Greetings PawSox Fans!
First, I would like to have you join me in congratulating 2013 PawSox Manager Gary DiSarcina for being named the Minor League Manager of the Year for 2013…That is quite an accomplishment with over 150 minor league teams in the United States.
DiSar, as he is known, will be heading to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim as a third base coach for the 2014 season. As a player, DiSarcina spent his entire playing career with the Angels, and played his last game of his professional career with the PawSox in 2002. Skipper, we wish you well!
Coaches, managers, trainers as well as the players all have a goal of making it to the Big Leagues, also known as ”The Show.” The Pawtucket Red Sox have an outstanding intern program for students in the sports industry. The interns play an important role before, during and after the season, having a chance to work in all areas that makes the fan experience the best possible. They sell tickets, work with the grounds crew, concessions, ushers and everything in between.
The selection process is a tedious one. The applicants are required to apply by a deadline, then they receive a phone call that is somewhat like a pre-interview. A formal interview is set up and after that, all the references are checked. Cookie Rojas, the General Sales Managers oversees the entire process. He will conduct the interviews with two other staff members and each interview is throughly gone through. There are no short cuts. Each season the PawSox hire 6-8 interns.
A tremendous amount of interns have gone on to work in pro and college sports. Last within the last few years, former PawSox interns are currently working for the Red Sox, Celtics, Virginia Tech, Philadelphia Flyers, Georgetown, PC, the Big East and more. They all have great memories of the PawSox. Former interns usually will attend a game or two during the season say hi.
One of the PawSox former interns is Brenna Peterson currently working for the Boston Red Sox as the receptionist and has celebrated 2 World Series Championships! She is a fine young lady who always had a smile and was always helpful. I recently spoke with Brenna and told her I wanted to do a blog about her. We spent some time chatting about her time here at McCoy. Brenna was well liked by everyone on staff and the fans. She had a tremendous work ethic doing whatever was asked of her without question or comment. Since her “Popcorn Girl” days here at McCoy she is now married with a great looking young son. In speaking with her she relayed the following to me:
“I have been working for the Boston Red Sox organization for seven years now and it has been such a wonderful experience. I have witnessed two World Series Championships, attended many games and was given a World Series Ring for the 2007 title.”
Brenna continued, “Hopefully I will again get a ring for 2013 Championship. It was really something special to get my ring with Mr. Lucchino and Mr. Werner. It’s somewhat overwhelming to spend my days at the beloved and historic Fenway Park. It truly is a dream come true to be working with the best people in all of sports.”
Brenna told me that working at McCoy gave her the tools to succeed. She said that she strongly believes the experience and knowledge she gained working for the PawSox made it all possible. I asked her what it was like for her for all those years with the PawSox. She said, “During my time with the PawSox I was in a variety of roles and met some wonderful people. Team President Mr. Tamburro would say hi every game and ask how things were things were going. Mr. Tamburro really cared about everything and everyone. I also had the opportunity to talk with Mr. Mondor several times who always made me laugh. He would ask about my schooling and ask how things were going.”
“I’ll start from the beginning. My first job was to make and sell popcorn at the top of the stairs of the main entrance. To many it may not have seemed like a glorious job, but you have to understand the exciting atmosphere I was working in. The staff and fans were all so very nice and helpful if needed.
Brenna went on to say, “I started working at McCoy when I was in high school, and I decided to enroll in Western New England College as a Sports Management major. Every summer I would come home and work in the concessions at McCoy. When I was old enough, I applied for a PawSox summer internship. I was lucky enough to be chosen and began my intern duties 2005 and it was one of the best summers of my life! I got to work in all aspects of the game day prep and actual game. Every single day was exciting. Everyone there was always so nice and they really cared about the fans.”
“I returned to work for the PawSox the following season and worked as an office assistant. One day I came to work and my life was about to change! I was about to be offered the opportunity of a lifetime!” You could hear the excitement in Brenna’s voice. The VP of Public Relations Bill Wanless to me that the Boston Red Sox needed some help in their Media Relations Department. I went up to Boston for my interview, and the next thing you know I was sitting in my cubicle at Fenway Park!
Still with the excitement in her voice she continued, “Working for the Red Sox Media Relations during the 2007 World Championship season was more than amazing. I had the responsibility of working directly with the Boston press and handling credentials, attending interviews, taking phone calls and sending out media clips. To end my first full season with the Red Sox I was able to witness the Red Sox defeat the Rockies in Denver, it was so much fun and exciting!”
I asked her what was it like during the off-season in 2007, “After the 2007 season I landed a full-time receptionist position with the team. I remain in that position today handling all the company phone calls and assisting out Human Resources team with assignments. It’s a great place to work with awesome people. “I am humbled to say that I get to be a voice of this great organization greeting all the staff and fans of Red Sox Nation. I have been fortunate enough with the Red Sox to attend a game in St. Louis during the World Series this year, the whole company flew out to watch the game. There are not words to explain how incredible, fun and exciting it was!”
“The Red Sox always have something going on, either on or off the field. Its fun to be in the middle of the action. The next exciting event will be the Frozen Four hockey tourney at Fenway in January. I often get asked how I was able to get a job with the Red Sox Front Office and I tell them by starting out making and selling Popcorn from a cart at the PawSox”
While working with the PawSox, Brenna was awarded the Ben Mondor Scholarship because of her attitude and work ethic. Back then she wasnt married and her last name was McShane. A very proud moment for the McShane Family.
Brenna and her family are able to yuk it up with Wally at Fenway Park.
Brenna celebrates the Championship with her Dad who is a great photographer, and all around good guy.
What Brenna really liked was the Victory Parade on the Duck Boats!
Brenna, thanks for your time and we all wish you continued success. You are indeed very fortunate to be part of a couple of Championships while us older fans have waited years, through the heartaches and pain for a World Series title. Have a great holiday season! From popping and selling popcorn to a World Series ring is a great path! Your positive attitude and upbeat personality makes you who you are.
You enjoyed the fans and were always friendly. Every fan knew that if they needed you, you would respond in the PawSox way telling every fan that we are………………”Here For You!”
Love hearing from you! firstname.lastname@example.org
Yours in Baseball
Greetings PawSox Fans!
In reading the blog you will notice that it is snowing in here. The way I have it figured that if we use all the snow in a blog, there will be less on the roads! Pretty brilliant eh? With just 119 days left until Opening Night! The less snow outside the better!
By now I’m sure you all have heard the news that Jacoby has signed with the Evil Empire for 7 years at 21.85 Million per year! Like they say in chat lingo….OMG! The New York Post headline read, “The Ellsbury Dough Boy!” That is a ton of dough! Why the Yankees? With all the other teams, why did he have to choose to go to the New York Yankees? Part of being a Red Sox fan is your required to dislike the Yankees. The rivalry between the Yanks and the Sawx is legendary! Going back to the days of Carlton Fisk and the late Thurman Munson. Who can ever forget that head on collision at the plate!
These guys really didn’t like each other.
There are rivalries in every sport, but here in New England, the Red Sox/Yankees is probably tops the list. It will be an adjustment to see Jacoby in pinstripes after watching him grow up a Red Sox. It does bring back memories of Johnny Damon going to the Yanks several years ago. I may take a while to get used to seeing Jacoby in Yankee Pinstripes…
The rivalries do indeed make sports exciting. The Bruins and Canadians have a rivalry and usually always a good game to watch.
Or what about the rivalry between Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield? Iron Mike decided that he would put an end to this rivalry by munching on Holyfield’s ear!
Can anyone remember when Izzy Alcantara and the catcher from the Scranton Red Barons were able to start their own rivalry when Izzy thought it would be a good idea to kick the catcher before charging the mound. I clearly remember the game and looking on with amazement at what had just happened! He made a quick shift of his weight and feet, and the put the boot to the catcher!
Did you know there is a Bobblehead of the Izzy Incident?
Perhaps the best rivalries come from college football. I recall a few years ago we were in Durham, NC. Former PawSox Broadcaster Steve Hyder and I had just finished lunch at a sidewalk cafe. Steve wanted to head over to the University of North Carolina Bookstore to pick up some swag for his daughter who would be attending the college in the fall. As we walked down the side-walk we saw these four guys standing around just chatting with each other. Three of the four were wearing Duke University gear. Steve asked, “Hey guys, can you give us directions to UNC?” Upon hearing this, the guys glared at us like they were going to rip out our eyes, and quickly turned their backs to us and stood at attention! I figured we wouldn’t be getting directions from these guys! Eventually we did make it to the campus and bookstore and marveled at what an awesome sight the whole place was. (We did also visit Duke)
The football stadium was enormous. You can picture the students and fans at the game, all representing with their gear and cheering loudly. Most recently there was a very good game a very historic rivalry. Michigan vs. Ohio State at Michigan Stadium aka “The Big House.” It truly is amazing how big that stadium is and how loud. The rivalry didn’t take long to heat up at all! During the first quarter there was a bit of a dust-up between the two teams. (Wilson does seem a bit outnumbered.)
Watching the game, it was it was incredible to see how many people were in the stadium. I had to check. For this game the attendance was 113,000! Thats a lot of fans. I had to learn more! The Big House actual capacity is actually 107,001. Its said they installed an extra seat as a tribute to Michigan former Athletic Director Fritz Crisler. Whenever they announce the attendance they usually end the number with a 1. Since 1975, Michigan has had at least 100,000 fans at each football game!
There are no levels in the stadium, just start hoofing it up the stairs to your row!
With the crowd, the place looks awesome..
My curiosity was piqued and I wanted to learn more about high-capacity stadiums. The computer has all the info a person would need.
The highest capacity sports venue in the world is the Rungnado May Day Stadium in Pyongyang, No. Korea. In 1995, 190,000 people crammed into the stadium to watch a Pro Wrestling event. It’s also the venue where they host the Airrang Mass Games. In the below photo there are more than 48,000 people holding flash cards for large picture.
The Horseshoe, football stadium for the Ohio State Buckeyes has a capacity of 102,329. I have been there during our road trip to Columbus, OH. I had a chance to see it empty and can only imagine what it must be like with a bunch of screaming, drinking fans.
Ohio State is famous for the Coach Woody punch of an opposing player. The date was December 29th, 1978. Ohio was playing Clemson in the Gator Bowl. Ohio Quarterback threw a pass that was intercepted by Clemson Charlie Bauman. Bauman was run out-of-bounds and Woody smacked him!
It ended up being a brawl and one of Coach Hayes own player, Ken Fritz, tried to restrain Hayes and got cracked also! Thats some old school coaching!
One of the largest venues in the world seating for 257,325 in Indianapolis Motor Speedway. A few years ago when the team was playing the Indianapolis Indians, I took a ride to track and had a chance to board a bust and take a few laps around the track in a bus.
These pictures are from previous blogs, however, I will post a few from the older story for the new Royal Rollers. Once you get on the bus they drive you around the track a couple of times. When you take the curves you can see the massive stands!
Right here in New England we have a venue with more than a 100,00 capacity, it’s the New Hampshire Motor Speedway, located in Loudon, NH with a capacity of 105-491. I am not a NASCAR fan, however, I will say that I went to watch a race in New Hampshire with some friends and was quite impressed. We were given some pit passes and I was absolutely amazed at the whole experience. It’s very easy to be a fan. The racing fans are truly passionate and very loyal to their drivers! We were in the pits and it could best be described as walking down the middle of Mineral Spring Avenue!
One of my friends has a camper and for acres and acres it becomes a campground. It was indeed a fun weekend.
Gillette Stadium has a capacity of 68.756 and an awesome stadium all New England can be proud of.
Churchill Downs is another high-capacity venue that holds 120,000 horse racing fans. On the day of the Kentucky Derby the record for the highest attendance was in 2012 with 165,307. I have been there when it was rocking. Even raced against some horses on a video game.
If you remember last season when the team cab driver had a “Hot Tip” on a horse. It still stings! The horse was Heathcote.
Coming down the homestretch the horse was in third place, and then suddenly disappeared!
There was even a rivalry here at Churchill Downs with Secretariat and Sham!
Rivalry is fun….The key is to always keep it fun! Always remember that its only a game. When I read or see of violence at any sporting event because of the team you like, that’s never a good thing. Good old fashion ribbing, and joking keeps sports fun and exciting. McCoy Stadium is one of the coolest places to watch a ballgame. If you don’t believe us, check it out for yourself. Just click on, and fast forward to the 6th coolest place!
Everyone agrees, just look at this place!!!!!!!!!
The Pawtucket Red Sox are in the process of installing a new state-of-the-art ticketing system that will make it easier for everyone! Now is the time to choose your games and/or season ticket seats to be part of the 2014 season. You wont be disappointed! The PawSox are going to make another run at the Governors’ Cup so don’t miss a part of it! McCoy Stadium may not be able to accommodate 100,ooo+ fans, but you can rest assured that if you are one of the 10,031 at a game you will love everything about the PawSox experience! You can see that day in and day out we are always……………..”Here For You!”
Love hearing from you! email@example.com
Yours in Baseball,
Greetings PawSox Fans!
Hope everyone had a fantastic Thanksgiving…..Now that it has passed the Christmas songs start playing, Christmas lights go up, and the malls and stores are all a little more crowded. Christmas is now just 24 days away and the PawSox Opening Night is just 123 days! However, the team store and ticket office are open 9-4 Mon-Fri for now. Gift certificates are also available. The team store has been stocked with a plethora of new and throwback apparel.
Did any of you take part in the infamous Black Friday? There is always some news report about fights, people getting trampled, shoppers breaking things. At some mall there was a big melee and also fights in Wal-Mart. Its been whispered that the big store may change its name on Black Friday to Brawl-Mart!
To swing by the stores and see that long line of people waiting is truly astounding. However, there are those who make a family outing of it, they bring their chairs, food and drink and spend some family time and have made a tradition out of it.
You have to wonder how a celebrity and/or sports star does their shopping. What would it be like to have Big Papi strolling through the mall? Where does Brad Pitt shop? We must remember they are humans just like you and I. What is it like to be a member of the 2013 Boston Red S ox after winning the World Series. What better way to get an answer than from BobbleHead Will Middlebrooks. As you know in the past I have spent some time with BobbleHead Will, and again spent a few days with him.
Just like the rest of us BH Will needs laundry done. He drops his off.
Goes grocery shopping.
BH Will searches for the perfect Yam.
Checks his eggs to make sure none are cracked.
BH Will uses the register conveyor belt as a people mover!
Shopping makes BH Will hungry so he stops by for some fast food…
BH Will also went to a Providence Bruins game at the Dunk, he really wanted to take the Zamboni for a spin.
He had a great vantage point for the pre-game warmup.
BH Will enjoyed the game from the penalty box with the hardworking gentlemen of the AHL Off-Ice officials. (Will is in the middle of the picture)
He was allowed to borrow an Official AHL Patch, complete with a Jolly Rancher.
He was also allowed to work the time clock.
BH Will wanted to feel what is was like to sit in the penalty box…
He even took to the ice to stand on the Red Line for a photo!
Before the game was over, BH Will gave an interview about the 2013 Red Sox season with the Z-Man.
Over the weekend Will had some friends over for a friendly game of poker. BH Pedroia, Youk, Papelbon, Wakefield and even Mr. Potato Head had a great time.
Before the guys showed up, BH Will honed his poker skills playing Xbox Poker..
So as you can see pro athletes do a lot of the normal things that we all do! Of course there are exceptions, like when Jake Peavey bought the Duck Boat he rode in for the World Series Parade. That can certainly be a valid argument of not being an everyday purchase. I wondered how he would get it home? Well, since it was over a 1,200 mile drive to Alabama, it was trucked there.
Soon after Peavey had the Duck Boat home he tweeted a picture…
There is a common thread that runs through the fabric of being from New England………regardless of what team you love or hate, a game at McCoy Stadium is a Fantastic experience. People come from not only around the country, but around the world! The PawSox have a true fan from the UK! This fine young man is named Toby and his mom and dad have brought him to McCoy and to Fenway Park! I met Toby and his family at both venues. I know they are loyal readers of the blog, so I hope all is well with “Youse Guys.”
So now we all get ready for the Christmas season, and the entire staff prepares for the 2014 season. Like Santa himself, we are always……………….”Here For You!”
Love hearing from you! firstname.lastname@example.org
Yours in Baseball,
Greetings PawSox Fans!
Is everyone gearing up for the holidays? This is a time of year where you get a chance to see the full spectrum of the human race. You have those who love this time of year, and those who absolutely despise it. Once we get past Thanksgiving, some shift into overdrive until Christmas while others Throttle back, and count the dreadful days for good ol’ Santa Claus.
Thanksgiving is just a couple of days away and you’ll enjoy some nice family time. I’s a time of year for seeing aunts, uncles, cousins and good friends that you don’t see as much as you’d like. Around the table for lunch or dinner for Thanksgiving, talk at some point will turn to sports. With the Red Sox winning the World Series and the Pats coming back to beat Peyton Manning and the Broncos.
A wager was made between PawSox Director of Hospitality Lauren “Boomer” Dincecco and Ticket Manager Anthony “A.J.” Lewis for the Pats game. Boomer is a season ticket holder for the Patriots and loves the game. Her knowledge of the game of football is incredible and will hold her own with any debate on football. Its often said that Boomer Esiason has a great football mind, hence Lauren was nicknamed, Boomer.
She picked her love Tom Brady and the Patriots, and A.J. who loves his Peyton Manning went of course with the Broncs! The wager was, whoever lost would have to wear the opposing team’s jersey. Needless to say, it wasnt a happy day for A.J.
Boomer and AJ are of course nicknames. We all know people with nicknames, perhaps everyone in our own families. I have an Uncle Moose, a cousin Peachy and Cuddles. Growing up I knew the older guys named, Boogie, Za Za, Skinny, Scully, Mano, Joe Duck, Joe Monk, and so many others. Nick names are also part of sports. In New England the most famous nick name ig Big Papi or just Papi.
We have many nicknames on the PawSox Staff. I have some nicknames, that really can’t be printed here. Some examples of my nicknames are the ones given to me by someone who is being rowdy and obnoxious in the stands and get ejected. They often give me several nicknames as they leave the stadium, also usually followed up by waving goodbye but not using all their fingers. The ushering staff has those same nicknames at times when moving people from seats they don’t belong in. Nicknames are all in fun.
I remember when I first started here and someone told me to go see Whitey…I wonder who Whitey was. It was Matt White..the same happened when they told me, “Get with Brads on that.” I didn’t know we had a Brads that worked here…it was Jeff Bradley. Gywnnie of course is Mike Gwynn. Willy is John Wilson and PawSox Broadcaster Jeff Levering is Levo.
When PawSox Team Trainer Greg Barajas was here, he was talking about some guy named “Skid.” Someone asked him a question and he said that he had talked to Skid about and Skid said it was ok. I was confused again because I know we didn’t have anybody named Skid on our staff. Greg told me it was Jim Rowe the Trainer for Boston who is now Medical Operations Coordinator. Jim “Skid” Rowe. Now that’s kinda cool!
Nick names are part of all sports. How many people actually know that Trot Nixons first name is Christopher?
There have been some funny ones like Bill “Spaceman” Lee!
Dennis “Oil Can” Boyd is quite a character….(His teenage son worked here for a summer and we called him “The Oil Stick” because like his dad, was tall and lanky.)
And who can ever forget the late Mark ‘The Bird” Fidrych?
The 2013 PawSox had a few of their own with nicknames:
Manager Gary Discarsina became simply, Discar (Dee-Sar)
Xander Bogaerts was Boogey (Bo-Ge)
Ryan Lavaranway was Varny.
Brandon Snyder was simply Snyde.
One of my favorites was Russ “The Fridge” Perry…
There were some cool nick names that I really liked……for example……Clyde ”The Glide” Drexler…
Doctor J Julius Erving! I loved watching this guy play!
There were two catchers with the nickname Pudge:
The Red Sox had Two Pede’s
And Dustin Pedroia..
The Bruins had two Thorny’s
And Shawn Thornton…
As we get together to celebrate Thanksgiving with Family and Friends remember that even the Turkey has a nickname. There is Tom Turkey.
And there is Dinner or Lunch Turkey!
Greetings PawSox Fans!
We are 135 days away from 2014 PawSox Opening Night and only 35 days away from Christmas! The days are flying by taking the colder weather with them. We do have to put up with more cold days and some of the S word stuff. I don’t like to mention that S word but it rhymes with glow.
What would be a better gift than PawSox tickets? Think about it. Every time the lucky persons who received the tickets come to a game, they will be thankful. They probably wont wear that goofy looking tie that someone else gave them, but they will certainly use your gift of tickets. A very practical and fun gift. The ultimate gift is surprise the person with PawSox Premium Full Season Tickets….the same seat for every game, every time! But it doesn’t stop there, you can also attend the Season Ticket Holder BBQ at no extra charge! But wait there’s more! Season Ticket holders also get to take batting practice on the field! hats right! Season ticket holders are allowed to take the field, get set in the batting cage and take some swings from the pitching machine! When you’re done hitting, pick a field position and grab some grounders and/or pop-ups.
What? You say you still want more? Stop the Madness! You also get early admission to special events and discounts in the team store! How’s that? Lets not forget the special BBQ with the PawSox manager and some players exclusively for the season ticket holder. And last but not least, during batting practice and/or fielding, you can head to the bullpen to try pitching! Now my friends that is a gift! You could get a someone a Ginsu knife set, one of those “Set it and Forget it” rotisseries or maybe even a Chia Pet….However during the entire summer the recipient of your gift will be enjoying all the fun and excitement that everyone enjoys at McCoy Stadium.
On those firework games when you hustle to get your tickets to get the best seats, that wont be a worry. Giveaway nights, nope not a problem, same seats….even when a major leaguer plays at McCoy for a rehab………..the season ticket seat is waiting! To top it off, the PawSox can offer payment plans! So head on out to McCoy for a Greet & Seat or Flex Tickets to Build your Own Plan! No crowds to fight, no trips to the store and no stress. During the Season Ticket Holder batting practice you can strap on some catching gear and give catching a try. Perhaps you could be a Bullpen Catcher.
The bullpen catcher is a behind the scenes guy. The guy that does what he is asked. Their duties do not only include catching, they may also be asked to play first base or other position to get a player some extra work. They may be asked to throw batting practice or hit some fungo’s. Of course their main responsibility is to get a pitcher ready to come into a game.
The PawSox have had a few different bullpen catchers over the last few years, but that one I remember most is Joe Voccio. Joe was the BR catcher from 1993-1995 and again from 2001-2007. After showering, eating and getting dressed, we would spend some time together outside the clubhouse entrance where the autograph collectors, telling jokes, discussing current events. We always had some great yuks. Joe would also spend some time withe the fans.
I keep in touch via FaceBook and still have some laughs. He is now involved in politics having recently getting elected to some position in Connecticut, which always makes for some great debates. Joe lives in Brooklyn, Connecticut with his lovely wife and two beautiful very talented daughters. Unlike the ball players, Joe would put in a full days work at his job with the Rhode Island Housing, head over to McCoy Stadium, go through his warm ups like the players, change from his warmup uniform to game uniform and head out to the bullpen.
Throughout the years, Joe was surrounded with and caught for some of the best pitchers in baseball. How did Joe end up being the bullpen catcher for all those years? Joe explains it, “I played baseball and hockey in high school and played baseball at Rhode Island College. While in college I interned for TV sports anchor Frank Carpano at WJAR. Several years later, PawSox President Mike Tamburro happened to mention to
Frank that the team was looking for a bullpen catcher and asked if he knew of anyone. Frank recalled that I was a catcher for Rhode Island College and Mike Tamburro eventually invited me to McCoy.”
“When I arrived at McCoy I thought I was there for a tryout but Mike brought me to the clubhouse and introduced me to Manager Buddy Bailey. The next thing I know, I am in a uniform and heading out to the bullpen. It was a crazy, whirlwind evening….especially since a I got into a fender-bender on my way to McCoy! What a night!”
“A few days later, my wife gave birth to our first daughter. The card on the very first bouquet of flowers we received read: “Congratulations from the PawSox Family”. After only a couple of games, I was being received into the family! I don’t know how they figured out which hospital we were in but genuine kindness like that is never forgotten.”
I asked Joe some of the best pitchers he caught for and who were his favorite pitchers. “There are too many to mention! I really liked to catch Ken Ryan…he had a great fastball, great change-up and a hammer of a curve ball. Wrentham’s Jeff Plympton was fantastic to catch. He had control, a major league slider and, frankly speaking, he deserved more time in the big leagues. Speaking of control pitchers who could stick a great slider, Allen McDill and Craig Breslow were my favorite lefties to catch. Ryan Cameron had the best change-up. So did Joe Nelson. He called his the “Vulcan” change-up!” I shared with Joe my dealings with Joe Nelson.
Joe played for the PawSox in 2004 and came back in 2010. He was a great guy and had a great sense of humor. Fellow Pitcher and Joe would always be laughing about something like what prank they were going to pull next. When Joe Voccio mentioned how Nelson had his “Vulcan Change-up” I had to laugh because he would always say he invented it. The Vulcan change-up was a pitch that would be delivered with the Vulcan grip….Like Dr. Spock from Star Trek.
Nelson always had that smile and was always upbeat. On the mound, he was all business, but off the field, he could make a living doing stand-up comedy. During a road trip the PawSox had a day game in Durham. After the game we headed to Charlotte. Since it was a day game, and Charlotte is just about a two-hour drive, it wasnt really that late when we checked into the hotel in Charlotte.
Chad Pronto and Nelson said they were going to oder some pizza and some cluckers. (cluckers are like chicken nuggets) They placed the order and they were laughing. Seeing them laugh, I knew something was brewing. I was down in the lobby just chatting with some of the folks, when the pizza guy arrived. There was this walkway on the second floor of the hotel that overlooked the lobby. The walkway had this wooden rail and I saw Pronto with a video camera. I was right, something was up!
I followed the pizza guy up the elevator and Pronto had the camera ready. Suddenly out of the room comes the big yellow chicken! He yelling in a high voice, “Where are the Cluckers, those are my friends and family!” The pizza guy was stunned at first, and then started laughing hysterically as Pronto continued filming! Nelson had dressed up like a chicken!
Where did this chicken costume come from? He must have had it packed with him! He did indeed have it packed with him! Never a dull moment.
Joe Voccio tells me that the bullpen pitchers always have something to entertain themselves while out it the pen. I asked Voccio if he misses the drive to the McCoy and then the long drive back to Brooklyn, CT. He told me that he doesn’t miss the drive, but misses the atmosphere of McCoy Stadium, Mike and Ben, the team and the fans.
“ I’ve caught many pitchers that went on to Boston after passing through Pawtucket. From Aaron Sele in 1993 to Jon Lester in 2007, there’s no shortage of guys that drove the Route 95 express. The truth is that many guys earn their opportunity to pitch in the Major Leagues with success and consistency. But what most people don’t realize that there is a razor-thin difference in ability between the guys who get that chance and those that don’t.”
When asked about some of the best pitchers he caught, he told me the list was long, but gave me several that came to mind. “Curt Schilling, Ken Ryan, Jonathan Papelbon, Bronson Arroyo, and Jon Lester.” Voccio spoke about how it was catching for Curt Schilling, “The Curt Schilling rehab assignment in 2004. Before Curt helped break the 86-year old curse, he spent some time in Pawtucket trying to bounce back from his ankle injury. Catching Curt was incredibly exciting and eye-opening at the same time. Schilling would throw so hard and get so much rotation on the ball, the ball looked smaller coming from his hand than from anyone else. Combine that with his impeccable control, I had finally experienced what it was like to catch an elite pitcher.”
Voccio continued, “The following year in 2005, Schilling was rebounding from his ankle surgery and Boston had plans for him to return as a closer. Excitement was growing as most fans were hoping for another Red Sox championship. All of New England was awaiting Schilling’s return to Boston. McCoy Stadium was no different. Schilling’s McCoy tune-up had everyone at a fever pitch waiting for his appearance. The pitcher who went in the game before Schilling was actually met with disappointment. His name: Jonathan Papelbon. A short time later, I answered the phone and told Schill to get loose. As I warmed him up the crowd around the bullpen began to swell and buzz. With Curt ready and the bottom of the inning over, I opened the bullpen gate. As Curt ran onto the field, I heard a thunderous cheer louder than any other I heard in all my seasons at McCoy. It was an electrifying moment that gave me goosebumps!”
I do remember that game clearly, it was a standing room only crowd.
Once Schilling got up to warm-up, it was like the entire crowd moved over to the bullpen to get a picture of him. It was one of the many memorial moments at McCoy. After the game, we were walking Schilling out ot to his vehicle he said he wouldn’t mind signing some autographs. Well, I’m sure you can imagine how that went. Here we were in the middle of the parking lot with a mob scene. No barricades, just a sea of people who surrounded Schilling pushing and poking at him with things to sign. Several times we had to stop and I would ask everyone to please step back a bit. Subsequently he made it back to his vehicle without anyone stepping on or crushing his ankle.
I asked Voccio how was it like when you weren’t in the bullpen, before or after the game, you know outside the bullpen, “I used to love to hang around and chat with Ben Mondor outside his field-level office. It was fun to see his regular guests like Dwight Evans or Jim Rice. It wasn’t uncommon to see Ben with Red Sox legend Frank Malzone, Boston Globe writer Bob Ryan, or local celebrities like Patrice Wood. My favorite was Dominic DiMaggio. It was always great to talk with him because he was such an accomplished gentleman yet so humble.”
How about inside the clubhouse? “The clubhouse is also a great place! I would laugh out loud watching pitching coach Mike Griffin enjoy reruns of Seinfeld or Jeff Plympton would conduct a Kangaroo Court. Sometimes, it was cool to just chill out and watch the post-batting practice cribbage game. Or stand clear when Jon Lester took his bow and arrow target to the vacant batting cage. But if you want to talk about entertainment, I would just pull up a chair and watch Dustin Pedroia dominate the ping-pong table and trash talk every game along the way. Yup….he has always been like that but there isn’t a better teammate!”
So you had a pretty good experience with the PawSox Joe? “What I saw as the common thread with The Pawtucket Red Sox. What Ben Mondor and Mike Tamburro resurrected almost 40 years ago has not only provided an opportunity for developing ball players but also a valuable example. The PawSox have always demonstrated that: if you’re going to compete, earn respect and reach your potential, then you need to be prepared to work hard, make yourself valuable to the people you serve, and to be a big part of the community.”
“That example has been applied in many different ways by the players and staff people who experienced it. For me, that example has become a big part of who I have been—especially away from McCoy Stadium. I have many great memories of Ben Mondor and he was a mentor in so many ways. Mike Tamburro is extending Ben’s legacy every day and I can’t think of a better tribute to him.”
The bullpen catcher has a unique job indeed. They have to always be ready to go. The phone rings, you put on your mask, and say let’s have at it! You’re surrounded by players who at times have millions of dollars contracted and your right in the mix. Someday you may even get to Fenway Park…..Joe did!
I would like to thank Joe for his time. The fire plugof a guy who loves the game of baseball and loves, and is very proud of his family. Hope to see Joe during the 2014 season. He very well knows that the whole PawSox organization is……….”Here For You!”
Love hearing from you! email@example.com
Yours in Baseball,
Greetings PawSox Fans!
Tuesday morning when I walked out to my vehicle, I was hit right in the yapper with a cold blowing wind and snow! Thats right, Snow! We are not even at Thanksgiving yet and there’s snow! I am not a cold weather person whatsoever. Paws & Sox are cold weather folks, I am not. However, with that said there are only 139 days left until PawSox Opening Night!
Hockey and football are two sports I enjoy, with hockey I enjoy seeing live and football in the warmth and comfort of my home. (I’m not a basketball fan) I personally know people very dedicated and passionate New England Pats fans. Some are season ticket holders and look forward to every Sunday heading to Foxboro regardless of the subzero weather, or blizzard conditions. Do you remember that Snow Ball game where the fans were playing with the snow and tossing it in the air? Does this look like fun to you?
Some people would answer yes that was fun, including our own Lauren who is one of the Pats season ticket holders! Lauren is the PawSox Director of Hospitality. She was at the game!!! She can hold her own in any football debate and/or argument regarding football. She has been given the nickname of Boomer, because of her knowledge of football that rivals that of the great football knowledge of Boomer Esiason.
I have to think that Bruschi is yelling to the fans, “It is sooooooo cold!”
Myself, I enjoy sitting outside on a nice summer evening enjoying America’s Pasttime….Baseball! One of the most important components of the game of baseball, is the ball itself. Think of the technology that has changed the baseballs used today. The basketball is a sphere of rubber/leather that is inflated with air, the football an oblong ball of leather also inflated with air. The baseball on the other hand is an intricate mass of different substances that make it what it is. The baseball is what people want to get at every game, in every ballpark in America.
Kid and adults alike will yell for a player, coach and even an umpire to toss them a ball. Think of the home run balls during the Mark McGuire Sammy Sosa home run battle and people fighting for the balls. Fans come to the ballpark carrying their baseball gloves hoping to snag one of those valuable leather-bound globes. When a foul ball or home run makes its way into the stand, it becomes every fan for themselves! This photo of a foul ball heading into the stands at Fenway Park was taken by Jim Davis. It very well may be the best foul ball photo of all time. Just about every fan in the shot is reacting to the ball heading their way.
Of course it’s very important to always keep your eyes on the game. The baseball can also be dangerous projectile! Looks like the girl in the background finds it a bit humorous.
Of course there are those who don’t want to be anywhere near the foul ball:
The players scatter from the foul ball, if they’re not playing.
These days the balls are a lot harder than years ago. Although they did resemble rocks, they were kind of mushy.
Unlike the Pelota, the hardest ball in all sports. The Pelota used for Jai Alai travels at speeds of up to 170 MPH. If you remember the games at Newport Jai Alai the ball was deadly. The pelota is in the middle. The Pelota is made in Spain and cost just about 100 bucks a ball!!
As a youngster, we would play baseball with anything that resembled a sphere. When a baseball got old and torn, we would wrap in that black electrical tape and it was just like new! Even if your ball got run over with the lawn mower!
As stated earlier, todays baseballs are made very well. Here is what a modern baseball is made of:
A dissected baseball. (Wouldnt it have been better to cut open a baseball instead of a frog in biology?)
I was going to use the image of a real frog cut open, however, didn’t want to lose any readers or more importantly have readers lose their dinners reading it…
Each major League Ball is hand stitched in Costa Rica.
Being hand stitched:
There is a slight difference between the Minor league and Major league balls. On the Major league balls the stitching is more tightly wound.
Minor League: (International League Ball)
I can’t tell the difference. However, back in 2009 Red Sox Pitcher John Smoltz had a rehab assignment with the PawSox. He brought his own Major League baseballs.
I remember well when Smotlz pitched for the PawSox for a few reasons. It would be exciting to see possibly a hall of famer pitch, the crowd would be excited and more importantly it was my first time ever sending a text message! When Smoltz arrived he was gathering up his equipment with the clubhouse crew and asked if I could text his wife the best way in and where to go when she gets here. I felt my heart drop and I swallowed hard. I was too embarrassed to tell him I didn’t know how to text! Here it was 2009 and I still have no idea how to text.
I did consider calling her but he said to text her. Perhaps she was somewhere where she couldn’t use the phone. I looked on the phone for instructions. There were none! Now what? I saw a couple of young teenagers walking by and when they got done chuckling that I didn’t know how to text they gave me a quick tutorial. I am a fast learner and text often now!
As for Smotlz using the major league balls, after checking with the umpires they advised they would need approval from the International League Office. Subsequently, he was allowed to use the major league balls.
You never know who you’ll see playing at McCoy or sitting in the stands. Thats what makes it so much fun and exciting at every game. With only 139 days left for Opening Night and 39 short days until Christmas, reserve your tickets now! PawSox Gift Certificates are great gifts! Make the upcoming Holidays a ton of fun! We are always………….”Here For You!”
Love hearing from you!
Yours in Baseball,
Greetings PawSox Fan!
Hope everyone is still basking in the glory of the 2013 World Series Champions Boston Red Sox!
“When you believe in things that you don’t understand, Then you suffer, Superstition aint the Way!” Stevie Wonder Song.
Superstitious: “A belief or a way of behaving that is based on fear of the unknown and faith in luck or magic . A belief that certain events or things will bring good or bad luck.”
Are you superstitious? I will confess that I am. As an example, during the finals against the Durham Bulls this past season, as I stood behind section 7, there were people who were changing seats, getting up to go to the bathroom or get something to eat. I was trying to get everyone to just stay in their spots until between innings then move as freely as they wanted. The Pannone family tried to assist but some of the fans didn’t listen and we all know how it turned out.
When watching a Red Sox game at home, if the other team scores a couple of runs, I immediately change the channel for a bit and when I switch back, for the most part, the Sox were able to stop the onslaught. When heading out to drive the Penske to play in another city, it’s very important to have Team President Mike Tamburro say, “Safe Travels.” When VP and Chief Finance Officer Matt White hands over the petty cash, he always wishes us a safe trip. Knock on wood, we have always been on time safely after those words from Mike and Matt.
Last season we had just loaded the truck and I went to the office and saw Matt. Like always he wished us a safe trip. When I asked where Mike was he told us that Mike had already left. Whhhhhhhaaaaaattt? But he didn’t tell us Safe Travels! Now what? After getting the truck loaded, we were driving south on Route 95 passing through Cranston. I was feeling uneasy about the trip. It’s about a 15 hour ride and I didn’t want the uneasy feeling for that long. I pulled out my phone, called Mike Tamburro. When Mike answered the phone I told him that we were heading to Louisville. Mike said, “Safe Travels!” AAAh, I no longer had that uneasy feeling and the whole trip was made without incident.
I asked around staff to see if anyone would fess up about any type of ritual or superstition they would like to share. No one said a word except broadcaster Jeff Levering. One of his rituals while playing college baseball was since he didn’t wear batting gloves, he didn’t like the way they felt and he felt like the bat was going to slip out, he would place both of his palms in the dirt and scoop it up and rub it on his hands and bat.
Arent “Rally Caps” a type of ritual/superstition?
Rally caps are a cool thing. Not wearing batting gloves is fine, rubbing dirt, rosin, pine tar even spit is fine. However when you take it to another level like Moises Alou who chooses not to wear batting gloves. Without wearing batting gloves, you can get callouses. Alou chooses to pee on his hands! Thats right, he literally urinates on his hands to make them tougher! I don’t know how many teammates would shake hands with him after the game.
The 2013 World Series Champion Boston Red Sox team grew beards that became somewhat of a superstition and of course fun. Many fans joined in letting their whiskers grow for the playoffs. Other sports teams and players have grown beards for the playoffs. Sox players Jonny Gomes and David Ross started growing their beards at the start of the 2013 season.
Gomes and Ross had some rituals/superstitions of their own. Jonny Gomes, with things that come in two’s, like gloves, socks, shoes he always puts the right side on first. Always. He was quoted as saying that if he wakes up in the middle of the night because of an emergency, he has to put them on the right way. It’s hard to remember what Gomes looked like without the beard. Here you go! Could he be related to Justin Timberlake?
David Ross wears a sock with a flag on it and a sock with stars on it. However, the sock with the stars must always be worn on the right foot. He also looks a bit different without his beard.
I wanted to learn more of about pro athletes rituals and/or superstitions to share with you. I searched the internet to see what info they had and found a whole lot of fun stuff. I did the work for you! We all know about Nomar Garciaparra and his rituals. He would walk up the dugout stairs sideways and once in the batters box, tug at his gloves, touch the bill of his helmet, tap his toes several times, re-fasten his batting gloves again, and now he was ready to swing. Nomar was like a human rain delay with the time he took to bat. When Nomar was here at McCoy, he spent some time with PawSox owner, the late Ben Mondor.
From my years with the PawSox there have been some players that had some rituals/superstitions. Some were a lucky necklace, a lucky shirt or even some lucky object they would stick in the uniform pocket or sock. One I do remember the most was Alejandro Machado. He had a hairy troll like looking guy that was about 5 inches tall. It would sit in his locker and he would tap the head of the troll. The troll even traveled on the road trip and took his place in the locker. There was never any items burned like Pedro Cerrano did with Joe Boo in the movie Major League but it was quite humorous. Also, if Machado broke a bat, he would wrap it in plastic and have a bat boy make sure that he threw it in the dumpster, and nobody had any idea why. Machado did make it to Boston for a bit and I’m sure the troll like guy was with him.
The following are some of the rituals/superstitions from some pro athletes:
When Jason Giambi finds himself slumping, he wears a golden thong! He said it works every time. Not sure I’ll ever look at him the same way again wondering if he’s wearing it.
Pitcher Don Robinson would always need to pick up the ball before starting to pitch the inning. He never let anyone throw him the ball before the inning. If an umpire threw him the ball he would let it go and then pick it up from the ground.
The Great One Wayne Gretzky had to get dressed the exact same way for every game. He needed to do it exactly in the same order every time down to lacing up his skates. He then needed to rub baby powder all over the blade of his stick. Some of his teammates would laugh at times when the Great One would search frantically for baby powder around the locker room. He also would never get his haircut while on the road. During practice he would start by shooting the puck at the right side of the net. He would later drink a diet coke, then a glass of ice water and another diet coke. Always exactly in that order. He would also always dress his left side first.
Another hockey player Sidney Crosby adds a little more to the rituals/superstitions. He never speaks with his mother over the phone on game days. He did once before a game and suffered an injury. He has to tape his own stick and when he’s done, no one can touch it or he has to remove the tape and tape it all over again. On the road, he only uses the tape the hosting team provides, he never uses the Penquins tape on the road. While on the road, he eats at the same restaurant every time while in that city. While riding in a car or the bus when the vehicle crosses over a train track, Sid the Kid raises his feet and touches some glass.
Former Detroit Tigers Manager Jim Leyland had his team on a winning streak in 2011 and wore the same boxers everyday….without washing them!
Mostly every sports fan knew about the rituals/superstitions of former Red Sox third baseman Wade Boggs. He ate chicken before every game. His wife had 50 recipes for chicken. Also he would take exactly 150 ground balls during warm-up. No more no less, exactly 150. When playing at home he would take batting practice at exactly 5:17 and ran windsprints at exactly 7:17. He made it to the Hall of Fame, so I guess he got it right!
Pitcher Turk Wendell certainly is one of the best when it comes to rituals/superstitions. He never will step on the lines of the field. However, he just doesn’t step over them, he leaps over them!
Also, Wendell always puts 4 pieces of black licorice in his mouth before he heads to the mound to pitch…before every inning!
He then brushes his teeth between every inning.
Basketball legend Michael Jordan always wore his University of North Carolina shorts under his team shorts. He does this for every game.
Speaking of team shorts, former Boston Celtic Jason Terry sleeps in a pair of his opponents shorts the night before they play that team, He has a pair of shorts for every NBA team!
Tennis star Serena Williams is not without a ritual/superstition. She always brings her shower sandals to the court with her. She always bounces the ball five times before her first serve, and three times before her second. She also wears the same pair of socks throughout the tournament.
I think everyone knew that Roger Clemens would rub the plaque of Babe Ruth before every game he pitched at Yankee Stadium.
Major League Baseball Icon Joe DiMaggio would always step on second base while running out to centerfield.
If you have certain rituals/superstitions, we would love to hear them. Please email me, and they can be posted on a future blog. If you don’t have any, then start one! Everytime you come to McCoy Stadium buy a hot dog before the game. Then flip the hot dog around, add one strip of mustard and then eat it. If the PawSox win, stick with it, if they lose, try something else.
Have a hamburger…Place three french fries on the burger, add condiments and consume. See how that works out. The best ritual ever is to get your tickets early! That way you get the best available seats and dates! Please keep in mind the season tickets or the flex ticket packages can save you money and enjoy all the extra benefits that come with it. Check out pawsox.com for all the latest news and upcoming events or promotions. Please give us a call at 401-724-7300 if you have any questions. One of the PawSox Rituals, each and every time in dealing with a customer is that we are……………”Here For You!”
Love hearing from you! firstname.lastname@example.org
Yours in Baseball,
Greetings PawSox Fans!
Are you still celebrating the Red Sox World Series Championship? Many of Red Sox Nation are. We would love to hear how you celebrated the World Series win,however, I lost my phone at game six, making another memory for attending. Would love to get an email to hear how you enjoyed the game and evening.
Since the World Series, we have a few more season ticket holders. A PawSox game is truly a place to watch a game with the hottest prospects in all of baseball. The 2013 MLB post-season had many former PawSox players as well as players from visiting teams. With just 149 days left until PawSox Opening Night, and only 49 days until Christmas, there is not a better time to get you season tickets. Payment plans are available to make it very easy.
During the last blog I was wondering if the Red Sox players would keep their beards or shave them. The Boston Herald reported that Shave Victorino and David “Big Papi” Ortiz had their beards shaved at Gillette World Headquarters in Boston. Also joining in with the shave was the bullpen cop Steve Horgan. For the shave, Gillette donated $100,000.00 to the One Fund to benefit the victims of the Boston bombing.
Papi never removed his sunglasses throughout the whole ordeal.
The bullpen cop gets comfortable for his shave.
After getting shaved, the bullpen cop gives his now famous pose!
While watching a World Series game being played in St. Louis, Jon Lester had to bat. He focused down at the third base coach to get the sign. He stepped into the box and attempted to bunt. He was unsuccessful. Out of the box again, he once again checked with the third-base coach for quite some time. Again failed bunt. Each time Lester got out of the batters box he would stare down at the coach to get a sign. The signs are giving rapidly and you really have to pay attention. Subsequently Lester bunted a third strike foul and was out.
Since the beginning of time signs have been part of the game of baseball. Many years ago playing baseball for my high school as a catcher the signs were very easy. One finger down was a fast ball, two fingers down was a curve and three fingers down meant throw it and I’ll try to catch it. Simple! If the coach wanted to have the pitcher throw a certain pitch, he would just yell out to the mound. “Hey Bobby, throw him a curve!” However, the coach was also crafty. At times prior to the game the coach would say when he yells to throw a fast ball, throw a curve.
While batting the signs were very simple. When the coach tapped the top of his hat, the next sign would be the one to go with. Very simple! Today in the major leagues, the signs are very intricate. At the PawSox games that I have attended on the road many attempts were made to get photos of the PawSox Manager giving signs. Not a chance. They go much to fast. The players have to really be paying attention.
PawSox Broadcaster Jeff Levering played college baseball for Chapman University in Orange, CA. In 2003 Jeff was part of the team that won the Division III title playing in the role as a utility guy. I asked him about the signs and he told me they were very intense and a very important part of the game. He also stated that at times they would change their signs mid-game because the opposing was suspected of stealing them. While researching about baseball signs, I came upon a nice article written by Tim Kurkjian of ESPN the Magazine.
Everyone on the team is in on the signs and everyone needs to pay attention. I discovered this chart that really tells it all.
Then of course you have the opposing team trying to steal the signs. it’s rumored that Joe Nosseck who made his MLB debut with the Twins in 1964 and was said to be a “Very skilled sign stealer” They also say that Paul Moliter was very astute at swiping signs from players. Many times I watch closely and try to figure them out….not a chance.
I remember coaching my son’s little league team and trying my best to use very easy, simple signs. If I swiped my chest with my right hand bunt, touch chin, steal a base, etc…Just didnt happen. Finally the best way to do it was yell at the hitter. “Hey, bunt the ball!”
The aforementioned Paul Molitor would get to first base and take a big lead and figure out the sequence of signs the catcher was flashing. He would then relay what pitch was coming to the batter by tapping his right or left leg, tapping his helmet or some other subtle sign. Cal Ripken and Tony Gwynn are among some of the players that don’t want to know what pitch is coming. They rather rely on their instincts and concentrate on the pitcher. Gwynn explained that sometimes the teammates can be wrong and remembers a time when he was plunked in the head after a teammate gave him a sign that breaking ball was coming. As Gwynn dove into the pitch, it was too late and a fast ball crashed against his squash!
When former major leaguers Davey Johnson played in Japan, one of the ball clubs there had their clubhouse bugged so they could listen in on the opposing team. Johnson said his manager sued to write down the signs with numbers and when he called out a number that was the sign. Each player had a wristband with numbers on it and what the manager wanted. The manager would yell out a number, and the player would check his wrist and try to accomplish the act.
So, you have the managers giving coaches at the bases signs, and the coaches relaying them to the player. Signs come out from the dugout for the catcher who relays them to the pitcher. There is never a dull sign moment. The catchers try to hide the signs the best they can.
To make it easier for pitchers to see the signs, some catchers use the fingernail stickers.
It does seem easy enough…Now this can either be a steal sign or the coach is adjusting his sleeves…
Or is this a bunt sign or the coach has an itchy ear?
Did this coach just cough, or does he want the batter to swing away?
There is also the universal ”Hey, good job” sign.
With all these signs, the game does indeed get complicated! Next time you watch a baseball game, pay attention to the players and coaches for the signs.
While on the subject of signs, we have just learned that 2013 PawSox Manager Gary DiSarcina will be the new third base coach for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim! That means he has to learn all new signs! However, more importantly, he will know the Red Sox signs! I’m sure they will change them.
Skipper, good luck with your new gig. We all wish you the best! Thanks for a great 2013 season, it was fun and exciting. DiSarcina was a very good manager. A no-nonsense manager who loves winning. He enjoyed his time at McCoy and told me while we were in Louisville that he really enjoyed being the manager of the PawSox. He said it was a great organization with great fans. I must say, I concur! It’s a great place with great fans. Thats what makes it very easy to always be………..”Here For You!”
Love hearing from you email@example.com
Yours in Baseball,
Greetings PawSox Fans!
Hope everyone is enjoying their Championship weekend. Did you remember to turn your clocks back an hour or were you showing up earlier than you should? The Red Sox turned their clock ahead a whole year going from worst to first and yesterday they celebrated with a victory parade. Due to prior commitments I was unable to make it. However, I did scour the web looking for pictures and stories. With the help of boston.com, NESN and the Huff Post I found some great photos. Boarding the Duck Boats the Red Sox toured around Boston:
It truly was amazing to go from worst:
As I stated in a previous post, I have been a fan of our local teams since I was 8 years old. The Red Sox were my favorite team. As an “older” Red Sox fan we had to endure heartache, frustration and sometimes even anger. As a Sox fan you needed to be loyal and hang tough with the Sox. One of the favorite sayings throughout Red Sox Nation was, “Wait ’till next year!” That year never came until 2004 in grand style in a historic comeback over the Yankees and sweeping the Cards. When I saw this photo I did have mixed emotions. You feel a bit envious and a bit happy. The younger Sox fans haven’t had to endure the tests of loyalty with the Sox. The kid is 11 years old and already has been to 8 Victory Parades! Does’nt seem fair.
Last season while the Red Sox finish last, the PawSos won the Governors’ Cup. This season the PawSox fell just a bit short in a very exciting championship series that the Durham Bulls won. It did take a while for the sting of losing The Cup went away, but the sting has been replaced with happiness with the parent club winning the World Series. Not only did former PawSox players like Lester, Buchholz and Pedroia but also the coaching staff. Former PawSox Manager Torey Lovullo is now a bench coach with the Red Sox.
And of course First Base coach for the Red Sox who led the PawSox to the Governors’ Cup Championship in 2012, Arnie Beyeler.
There are some estimates that had the crowd for the Sox parade at two million. By looking at the photos, it doesn’t appear that number is too far off.
The Duck Boats took to the Charles River lined with more fans.
Confetti was flying and made for a fantastic picture.
It was nothing like the Miami Heat victory parade.
Its been reported that Red Sox Pitcher Jake Peavey actually bought the Duck Boat he was riding in! He tweeted that he bought it and plans on keeping it in the family for a long time. Aah, the life of a professional baseball player!
Here is the tweet from Peavey:
Wow what a special day! Thank u all from the bottom of my heart! & yes the boat is now mine & hopefully in the family forever!#BostonStrong
After being traded to the Red Sox, Peavey also bought a cigar store indian. NESN had the story:
Jake Peavy purchased a little Indian statue during the Red Sox’ West Coast road trip near the end of August. The Sox had just lost two of three to the Yankees at Fenway Park, and Peavy sensed that the club needed a pick-me-up. In stepped the statue, which Peavy apparently had a conversation with before purchasing on his way to the park one day in San Francisco. Because the story of the good luck charm is so elaborate, so unique and so awesome, let’s just have Peavy tell it. Here’s what Peavy told the media in St. Petersburg on Monday.
“We went through a rough stretch there where we lost two of three in Toronto. We had to go home for just a weekend series. Things got ugly there Sunday night and we ended up losing the series to the Yankees. The guys who travel with us on a daily basis understand that the travel was ridiculous.
“We went out to San Francisco, and things were just kind of it wasn’t that same attitude. And the travel had kind of worn us down. I was walking to the field on the day of my start and walked past a smoke shop, a tobacco/liquor store, I guess — something to that effect. “And I’m Indian, my heritage is American-Indian. And I walked by and saw just in the glass window this fellow looking at me. And I looked at him and he looked at me. And I just kept walking, I took a few more steps, and I kind of looked back and he was still looking at me. And he said, ‘Am I not one of the boys? Look at me, I’m your people.’ I said, ‘You know what, you are one of the boys.’ I did a U-turn and I went in and asked how much he cost. There was no price tag on him. I told the guy there was a price tag on everything in life. “We did some negotiating, and I carried him on to the ballpark and brought him in.
We had some guys banged up at the time. Came up with some elaborate story about how he had some healing spirit, so he started in the training room, getting some guys right. And he made his first appearance that night in San Francisco, or that day, and we ended up losing that game that I pitched. “And we had a serious team talk with him, and told him if he didn’t show up tomorrow with a little bit better attitude and show us his powers, then we were going to have to lose him on the plane ride to L.A. But he showed up in a big way, Douby (Felix Doubront) pitched well that day, and we took him to L.A.
He showed up for us there in L.A, we won that big series, he got on the flight back with us. “His wardrobe has grown. I don’t know if you know, but he’s holding some cigars in his hand, and those are celebratory cigars, when we do hopefully reach our goal, we’re going to smoke those cigars that he’s got in the box. But now he’s got a couple of jerseys on. He helped Jacoby [Ellsbury] get back from his injury, because Jacoby has got some Indian in him. They had a good talk. He got Jacoby back for us. He’s got a beard now, he grew out a beard to get on the same page as the rest of the guys. There he is, chief. He’s going to ride on my Duck Boat if we win the World Series.”
The indian had a place in the Red Sox Clubhouse.
Of course they had to modify the indian for the playoffs!
It was indeed a cast of characters that worked together as a team. The long scruffy beards were funny to see. I do wonder how many have shaved it off by now.
There was an emotional time during the parade when the team stopped by the finish line of the Boston Marathon bombing. Johhny Gomes placed the trophy on the finish line along with the 617 Red Sox jersey. (617 is the area code)
Red Sox pitcher Jon Lester was quoted as saying that this is the most fun team he ever played with. Perhaps the Red Sox organization are looking at things like the late Herb Brooks did. Coach Brooks coached the 1980 Miracle USA Hockey team that went on to win the gold medal. He didn’t want all the best players, he wanted a team that played together as one unit. Whatever the case, the Boston Red Sox are the 2013 World Series Champions! Boston Strong! I would like to say Thank You to our brave men and women who do their best to provide safety for every American to play and watch the game we love.
Its only 151 days until the PawSox opening night! Come on by for a Greet and Seat Monday through Friday 9-4. Have a coffee or a soft drink and check out all the ticket options we have. 2014 promises to be a very exciting year for all Red Sox teams. Dont miss any part of it! We’ll be there and like always………………………”Here For You!”
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Yours in Baseball,
Greetings PawSox Fans!
Boston Strong! To continue on about the fantastic World Series Championship game, it’s a great time to be a fan of New England Sports! Think of how long we waited to go to any victory parade, and now plans are being made for another parade tomorrow for the Red Sox! In the last several years if you like victory parades, there were plenty with the Pats, Sox, Celtics and Bruins celebrated championship seasons. I can still clearly remember my first baseball game at Fenway Park when I was 8 years old. I was hooked and became a fan of all the local teams.
I got a call from my friend who would be joining me at the game. He said he knows someone at St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center and will park there. About 4 miles from Fenway. A short cab ride in, and we can be good to go. It was announced that the area of about 5 blocks in all directions from Fenway would be shut down to all traffic starting at 4:00 pm. So we talked about parking beyond that distance and grabbing a cab. While with Paulie paring the cars, I had a chance to chat with former PawSox Managers Arnie Beyeler and Torey Lovullo. Both told me they felt confident the Sox will close it out tonight. My motto for the night was “No Game Seven!”
My friend arrived just about 3:30 and we decided to grab something to eat. The area around Fenway was already rockin’ and even the Superhero fans were here.
Of course. parking, to include being blocked in, was at a premium. (McCoy Stadium…Free Parking)
There was plenty of Law Enforcement around and they did an excellent job.
We ran into some fans who were here the last time the Red Sox won the World Series Title at Fenway. They weren’t very talkative as they prepared for Halloween.
We figured that since Jerry Remy’s is just around the corner, and its early enough to beat the crowd, that’s where we would indulge in a pre-game feast. We hiked it over to Remy’s and thought we would beat the crowd. Bad call! The line to get in was literally down the sidewalk, around the corner and down that street! The line was 4-5 wide! They would still be waiting in line during the 7th inning. Look at this line!
Across the street is the Baseball Tavern. Although the line wasnt as long, it was still much longer than we wanted to wait.
The shortest line was Sweet Carolines, so we jumped in line there for the approximate 45 minute wait. After about 5 minutes, we were approached by a guy who asked if we were together. We told him we were and he asked if we wanted to join his family for dinner. They had 4 and they could get a table for six right now if we joined them. Why not, they didn’t appear to be the Manson family. We learned they were from North Carolina and the Dad from Virginia. It was a great meal, with some great conversation with the Nayler Family. All the Best Folks! Thanks for having us for dinner. Hope our paths cross again.
We were still eating when the Nayler family left. We were approached by a nice couple who needed a table and the joined us. Mike and his lovely lady joined us for dinner. Mike is from Atlanta and of course is here to see the game. Once again we shared some good chat and laughs and made a couple of more new friends,. Its seems like baseball is indeed American’s favorite pastime, bringing people together from all over the country. Thanks Mike, hope you enjoyed the game.
With a full tummy, we headed over to the ballpark. The whole city was pumped with excitement! Yawkey Way was packed!
They have the Beard Board on Yawkey Way that names the players’ Beard.
John Lackey’s beard is named, “The Sure Thing.” I’m hoping its the right name when he takes the hill later tonight.
Once inside Red Sox Nation is in full force. The concourse is a sea of people.
This is our view for about 20 minutes as we make it into the stadium bowl. This is what the old saying like Sardines means!
We finally make it inside and it’s absolutely electric! The Welcome Sign is a very pleasant sight.
As you can see there is plenty of media on hand.
This Red Sox fan made her own beard!
Chanell 10 Sports guy Joe Rocco stopped by to say Hi.
I have been to many games at Fenway, including game 7 against the Indians in 2007. However, I have never seen so much energy and excitement here in my entire life. Big Papi runs out to do his stretching and the cheers are deafening! The chants of M-V-P start while he is going through his pregame warmup.
As game time nears, there is not one empty seat. People are crowded together in the Standing Room Only area and the music is blasting. Red Sox Nation is ready for the win! They introduce Carlton Fisk and Louis Tiant to throw out the first pitch. These battery mates of course bring all the fans to their feet!
The Dropkick Murphy’s sing a nice rendition of the National Anthem as only they can do.
After the National Anthem, they jumped into the Red Sox Nation Anthem, Shipping off to Boston! Complete with Irish dancers.
It was time to play ball! We get settled in our great seats and John Lackey takes the mound, Everyone is standing. Lackey fires a strike and the whole place goes bonkers! It was at a volume that I never heard in my life………….anywhere! Every pitch, every throw, every catch, every at bat was so important. It only took until the second inning before the crowd started chanting the name of St. Louis starting pitcher Michael Wacha…..It was so loud…. The entire stadium chanting, “WWWAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAC AAAAAAAAAHHHHHHH!” IT WAS CONTINUOUS! And, very, very loud! As I chanted I also extended my arms and hands towards him and wiggled my fingers while chanting. I think it was working!
To start the 3rd inning Elsbury smacks a single and the Sox have a runner on first. Pedroia steps to the plate and grounds out, but there is no double play as Elsbury scurried to second. Big Papi digs in at the plate and the Cardinal’s decide to walk him intentionally. Napoli now faces Wacha and strikes out. The chanting continues, and now I wiggle my fingers a bit faster. I ask other in the area to use the wiggle chant which they do.
Wacha winds up, the pitch, and he plunks the next batter Johnny Gomes who runs to first base. Two out and bases loaded and the chanting and wiggling intensifies! Shane Victorino has a chance to put the Sox ahead. The chants are loud and fingers are moving at light speed………….BOOM….Victorino crushes a line-drive that I watched and for a moment thought it was outta here! The ball smashes against the Green Monster and the Sox are running home! There’s a play at the plate, but it’s not in time and Gomes is safe and the Sox take the lead 3-0! The finger wiggle helped. Victorino was pumped as he ran to second with a double.
Macha didn’t last much longer and was pulled from the game after pitching 3 and 2/3 innings. The youngster can flat-out pitch and has a great career ahead for him. I certainly wish him all the best, to remain healthy and happy. However, I don’t want him on his best game tonight. It was a valiant effort by the youngster.
Wally is dancing on the dugout, but there is a lot of baseball left to play!
As the game goes on, the tension builds. The Sox add a couple of more runs to their lead and you can actually feel the excitement build. A bit later in the game, Lackey seems to be losing the edge. Pedroia makes an error and Sox Manager John Farrell heads to the mound. You can’t help by think about years past. Was the error the difference like with Bill Buckner. When Farrell left Lackey in the game, was it like Grady Little leaving Pedro in? Could there be another Aaron Boone? Subsequently former PawSox pitcher Junichi Tazawa enters the game, gets a ground out and gets out of the inning and the place erupts.
The Vendors have put down their wares, stepped up on the ledge and enjoyed the game!
You can feel it in the air, the World Series Trophy is only a short distance away! The crowd is in a frenzy! The time has come for Koji Uehara to close this game out! Koji runs in from the bullpen and everyone is hoping he continues on his winning ways!
No one is seated now. there is a constant roar. With two strikes on the batter and 2 outs, the Red Sox are one strike away for the Championship. All cameras and camera phones are in the air! Koji deals, swung on and missed! THE RED SOX WIN! THE RED SOX WIN!
They rolled out a big stage for the trophy presentation. Fireworks went off!
Manager John Farrell speaks to the crowd and players. The players and their families are all on the field.
The gathering of press. family and friends is incredible! No one is leaving! The celebration continues!
A pretty nifty picture is the smoke cover lights…
David Ortiz is awarded the World Series MVP. He gives an excellent speech about Boston Strong and tells everyone the award is for all the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing.
This guy has been cheering him loudly since 1:00 in the afternoon.
It was a fantastic celebration! As we leave the stadium, all is quiet. The police have shut down all the streets to vehicle traffic for about 5 blocks each way. The Motorcycle Patrol are ready to escort the St. Louis Cardinal’s to the airport.
The Prudential Center lets it be know who they want to win the title!
People who parked in the $50 lots near the stadium were stuck there until they opened the streets for traffic. My friend and I walk to try to locate a cab. We come upon a couple of officer dealing with this drunk guy. They are telling him that he needs to move along or he could be arrested for loitering. We just wait until the police are done with this knucklehead. They are being very patient with the guy but the guy keeps insisting he wants to stay put. One of the cops asks him if he has ever been arrested before and the guy replies, yep a few times. The officer asks what for, and the guy says, “Loitering.” We cant help but chuckle at this guy. The way I see it is, if you get locked up for loitering, and they throw you in can, wont the other criminals just sort of laugh at you? It was hilarious! Think about it, you can easily remedy the crime of loitering by saying, “Hey, move along now.” Done!
Anyway, the officers point us up about 3 blocks where he tells us taxi cabs will be waiting there. After walking what seeming like 6 miles, there wasnt a cab in sight, both our cell phones are dead, and we have no idea where we are. However, a cab did come by and transported us safely to the vehicle and I arrived home with memories of a terrific World Series memory.
Just to let everyone know, Cookie Rojas also has good memories for his first marathon run in Washington, DC last weekend. He finished the race in the middle of the pack. The runners are limited to 30,000 and Cookie came crosse the finish line at around the high 14,000..A job very well done. He raised money for diabetes and accomplished something he has wanted to do. He wanted to thank the Royal Rollers for all the good wishes.
Dont forget to swing by and grab your 2013 Boston Red Sox World Series Champion t-shirts and long sleeves right here at our Team Store. Also come with questions about the season tickets Dont miss out! See any of our staff who will be more than happy to help. Swing by say hi, and see that we are always…………..”Here For You!”
Love hearing from you!
Rick Medeiros email@example.com