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Why LSU’s center is fired up over the Rays’ loss to Red Sox

When Liam Shanahan was at Harvard, he got a job (and World Series ring) working at Fenway Park.
LSU offensive lineman Liam Shanahan, No. 56, worked as a groundskeeper at Fenway Park.
LSU offensive lineman Liam Shanahan, No. 56, worked as a groundskeeper at Fenway Park. [ MATTHEW HINTON | Associated Press ]
Published Oct. 12, 2021

While Tampa Bay fans are still getting over the Rays’ heartbreaking loss to the Red Sox in the American League Division Series, LSU center Liam Shanahan remains ecstatic.

“I’m pretty fired up,” Shanahan said Tuesday.

Shanahan — who faces the No. 20 Gators on Saturday — had a personal stake in the series: he’s a former groundskeeper at Fenway Park.

Related: How do you say goodbye to a Rays team that left the field too soon?

The 6-foot-5, 300-pound Massachusetts native grew up a Red Sox fan. During his time as a lineman at Harvard, he needed a summer job and saw a poster for a gig at Fenway.

“Next thing you know,” Shanahan said on a Zoom with reporters, “it’s like my full-time job for three or four years.”

Shanahan earned a World Series ring when Boston won it all in 2018. When he transferred from Harvard to LSU in the spring of 2020, he told The Athletic that he was still working for the Red Sox but would have to cut down on his hours when he moved to Baton Rouge, La. The commute was probably a little too long.

His experience on the grounds crew remains on his LinkedIn page, though his current title — Student Athlete at Louisiana State University —takes precedence, especially before a fierce rivalry game against Florida.

Related: Why the next two games will define the seasons for Florida, USF, Miami

Shanahan still spots his friends on the crew when he watches the Red Sox. One of them, Brendan Gallagher, is coming down to watch the UF-LSU game.

As for Shanahan, he’s excited to continue watching the team that knocked out the Rays from afar.

“Hopefully,” Shanahan said, “they can keep the magic going a little bit.”

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