for a song they could use to rally their team along. "Tessie" was a song from the Broadway Musical "The Silver Slipper."  Though the musical ran for less than six months, the song has gone down in history. The Rooters sang Tessie at games to encourage their team, while simultaneously distracting and frustarting the other team. They were especially important in the first World Series in 1903 when the Boston Americans played the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Royal Rooters would go to Pittsburgh and sing Tessie to distract the opposing players, especially Honus Wagner. After falling to a 1-3 deficit (and with the original series being best of nine), Boston rallied to win the series with four straight victories.

The Third Base Saloon was Boston's original sports bar, there were pictures of McGreevy's favorite ball players all over the walls. There was also baseball memorabilia and gadgetry. He had huge pictures of Red Sox first baseman Buck Freeman and Hall of Fame second baseman Napoleon "Nap" Lajoie. Outside the bar, there was a manual scoreboard which McGreevy always updated. When Prohibition forced McGreevy to close Third Base, he donated his collection to the Boston Public Library. Author Glenn Stout was for many years the curator of the McGreevy collection.

During McGreevy's time (1894-1918), the Boston Americans (Red Sox) and the Boston Braves (Also known as The Beaneaters, Doves, and Rustlers, were not known as the Braves until 1912), had won a combined 10 Pennants and 6 World Series Titles.

Nuf Ced!

 

  •  
Category: MLB
Tags: Red Sox
 
Comments

Since: Aug 27, 2009
Posted on: August 27, 2009 6:45 am
 

"Nuf Ced" McGreevy and the Royal Rooters

Great post... thanks... more info can be found on my blog, inspired my Michael McGreevy's "Nuf Ced" nickname.... http://pardon-my-opinion.blogspot.c

om/ ... enjoy



Since: Aug 26, 2006
Posted on: March 31, 2009 11:28 am
 

"Nuf Ced" McGreevy and the Royal Rooters

 

 Thank you for the excellent history lesson!   It sure helps me make more sense of the Dropkick Murphy's song "Tessie".

 

 

Tessie is the Royal Rooters rally cry
Tessie is the tune they always sung
Tessie echoed April through October nights
After serenading Stahl, Dinneen and Young
Tessie is a maiden with a sparkling eye
Tessie is a maiden with a love
She doesn't know the meaning of her sight
She's got a comment full of love
And sometimes when the game is on the line
Tessie always carried them away
Up the road from third base to Huntington
The boys will always sing and sway

Two! Three! Four!

Tessie, Nuff Said McGreevey shouted
We're not here to mess around
Boston, you know we love you madly
Hear the crowd roar to your sound
Don't blame us if we ever doubt you
You know we couldn't live without you
Tessie, you are the only only only

The Rooters showed up at the grounds one day
They found their seats had all been sold
McGreevey led the charge into the park
Stormed the gates and put the game on hold
The Rooters gave the other team a dreadful fright
Boston's tenth man could not be wrong
Up from third base to Huntington
They'd sing another victory song

Two! Three! Four!

Tessie, Nuff Said McGreevey shouted
We're not here to mess around
Boston, you know we love you madly
Hear the crowd roar to your sound
Don't blame us if we ever doubt you
You know we couldn't live without you
Tessie, you are the only only only

The Rooters gave the other team a dreadful fright
Boston's tenth man could not be wrong
Up from third base to Huntington
They'd sing another victory song

Two! Three! Four!

Tessie, Nuff Said McGreevey shouted
We're not here to mess around
Boston, you know we love you madly
Hear the crowd roar to your sound
Don't blame us if we ever doubt you
You know we couldn't live without you
Boston, you are the only only only
Don't blame us if we ever doubt you
You know we couldn't live without you
Red Sox, you are the only only only



The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com