Way back in 1894,“Nuf Ced” McGreevy opened his “3rd Base Saloon” in Boston and, by the turn of the century, it was the place to be for ballplayers, politicians, gamblers, Tin-Pan Alley stars and die-hard fans known as the “Royal Rooters”. “Nuf Ced” was “King of the Rooters” and “3rd Base” was the center of the sporting and political worlds. It was America’s first baseball museum, with every inch of wall space decorated with historic pictures from Nuf Ced’s own collection and memorabilia he got from friends like Cy Young. The light fixtures were made from bats used by Red Sox stars and the painted portrait of McGreevy that hung above the bar looked down upon customers like Babe Ruth and boxing champ John L. Sullivan, as well as “Royal Rooters” like Mayor “Honey Fitz” Fitzgerald ( JFK’s grandad) and “Sport” Sullivan, the Boston gambler infamous for masterminding the fix of the 1919 World Series. McGreevy presided over all arguments between fans ending the battles by pounding his fist on the bar exclaiming, “Nuf-Ced”! McGreevy’s was America’s first documented sports-themed bar and “Nuf Ced” was the game’s most celebrated fan. “Nuf Ced” and his Rooters cheered on the Red Sox singing the fight song “Tessie” for their first World Series win in 1903 and continuing the tradition for world titles at Fenway in 1912,’15,’16 and ‘18. Looking back, there’s no doubt “McGreevy’s” was the birthplace of “Red Sox Nation”.
Today, history repeats itself in a new golden age for Red Sox fans. In 2004, the Dropkick Murphys revived the ghost of McGreevy by singing his name in their revival of the Sox fight song “Tessie”. Performing inside Fenway and bringing good luck with dramatic wins every time they played, the Dropkicks carried on the “Royal Rooter” tradition as they cheered on the Sox to their first world title since 1918.
During the playoffs of 2007, the story of “Nuf Ced” made it to the big screen in the award-winning film “Rooters: The Birth of Red Sox Nation”. It featured the Dropkicks 2004 story and a replica of “McGreevy’s 3rd Base Saloon” built as a movie set. Soon after the films premiere, the band helped the Sox win another World Series and Jonathan Papelbon danced a jig to the Dropkick’s new hit as they led the victory parade- just like the “ Rooters” did a century ago.
In 2008, Dropkick Murphy leader Ken Casey joined forces with film producer and baseball historian Peter Nash to officially re-establish and re-open McGreevy’s 3rd Base Saloon at 911 Boylston St. 88 years after Prohibition, “Nuf Ced” lives on in a replica of his original bar featuring a baseball museum dedicated to Boston’s history. The collection features originals and reproductions of McGreevy’s pictures on the walls, and yes, the new McGreevy’s even has on display the original glass portrait of the founder that greeted the likes of the Bambino and George M. Cohan. Like a modern day McGreevy, Ken Casey even got closer Papelbon to pitch in some game bats of Sox sluggers to make into new light fixtures for the bar. Back then and now, McGreevy’s is a place where players and fans go to blow off steam after a big win. It’s a place where every picture on the wall tells a story about Boston’s baseball legacy and the characters who defined an era. Babe Ruth, mobsters, big-shot bosses and the founding fathers of Red Sox Nation made the scene back in the day. Today it’s Papelbon, punk-rockers, Boston’s movers and shakers and a legion of Red Sox Rooters, young and old, who call “McGreevy’s 3rd Base” their “ last stop before home”- Nuf Ced.