Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Bombs Away Mcgwire"s Blasts Sends 'Em Scrambling at Fenway

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Bombs Away Mcgwire"s Blasts Sends 'Em Scrambling at Fenway

Article excerpt

His first home run cleared the left-field wall and the street behind the wall before landing on the roof of a garage. Then the ball took one bounce and dropped in among some railroad tracks behind the garage.

They say it traveled 463 feet.

His second homer rocketed straight into the netting above the wall to the left of the centerfield flag pole.

Distance: 411 feet.

His third one soared over the wall in left before crash-landing into an open parking lot. The ball struck a black Mustang parked in the sixth row, put a dent into the trunk and set off the car's burglar alarm.

That one was marked off at 452 feet.

"Busy day," said Jerome Kiely, the attendant at the Landsowne Street parking garage, the one behind the famed Green Monster at Fenway Park that had been under siege all afternoon by the Oakland Athletics' Mark McGwire. "This guy was zeroing in on us even in batting practice. I almost got hit while I was taking money from a customer coming in to park his car. It was crazy."

Sure was. Even if the 6-foot-5, 240-pound McGwire was trying to make is sound just like another day at the office. McGwire spent the weekend demolishing the Boston Red Sox.

On Saturday, he slugged two home runs, good for three runs, in leading the A's to an 8-5 victory. Then Sunday, he went one better when he bashed solo home runs in the second, fourth and sixth innings as the A's rolled 8-1 .

"I made three good swings, and I hit the ball square every time," McGwire said to a horde of media after he finished his weekend assault. "When I can do that, something is usually going to happen."

What happened was that McGwire raised his league-leading home run total to 17, the Red Sox pitching staff became even more shell-shocked, and, out in the parking garage, Jerome Kiely began wondering when he and his co-workers were going to be issued steel helmets.

Kiely, 24, is a graduate student who has been working part-time, mostly weekends, at the garage for two yers. Rarely has he come under this kind of bombardment.

"But I had an inkling," he said. "On Saturday, there were baseballs all over the place. Batting practice was a real show, and then McGwire put a couple out during the game. I had an idea Sunday would be big."

McGwire put on another show during batting practice, so much so that the Fenway Park fans who were there gave him some rousing applause. In fact, Kiely even managed to collar a couple of McGwire's moon shots during the pregame.

"I usually give them to little kids after," he said, "especially if I see a kid who might be sick or have some kind of handicap. It brings a smile."

He had no chance, he said, on McGwire's first homer Sunday. That one hit off the top of the garage roof, took one huge bounce and then dropped in among the railroad ties, only yards from the cars whizzing by on the Mass Pike. …

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