SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) – In 113 years, Fred Hale Sr. has seen a lot. There’s one thing he’d like to see again.

Hale, documented as the world’s oldest man, is a lifelong Boston Red Sox fan.

Hale already has seen the Red Sox become the only team in baseball postseason history to overcome an 0-3 start to advance. Boston is up 2-0 on the St. Louis Cardinals in the World Series.

Can the Red Sox win their first World Series since 1918?

“That’s the question,” said Hale. “We’ll wait and see. Luck goes one way and goes out the other.”

Those aren’t reassuring words for the Red Sox Nation. It’s just that Hale has seen a lot.

Nevertheless, on game nights, Hale sits with his 84-year-old son, Fred, Jr., to watch the first few innings of each World Series game before going to bed. Both live at The Nottingham, a senior residence center in Syracuse.

The senior Hale will turn 114 on Dec. 1. He is recognized as the world’s oldest man by the Gerontology Research Group at the UCLA School of Medicine, a group that documents people over 100.

Hale was born in New Sharon, Maine. He retired as a railway postal clerk in 1957.

Hale became a celebrity of sorts in 1995 when Guinness World Records named him the world’s oldest licensed driver at age 107. He made the network news that same year when a television cameraman caught him on his front porch roof shoveling off snow.

Hale said he was surprised to see the Red Sox finally knock off the Yankees.

“They’ve got to do it again now,” he said.

To win the World Series, Boston must overcome the much-hyped “Curse of the Bambino,” supposedly incurred when the Red Sox sold Babe Ruth to the Yankees more than 80 years ago.

“He was a great pitcher,” said Hale, referring to how Ruth, baseball’s immortal slugger, first earned his fame in Boston.

Hale said he also remembered how the great Ted Williams sometimes stopped at a lobster pound owned by his daughter Carolyn, where Williams was eager to talk about anything except baseball.

Carolyn died 12 years ago. Hale said he wanted the Red Sox to win a championship because his daughter had always wanted one so badly.

His hearing and sight are failing, and he needs a wheelchair to move about, but Hale said he otherwise feels “pretty fair.”

Reminded that researchers regard him as the world’s oldest man, he said, “I don’t believe it. And I ain’t going to die just to satisfy them.”



For more information: The Syracuse Post-Standard, www.syracuse.com



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