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Instant Classic: the cop who cheered the grand slam

Oct 14, 2013, 8:40 AM EDT

As I watched David Ortiz‘s grand slam last night, the first thing I noticed was the cop raise his arms in triumph. Almost instantly I thought that it would be an image we’ll be seeing for years and years:

source: Getty Images


That’s the Getty Images version. Stan Grossfield of the Boston Globe got an even better one.

ESPN Boston caught up with him after the game. His name is Steve Horgan. He’s been on the Boston police force for 27 years. His beard is a playoff beard in solidarity with the Red Sox and their beards. After the game he met Sox owner John Henry and ESPN Boston snapped a photo. Pretty cool stuff.

Not gonna lie: As soon as the excitement of the moment died, I wondered whether the cop would get in trouble for cheering like that. I mean, god, that would be awful, but in a world where ushers in ballparks and media and any number of others working a game in an official capacity aren’t supposed to cheer when they’re on duty, it wouldn’t be terribly surprising if we heard later that the guy was reprimanded or something. Tell me you can’t imagine the whole thing playing out too: the initial controversy, the backlash, the guy becoming a hero of fans and radio hosts and things. Followed by the retraction of the discipline? It would be a total drag, but in a world where un-fun folks seem to pop out of the woodwork, it wouldn’t be shocking.

Thankfully that’s not happening. His boss was nearby too and, according to the story, told him he’s not to shave his beard. And, presumably, Horgan stands in that same position for Red Sox games for the foreseeable future.

  1. jarathen - Oct 14, 2013 at 8:46 AM

    Looks like Boston appreciates their fans, and one moment of cherring doesn’t mean he isn’t dedicated to his job.

    Now, if this were in Atlanta…

    • biasedhomer - Oct 14, 2013 at 9:09 AM

      Atlanta doesn’t have fans to appreciate.

      • paperlions - Oct 14, 2013 at 11:33 AM

        or wins to cheer.

  2. tc4306 - Oct 14, 2013 at 8:59 AM

    No matter in what city this happened,
    the fun police would be out to get action taken against this guy.

    An we should tell all of them to “Just screw off.”

    Now the guy who ripped the ball out of the woman’s hand?
    He, a different story. Ban him from the stadium…lifetime would be ok by me.
    But this guy, smile and move along.

  3. rbj1 - Oct 14, 2013 at 9:15 AM

    Jeez, we’re supposed to be upset because a cop, who has been in Boston for at least the last quarter of a century plus, is also a fan of the local team?

    • Craig Calcaterra - Oct 14, 2013 at 9:34 AM

      No, actually. If you read the article it is pretty clear that no one should be upset but that, sadly, it’s not hard to imagine a situation in which some people might be.

      • dlf9 - Oct 14, 2013 at 9:46 AM

        I’ve got no problem with him cheering … but shouldn’t he have been watching the stands rather than the play on the field? I don’t need him to be stoic, but what exactly is his job?

      • Jack Marshall - Oct 14, 2013 at 10:25 AM

        I have concluded that you just don’t get Boston or its relationship to the Red Sox, Craig. It is impossible to imagine that happening in Boston. I could imagine the cop being criticized if he DIDN’T cheer, though…

  4. sdelmonte - Oct 14, 2013 at 9:21 AM

    He shouldn’t get in trouble for cheering as long as it doesn’t interfere with the public safety. But if department policy is no beards, he shouldn’t be allowed to have one because of a baseball team. And if he is, the policy is a joke.

  5. Florio_Jr. - Oct 14, 2013 at 9:26 AM

    Where’s the snapshot of the kid waving at Prince Fielder?

  6. DavieO - Oct 14, 2013 at 9:56 AM

    Can’t remember the last time someone tried to enter the bullpen from the stands, and the team has had an officer in both home and visiting pens. Maybe it is just a deterrent to keep fans out? And if I recall, he is paid by the team for this duty not by the city. Also looks like the job is given to senior officers since everyone I’ve seen working the games are long time veteran officers.

  7. aceshigh11 - Oct 14, 2013 at 10:25 AM

    I think it’s an awesome snapshot, particularly since the cop’s raised arms and Torii’s legs side-by-side combine to form matching “Vs”, or one big “W”.

    I do feel bad for Torii though…he’s a great player and, man, he took one helluva header. Great effort, and he ALMOST had it when you watch it back in slow motion.

  8. ch0psuey - Oct 14, 2013 at 11:09 AM

    Sadly, Torii Hunter’s upper torso was never found…

  9. inthearex - Oct 14, 2013 at 11:16 AM

    Fire him for being a Red Sox fan

  10. icanspeel - Oct 14, 2013 at 11:20 AM

    The picture looks funny with Torii Hunter hanging.. It’s like… help Tori out or cheer?

    • yahmule - Oct 14, 2013 at 12:17 PM

      He would have been the first Boston cop to ever contemplate helping a black guy.

  11. mybrunoblog - Oct 14, 2013 at 12:37 PM

    He may be under standing orders not to interfere with the game or approach any player or ball. That said, if he isn’t under such orders the officer should have moved to help the player rolling over the fence. Just my 2 cents.
    The cheering part was fine with me but you would never see a NJ trooper working a Giants/Jets game do any such thing. Can’t say I like the beard either. Damn. Get off my lawn….

  12. Bryz - Oct 14, 2013 at 5:05 PM

    Being a Target Field usher, I never recall ever being told that I wasn’t allowed to cheer for the Twins while I was working. Pretty much the only thing I can think of was keeping it professional, and frankly, I think my boss would have understood if I wanted to cheer after a game-tying home run of any sort.

  13. bharr170 - Oct 14, 2013 at 5:44 PM

    I went to the Bengals Packers game a few weeks ago. After the Bengals came back at home the police officer not only cheered with me during one of the most dramatic parts of the game, he also gave me a high five. I am guessing that’s a common occurance.

  14. kev86 - Oct 14, 2013 at 6:33 PM

    Great pic.

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