boston.com your connection to The Boston Globe

Ellsbury scores with fans at 'Steal a Taco' promotion

After arriving through a back door, Sox rookie Jacoby Ellsbury greeted fans outside the Taco Bell on BU's campus yesterday. After arriving through a back door, Sox rookie Jacoby Ellsbury greeted fans outside the Taco Bell on BU's campus yesterday. (PAT GREENHOUSE/GLOBE STAFF)

Forget those pitchers who came at Red Sox fielder Jacoby Ellsbury with inside heat.

Yesterday, fervent fans came at him with even more: hats, T-shirts, posters, and even taco-stained wrappers and disposable cups.

One by one, fans who waited at least one hour at Taco Bell to spy Ellsbury during a free taco promotion sought autographs.

And, one after the other, Ellsbury signed memorabilia of every size, shape, and color.

The Red Sox outfielder stole second base in the fourth inning of the second game of the World Series, putting the company's "Steal a Base, Steal a Taco" promotion into play and elevating the rookie's profile as a promotion man.

Inside the restaurant on the campus of Boston University, Ellsbury gave high fives on his way to the counter to order a free taco that he slathered with "fire" sauce. The fast-food crew of eight workers, who had dispensed 500 free tacos in the first hour of the three-hour promotion, paused to snag autographs and photos with Ellsbury.

As he munched on his taco, women crowded inside the restaurant swooned.

"You're so beautiful. I love you," said one of the boldest.

"Will you marry me?"

Ellsbury, 24, was accompanied by his girlfriend, Kelsey Hawkins, 23.

A Taco Bell affiliation is just one of the endorsement deals that Ellsbury expects to ink before the glow of the Red Sox series victory fades, according to his agent, Joseph Urbon.

Taco Bell spokesman Rob Poetsch said the company expected to give away millions of tacos.

Diedtra Henderson can be reached at dhenderson@globe.com.

More from Boston.com

SEARCH THE ARCHIVES