Bank of Boston thought it had made a perfect pitch when it bought Boston Bancorp last month. Instead, it got knocked out of the park.

As part of the $220 million merger, Bank of Boston officials were expecting to get four season tickets for Boston Red Sox games at Fenway Park.

The tickets, which had been used by Boston Bancorp customers and employees for years, had been included on a list of the thrift's assets provided to Bank of Boston, and bank officials wanted them.

Instead, however, the tickets vanished before the closing. The disappearance caught Bank of Boston officials off-guard and caused a stir in the Boston media.

The tickets eventually turned up in the hands of Boston Bancorp's former executive vice president, Robert Ranieri. In an interview with the Boston Herald at a game, Mr. Ranieri said he bought the four tickets plus two others from the thrift about a year ago, after officials decided to drop them to cut costs.

Bank of Boston spokeswoman Karen Schwartzman declined to comment.

Season tickets are selling for about $23 a game, giving the six tickets a pure face value of about $10,000 a year. The tickets are for box seats three rows behind the visiting teams' on-deck circle.


Officials of a Wachovia branch a few miles north of Atlanta knew that the Olympics would be exciting - but they never expected this.

Friday morning, the day the Centennial Olympic Games opened, a man allegedly tried to hold up the branch by claiming he had a bomb in his briefcase. The bank said he left after bank officials showed him that they could not get into the safe.

That evening, NBC Olympics commentator Bob Costas reported that President Clinton's motorcade was passing near the branch at the time, causing a traffic snarl that delayed the suspect's getaway and enabled a police officer to make an arrest.

That wasn't exactly accurate, Wachovia officials said.

"It must've been a Democratic broadcast," said Boris F. Melnikoff, a Wachovia senior vice president in charge of security matters.

The President's motorcade did pass within a quarter-mile of the branch, but about 15 to 20 minutes before the robbery, Mr. Melnikoff estimated. The police officer who made the arrest was in the vicinity but was not affiliated with the President's security detail.

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