JUNE 1, 2017 – SALEM — Google Michael Rutstein and you’ll find a trove of articles about his interests, which range from Major League Baseball to boating. One day, you might find him at Fenway Park, or at the Peabody Essex Museum to see the latest exhibit on ocean liners. Or up at a boatbuilders’ show in Portland, Maine, where he was approached by two men who wanted to know if he was the guy who runs the schooner Fame in Salem.
When Rutstein said he was, the men asked if he was Jewish. When Rutstein said yes, the men were excited, because they had previously thought they were the only two known Jewish schooner captains.
“This is the club – all three of us,” they proclaimed. “We found each other!”
Rutstein runs historic tours out of Salem in association with the National Park Service, along with learning tours for fifth-graders, aboard his replica 1812 privateer schooner, which is anchored at Pickering Wharf. Yankee Magazine ranked his tours Best in the Region.
“We go where the wind is blowing,” Rutstein said. “We really sail the boat. We give people the adventure of what it was like 200 years ago, and for some people, it’s an eye opener. We must modify our plans to the wind. Before they perfected the steam engine, they had to wait for the weather.”
Rutstein, who formerly lived in Boxford and Essex with his wife Melissa, and two grown kids, Emma and Jacob, currently lives in Salem, and he’s excited about his newest venture. He’s producing and printing the official program for Sail Boston’s parade of Tall Ships, June 17-22.
Called by Newsweek the “Father of the Revolution” in sports publishing, the self-professed baseball junkie produced and sold his own Red Sox programs outside of the park starting in 1990. They continue to be hawked outside Fenway at $2 apiece, and Rutstein recently created a special one about David Ortiz.
Don’t be surprised if you see him on Yawkey Way and he taps you on the shoulder to share a little-known baseball fact.
He’s like that.