First things first: We lied.

No, not about what we were really doing with those sorority girls from UNLV, but about our contest. We asked you to tell us who you’d want to sit next to for a game at Fenway, offering up a copy of the new 6-DVD set, Essential Games of Fenway Park. That part was true, but when we said we’d post the top entries today for you all to select the winner from? Well, that was true, too. Only we got so many excellent responses–far more than we ever anticipated, to be honest–that we’ve decided to go with the top ten entries instead of the top five.

Also, because the entries were so good and numerous, we’ve decided to take all the entries that didn’t get chosen for the top ten, and draw one of those names randomly to also receive a copy of the DVD set. So we’re basically giving away two copies.

So now we ask you, gentle and impossibly sexy readers, to check out the finalists below. Peruse them. Absorb them. Let them work their gentle magic upon you. Read ’em once, go have a Red Bull and donut, then return and check ’em again. Select the one that most moves you. And advise us of your choice by e-mailing soxfiend2004[AT]comcast[DOT]net. Only one vote per e-mail address, please.

Please note, once again, that we can’t accept votes left in the comments section because there’s a chance that some could get eaten by the unpredictable mistress that is Haloscan. And we just don’t roll that way.

Voting is open until next Monday at 11:59pm ET, at which point Denton and I will sober up, tabulate the results, and announce the winner next Tuesday.

Lastly, let me just say thanks to everyone who sent us an entry. Selecting the finalists was an arduous task, because they were all just so goddam good. We promise to run them all (except, perhaps, the one from the guy who wanted to take his over-amorous aunt to a game) over the next week, for all to enjoy.

Okay. Ready? Here they are, unedited and in all their unexpurgated glory. The entry that gets the most votes will receive a copy of the DVD, and, as we mentioned, everyone who entered who didn’t get to the final round will be entered in a raffle to win a copy as well.

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Babe Ruth!: I’d raise Babe Ruth from the dead and brainwash him. I’m sure he would have some excellent stories to tell, but I figure this is a once in a lifetime opportunity to do something for the fans.

First of all, I’d bring one of those travel DVD players with me to show off my major award from winning this contest, and loop The Steal and Papi’s walk-offs to show him what his boys had done to his legacy. For good measure I’d throw in Luis Gonzalez and the walk-off 2001 bloop and claim the D-Backs were actually a AAA team that beat the Yanks in the World Series. At this, B.R. would become grumpy and begin downing beers and dogs.

By the 3rd inning B.R. would be on his dozenth hot dog and fifteenth beer, and I’d explain to him the travesty of ARod and point out the guy behind the dish who knocked his teeth back a few degrees. I’d also point out that the Yanks would be turning the “House that Ruth Built” into a parking lot by by summer’s end.

Long story short, he’d become so infuriated that he would loudly proclaim a curse on the Yankees to the crowd’s delight. I would then point out that the Curse angle had already been played by the CHB up in the press box. B.R. would then rampage through the crowd, climb the net behind the plate and pummel CHB much to our collective delight. That is my dream.

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ESPN’s Joe Morgan!: I’d like to sit next to Joe Morgan of ESPN. Then I would immediately chloroform him, pay off some EMTs to transport his still viable but OH SO QUIET body to the Boston docks, where the longshoremen I’ve also paid off handsomely load him into a ship bound for Easter Island. Finally, he will have the captive audience he so richly deserves. Then I’d give his seat to the Hebrew Hammer.

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Honey Fitz!: He started the Royal Rooters. He was there when Fenway opened. He’d seen the glory days & died around the time things started sucking. He could sing “Sweet Adeline” sober and get away with it.

When he takes his seat–after asking when the hell this bullpen was installed, where Duffy’s Cliff went, if McGreevey’s is still there–he’d snatch a flask of scotch from his pocket. Since it’s been there since 1950, it’d be good & aged and he’d share some of it with you. He’d inspire the crowd to rise up, ignore the Wave, use old-timey cuss words to chew out Lugo, rip off Wally’s head & make it a punch bowl.

He’d tell you how in Aught-Four he and the Rooters had words with a Highlanders fan, which bloomed into an argle-bargle, then a fooferaw, then five people were bruised & knickerless.

If he could get one day back, Honey Fitz would want to see the Sox. And it’d be fun as all hell.

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Peter Gammons!: I’ve thought about today’s contest for most of the morning, and I kept going back to the same person: Peter Gammons. I’ve been a passionate baseball fan for the vast majority of my 34 years, but the idea of sitting next to a former player for an entire baseball game just doesn’t excite me. I love watching the guys on the field, but I think that the overwhelming majority of them would bore me to tears by the 3rd inning or so if I sat next to them at an actual game at Fenway — except for maybe a select few, like Kevin Millar, although I imagine that I might end up duct taped to a grandstand pole with a pair of tighty whiteys on my head by the end of the game if I picked him.  

Although I’ve never met The Gammons in person, he strikes me as the type of person that I would trade places with in a second, given the opportunity. I’ll obviously never have said opportunity, so I guess sitting next to him at a game would be the most realistic possibility out there. He seems unassuming to me, has lived a life more interesting than just about anyone that I can think of, and he’s both a walking baseball and music encyclopedia — two things that I’m truly passionate about. I can easily picture a conversation that spans from the Red Sox of his youth, through the evolution of rock and pop music, to what it’s like to nearly die and make an almost full recovery.  

Sprinkle in some random nuggets of info about the opponent’s unknown utility infielder, a recap of all of the interesting places that he’s been fortunate enough to travel to, some Cape Cod league stories, what it’s like to jam with Pearl Jam/Buffalo Tom/etc and some tales of Harold Reynolds sexually harassing all the young ladies at ESPN and you have a recipe for a perfect 9 innings, in my opinion.

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Dear Friend!: If I could spend one game with anyone at Fenway, it would be my late friend Joyce. She wasn’t a Red Sox fan. She wasn’t even a baseball or a sports fan. We lost her one sunny Tuesday morning nearly seven years ago. She worked on the 83rd floor of the North Tower of the World Trade Center. Joyce went to work that morning, and never returned.

I’d love to show her the beauty that is Fenway Park, and why I love it, and the Red Sox, so much.

I’d love to spend just one more day with her.

Simply because I love her, and I miss her.

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Grandma!: Without hesitation I know that person would be my grandmother. My gram is the reason I love the Red Sox. Every summer I would spend a couple of weeks at her house in Holyoke, Mass and my best memories of that time is watching or listening to the Red Sox with her. If it was nice out we would sit on her front porch with either the TV turned up loud or the radio on so we could listen to the game as we watched the sun go down and darkness envelop us. Our special game night treats were root beer floats, always with A&W rootbeer. Gram instilled in me a deep love for the Red Sox. She didn’t miss a game and neither did I. When I would watch or listen to the games with her I knew that the time together was special and when I would get sleepy I would rest my head in her lap, struggling to stay awake becasue I didn’t want to miss out on any time with her.

As I got older and went to college, in NY, my Red Sox pride remained and even when in Yankee Stadium I always wore something that said Red Sox on it even if they weren’t playing the Red Sox. I think Gram was always afraid I would go to NY and head over to the dark side. She taught me well though! Up until her death she would stay up to watch the games. Often I would get a frantic phone call from her that she couldn’t find Jerry on the TV and inevitably it was because she had managed to hit her VCR button on her remote and so from two hours away I would have to coach her and get her remote back in working order. She also never missed West Coast games. Often after a game she would call me, usually waking me up becasuse I would fall asleep, to discuss the game.

My gram died five years ago. She died right before a weekend series with the Yankees and during that weekend the Red Sox pulled ahead of the Yankees in the standings. She died at the age of 97 and a half and I used to tease her that she was probably one of the last people left alive wh o could actually remember the Red Sox winning in 1918. She would laugh and then tease me that at least she could say that she was alive when they won a World Series. When the Red Sox made it into the ALCS in 2003, I thought for sure that Gram was up there giving God an earful, and I am sure she was, but he probably thought she hadn’t put in enough heaven time to be asking Him to make sure the Red Sox won the World Series that year. When the 2003 season ended I was devastated for the obvious reason that the Sox weren’t going to make the World Series but also because it was the last season that Gram and I shared.

2004 was bittersweet for me when the season started but it didn’t take long for me to get caught up in the season again but I did miss talking baseball with Gram. When the Sox made it in to the ALCS and then the World Series I had her framed picture sitting next to me as I watched each game so she was with me when I was finally able to celebrate a World Series win in my lifetime. When I went to the parade in Boston her picture was also with me. As big of a fan as Gram was, she never made it to Fenway Park. Right before she died, she said she wanted me to take her and I regret that I never got that chance to bring her. To sit next to her at a game and drink a rootbeer float with her in Fenway would be the thrill of a lifetime for two lifelong fans. But I can’t, so every May 15th I drink a rootbeer float in her memory and watch the game if there is one that night and, if not, I watch my DVD from the 2004 World Series that I know she helped bring to Boston.

So without a doubt even though she isn’t famous or rich the one person I would choose to sit next to at a game would be my grandmother because she is the one who taught me to be the crazy, over the top, can’t get enough Red Sox fan I am today!

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Eric Gagne!: I would sit next to Eric Gagne. Every time the current Red Sox pitcher threw a pitch, I’d say “See that? He didn’t blow the game on that pitch.” Ten seconds later, “See that? That ball wasn’t thrown at 85 mph right down the middle.” “Check that out, Beckett actually struck out the side without first giving up a 3-run homer!” 

I’d also let other fans around me take turns punching him in the coconuts between innings.

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Johnny Pesky!: If I had to see a Sox game with any one person, I would have to choose Johnny Pesky.

Here’s my thinking: This guy is the living embodiment of the spirit of baseball.
He’s seen so many names come and go, passing through the hallowed greens of Fenway, and yet he remains. He could tell stories about Ted Williams and Nomar, stars and subs, woulda-beens, coulda-beens, and never-weres. Pesky doesn’t just know history, he IS history; he was there. He’s freaking Mr. Red Sox for a reason.

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Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer!: For one Red Sox game, I’d choose to sit next to Phil Hartman (in character as Caveman Lawyer).
I think the conversation would go something like this:
CL: Is this a mating contest where the winner gets his choice of females?
Me: Sort of
CL: Then why all of this running to stand still? Why don’t they take their clubs and beat their opponents senseless?
Me: Have you been talking to Jose Offerman?
CL: I don’t like this Neil Diamond song. In my time he would have been thrown to the Sabertooth’s during the equivalent of our 7th inning stretch. Now that was entertainment. Besides, I don’t understand your base-on-balls, balks or infield fly rules, I’m just a caveman.
Me: Nevermind that, we need another round, go sweet-talk the beer attendant again and explain that your just a caveman and the two drink rule needn’t apply to you – and that paper money is foreign to you, but, you can offer her some mammoth pelts as barter.

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Kevin Millar!: I’m a bleachers kind of guy. always have been. got back to boston last month, sat in the bleachers. seems like the bleachers have changed a bit in who sits out there, the energy level seems lower, the alcohol level certainly is lower. but one thing remains the same: lack of beer vendors (and cup holders)

whgo’s the one man who can get that crowd energy back up, and find a way to get a f@#king Guiness vendor out there twice an inning?

Kevin Millar.

yes, Kevin Millar. think about the f@#king brilliance of kevin millar in the bleacher seats. one downside: you damn sure know he’ll be the asshole trying to start the wave

but to paraphrase james earl jones in field of dreams:

“Red, Millar will come, Red. He’ll come to Fenway for reasons he can’t even fathom. He’ll turn up Yawkey, not knowing for sure why he’s doing it. He’ll arrive in the bleachers as drunk as Denton, longing for the Pabst. “Of course, we won’t mind if you sit down in the bleachers,” you’ll say. “It’s only two hundred dollars per person (fucking scalpers).” He’ll pass over the money without even thinking about it; for it is money he has and Guinness he lacks.

And he’ll walk out to the bleachers, and sit in shirt-sleeves on a perfect afternoon. He’ll find they have reserved seats somewhere near the Red Seat, where he sat when he was drunk with a chicken bucket on his head in 2004. And he’ll watch the game, and it’ll be as if he’d dipped himself in dirty waters. The memories of The Steal will be so thick, he’ll have to brush them away from his face.

Millar will come, Red.

The one constant through all the years, Red, has been the Red Sox. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It’s been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt, and erased again. But Fenway has marked the time. This field, this game, is a part of our past, Red. It reminds us of all that once was good, and it could be again. Ohhhhhhhh, Millar will come, Red. Millar will most definitely come. And probably in a time machine.”

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There you have ’em. Thanks again to everyone who entered.