It’s a somber day for Yawkey Way Report; we learned this morning that one of our teammates, Joe “Hat” Rutledge, died suddenly on Saturday March 21.
Fans will remember Joe, or “Joe Hat” as we all call him, for being the guy outside Cask n’ Flagon in his World Series jacket with his red, white and blue Dr. Seuss style top hat. Joe joined the Yawkey Way Report team at it’s inception. He was there for the first ever Opening Day for Yawkey Way Report in 2013, he worked his tail off through the World Series and was awarded the Home Run Super Slugger Award in our first season for his outstanding work ethic and sales.
A Message from Sly:
It’s always hard dealing with loss, and there is never a right or wrong way to handle it. Having worked so long at Fenway Park, you see people come and go; some of them stay with you in your mind and in your heart. Rutledge, as I called him, is one of those guys. He had that special quality of just being a good person.
You spend so much time working at Fenway alongside your employees, but they soon become your extended family. This hurts myself and the other vendors because we’ve spent so much time together and gotten to know Joe as a person, not just an employee.
I’m always being told that sometimes I’m too involved emotionally. When you meet guys like Joe, you realize that it’s hard not to be. You’d always hear out of him how he should be the MVP and how he’s the best down there (at the park), and I had to remind him that I’m the guy who built and innovated the industry. In the 2013 World Series, it was kind of a coming out for Joe, as he loved to tell us how much face time he got on TV. I had to explain to him that I didn’t even have to be out there, they would just insert my clips and that’s how you know you’ve made it. We’d joke and throw sarcastic comments back and forth like ‘Other than your mug shot who else has your photo on file?’ But it was all in good fun.To outsiders it that may sound like a boss putting his employee down a few pegs, but in reality, it was just two buddies teasing each other.
As I learned serving in the U.S Marine Corps, until you’ve shared, loved and/or served with people, you don’t truly understand life and loss. I consider Joe a great friend and his death a tremendous loss.
In memory of Joe Hat, Yawkey Way Report will be observing a grieving period and will not be posting any updates so that we may mourn the loss of our friend and teammate.