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Which Red Sox Game Was Featured in ‘The Town’?

Posted by Neil Paine on March 1, 2011

Note: What follows is the complete text of an email sent to us by B-R reader David Matchett, so all credit for this research goes to him. Enjoy!


I was on a flight this weekend and watched The Town with Ben Affleck. When Ben and Jeremy Renner were scouting Fenway Park for their big heist they were in the upper deck in right field and there was a game going on while they talked. The scene cut to the game and a play was shown. I remembered your Ferris Bueller post from a few weeks ago and it got me thinking about the game that was being played in this movie.

I watched the movie on a 6 x 4 inch screen so I may have missed some details, but here is what I saw:

  • It was a night game
  • There was a Sox runner on first
  • A left handed batter was at the plate for the Sox
  • The opposing team had a gray and blue uniform
  • The pitcher was right handed
  • The first baseman was left handed
  • The defense had three infielders to the first base side of second

The game broadcaster made comments about:

  • Youkilis being the runner on first
  • Snider fielding the hit in right field
  • Youkilis making it to third base on the hit
  • After the hit the Sox had runners on first and third with no outs in the 4th

I checked IMDb.com and saw that the movie was released on September 17, 2010 so the game obviously had to be before this date.

Which game is this?

Four players named Snider or Snyder have played in the major leagues in the last few years:

  • Brad Snyder is an outfielder who debuted with the Cubs in 2010 and has never played a game in Boston.
  • Brandon Snyder debuted last year with the Orioles but he is a first baseman who hasn’t played in the outfield and his one game in Fenway was 4 days after the movie's release.
  • Chris Snyder has been in the majors since 2004 but he is a catcher and his one game in the outfield was in left field for Arizona in Florida.
  • So it has to be Travis Snider, an outfielder with Toronto. Toronto's road uniform is gray and blue so that fits too.

Travis Snider debuted in 2008 so we have three years worth of games from which to pick. He has played a total of 57 games in right field in his career so his game logs can be searched for road games in Boston. We'll come back to this after a few more details to narrow it down further.

The fact that the Jays shifted three infielders to the first base side of second leads me to believe that David Ortiz was batting. We also know that this at bat happened during the 4th inning and Youkilis was on first so we can go through Snider's game logs, see if he played in right field and look at the 4th innings of each of these games.

  • 2008 - On September 13 2008 the Jays and Red Sox played a double header in Boston. Snider played left field in the first game and right in the second. Neither Youkilis nor Ortiz batted in the fourth and, Youkilis was batting behind Ortiz in the order that day so this can’t be the game.
  • 2009 - Snider played in the May 20th game in Boston but he was in left field that day and Youkilis batted behind Ortiz. Snider was the right fielder in the games played on August 28 to 30. On the 28th Youkilis lead off the 4th with a single and Ortiz followed with another single sending Youkilis to third. This could be it. On the 29th Youkilis was on base twice but never with no outs and Ortiz never followed with a hit. The one time Youkilis was on first base on the 30th Ortiz flied out to left. The Jays played 3 more games in Fenway at the end of September but Snider was in left field for all of them.
  • 2010 - The Jays returned to Boston for three games on May 10 to 12 and Snider played right field for all of them. On the 10th Ortiz followed up a Youkilis walk in the 2nd with a single to right field and Youkilis did move to third but there were two outs at the time and it was the wrong inning. Ortiz didn’t play on the 11th and Youkilis was followed in the lineup by Mike Lowell, who bats right. On the 12th JD Drew hit between Youkilis and Ortiz. In the second Ortiz singled to right to move Youkilis from first to third but there was one out at the time. Also, this and this was a day game. The Jays went back to Boston in late August. Snider was the left fielder in the first 2 games and played right in the third but it was a day game and Youkilis didn’t play. The last three games the Jays played in Boston were at the same time The Town was debuting at the Toronto International Film Festival - September 17 to 19 - so none of these can be the game in question.

Of all of the games Travis Snider has played right field in Boston there are three games where David Ortiz singled to right to move Kevin Youkilis from first to third, but the game on August 28, 2009 is the only one where this happened with no outs and in the fourth inning.

Going back to our list of what we know and comparing it to this game:

  • It's a night game (The game started at 7:13 PM)
  • There is a Sox runner on first (Youkilis, from the broadcast)
  • A left handed batter is at the plate for the Sox (Ortiz, based on the fielding alignment)
  • The opposing team has a gray and blue uniform (Toronto)
  • The pitcher is right handed (Scott Richmond)
  • The first baseman is left handed (Lyle Overbay)
  • Youkilis making it to third base on the hit (yes)
  • After the hit the Sox have runners on first and third with no outs in the 4th (yes)

Unless someone can come up with something that I've missed it seems that the Fenway game shown in The Town was filmed on Friday, August 28, 2009, a 6-5 Red Sox win.

Next question - when did the robbery take place? "The Florist's" plan was to rob Fenway after a weekend Yankee series. The Yankees had been in Boston the previous weekend and didn't return again in 2009.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, March 1st, 2011 at 9:33 am and is filed under Gamelogs, Mailbag, Power Users. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

17 Responses to “Which Red Sox Game Was Featured in ‘The Town’?”

  1. There have been a few times where opposing managers used a similar shift against J.D. Drew. I can't remember if Toronto ever did it. You're PROBABLY right that it was Ortiz but wanted to at least bring up the possibility.

  2. That's pretty interesting about the audio. I only saw the movie once, in the theater, so I didn't notice those details. I can tell you, though, that I have a pretty good idea of when the gameday scene was filmed...

    I visited Boston the weekend of Sept 26, 2009. We arrived on a Thursday or something and headed on over to Fenway to get a glimpse of baseball even if the Sox were out of town. After having a drink at the centerfield bar, we walked over to Yawkey(?) to see the gift shop. The street was closed, though, because they were filming a - shock! - Ben Affleck movie. It was the Fenway Park shootout scene between Affleck's crew and the feds. Pretty fun to watch, actually.

    That means they were in town that Sept 26, 2009, weekend. I happened to go to the Tuesday night Sept 29 game against the Blue Jays (when Adam Lind hit 3 hrs and Papelbon beaned him on his first pitch in the 9th to prevent a 4th), so I know Toronto was in town that week. That tells me that the game was filmed on either Sept 28 or 29, even if the audio is from the August game. I guess I can't prove it, though.

  3. fordham'13 Says:

    this is GREAT. This should be added to the "Goofs" section on IMDB

  4. Or the trivia section? Makes better trivia.

  5. By using MLB.com's game archives, the NESN broadcast from that game seems to be exactly as described.

  6. I just saw this movie last week and it was clearly Ortiz batting and running to first

  7. dukeofflatbush Says:

    @ 2

    It is highly unlikely they filmed \f the heist scene the same day of a game. The amount of prep that goes into each scene is incredible and the amount of insurance and liability to film it on a game day is out of the question. They may have been filming small tie in shots the day you saw the street shut down. Also, the actors would not film their biggest scene in a single afternoon, then shoot some extraneous stake out footage the same night. The heist scene, while only 8-10 minutes of actual screen time, most likely took weeks to film.

  8. @7

    The scene I saw filmed was on Thursday. It was only the shootout (though I'm sure there were plenty of cameras within Fenway at the same time). I'm guessing the other heist scenes (money room, etc) were filmed at different times that week. The Sox were out of town all that week and came back in to town on Monday to play the Jays, when I'm guessing they filmed the very quick scene at the game...

    Of course, I could be wrong...

  9. bluejaysstatsgeek Says:

    IMDB does make a reference to this in the Goofs section:

    Revealing mistakes: While the gang prepares to rob Fenway Park after the Red Sox-Yankees series, the TV shows a game between the Red Sox and Toronto.

  10. dukeofflatbush Says:

    @ 7
    Its been a while since I've seen the TOWN, but if i remember correctly, Remmer and Afleck are wearing baseball hats in the stadium/game scene. I could be wrong. But if they were, this usually shows that time has elapsed between the two shoots - more than what is depicted in the film. Without a good continuity editor or director on set, hair cuts and facial hair fluctuate a bit too much, hence the hats. There are even films where actors where whigs, just so this problem doesn't arise.
    Also, I'd imagine a great deal of the gunfighting and explosions were done on a closed set, made to recreate Yawky Way, and was intercut with establishing shots. Obviously, you want a secure location to 'blow up cop cars' - but cities are notorious for raking studios across the coals when it comes to location work. So now, most studios shoot the absolute minimum on actual locations, just the major stuff to establish 'we' are really there. If you notice, most NYC streets come to perpendicular turns in film, while any NYer knows no such street exists in upper Manhattan.
    And lastly, while they do case the joint during a Blue Jay game, it is never mentioned when the case takes place, so obstensibly, it could be weeks or days before the heist.

  11. You are correct! I was at that game in the RF Grandstands and took a photo of Affleck. The iphone tagged the game 8/28/2009.
    [IMG]http://i11.photobucket.com/albums/a183/anaxamandr/IMG_0499.jpg[/IMG]

  12. [...] Which Red Sox Game Was Featured in ‘The Town’?Apparently Travis Snideris a movie star. Thanks to Parkes for the link. The Town is a fantastic movie by the way – really enjoyed it. [...]

  13. Anaxamandr - Where is Affleck located in the picture?

  14. SCBosoxFan Says:

    Miker-

    Probably directly beneath the giant boom hanging over his head in front of the right edge of the scoreboard. I haven't seen the movie yet, but I'm guessing that's him in the green jacket with the white stripes on the sleeves.

  15. SCBOsoxFan is right. I have seen the movie and that is Benny in the green. Coughlin is in the red and Slaine is the big dude in the white

    Thanks for the pic! Did you get up close to Ben...or Jennifer :) ?

  16. [...] Which Red Sox Game Was Featured in ‘The Town’?Apparently Travis Snideris a movie star. Thanks to Parkes for the link. The Town is a fantastic movie by the way – really enjoyed it. [...]

  17. You made it much too hard on yourself. The Sox were wearing their red top uniforms so it was a Friday night. It's clearly Ortiz at bat. And then you can see the score for a second, Toronto is leading 3-0 in the 4th. Hello baseball-reference. And you're done.