Category Archives: 2013

New Stars for Young Stars IX

This is me with Bronson Arroyo in 2006 at the first New Stars for Young Stars event. My little heart...
This is me with Bronson Arroyo in 2006 at the first New Stars for Young Stars event. My little heart…

In Boston we are fortunate. While so many other baseball towns suffer through the boredom of the off-season, we get all kinds of fun events to keep reminding us that baseball is again just around the corner. One of the more exciting and fun events that going into its ninth, let’s say season, is the New Stars for Young Stars event that benefits the Jimmy Fund. Every year the Red Sox bring a handful of up and coming players (as well as a veteran or two) to Jillian’s just across from Fenway Park for a meet and greet with the fans. Photos are taken, autographs given, and I even once got a kiss from Manny Delcarmen! It’s a great event and I’m happy to help promote it each year. This year, on Saturday, January 11th, along with young’uns like Mookie Betts and Drake Britton, newly signed Red Sox player A.J. Pierzynski will be appearing at the event.

A.J. Pierzynski and I will be in the same building. A few years ago that could have proved to be interesting but this year I’m in my “If I can embrace Jonny Gomes I can give A.J. Pierzynski a fresh start” mode so there won’t be any fireworks from me unless I decide to try and smuggle Mookie Betts home with me.

If you can make it out, it really is a fun way to spend a few hours. But to make sure you don’t get any misinformation, let me give the floor to the Jimmy Fund folks:

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Red Sox players to sign autographs to support the Jimmy Fund at New Stars for Young Stars IX

Annual event will benefit the Jimmy Fund and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

 BOSTON – Baseball fans have a chance to meet the newest members of the World Champion Boston Red Sox and up-and-coming minor leaguers on Saturday, January 11 as they sign autographs at the Jimmy Fund’s New Stars for Young Stars IX. The event will run from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Jillian’s Boston. The lineup includes newly signed catcher AJ Pierzynski, infielder Mookie Betts, pitchers Drake Britton and Rubby De La Rosa, and catcher Blake Swihart. *Players are subject to change.

The event is presented by the Jimmy Fund Council of Greater Boston and features a buffet lunch, sports memorabilia sale, opportunity drawing, silent auction and bowling. Tickets are available in advance for $89 per person, which includes one autograph from all attending Red Sox players, lunch buffet, and one guest ticket. VIP tickets for $250 are also available and include one of the first 30 spots in line, one autograph from all attending Red Sox players for the ticketholder and one guest, a Red Sox Jersey, lunch buffet, one guest ticket and one autograph from each player for guests. For more information or to purchase tickets, go to jimmyfund.org/new-stars or call 1-800-52-JIMMY. All proceeds from the event go to Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Jimmy Fund.

The Jimmy Fund (www.JimmyFund.org) solely supports Boston’s Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, raising funds for adult and pediatric cancer care and research to improve the chances of survival for cancer patients around the world. This year celebrates the 60th anniversary of the Jimmy Fund and Boston Red Sox relationship, and represents one of the most remarkable partnerships between a team and a charity in the history of professional sports. The Jimmy Fund is also the official charity of the Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association, the Pan-Mass Challenge, and the Variety Children’s Charity of New England. Since 1948, the generosity of millions of people has helped the Jimmy Fund save countless lives and reduce the burden of cancer for patients and families worldwide. Follow the Jimmy Fund on Facebook: www.facebook.com/thejimmyfund and on Twitter: @TheJimmyFund.

Winners

Who is happier than Daniel Nava? Probably no one. (Photo by Kelly O'Connor/sittingstill  and used with permission)
Who is happier than Daniel Nava? Probably no one. (Photo by Kelly O’Connor/sittingstill and used with permission)

Thanks to everyone who participated in my little giveaway! We got out five winners and I’m hoping (and fairly certain) we’ll have more giveaways coming up! So don’t despair if you didn’t win this time!

Congrats to John in Connecticut, Kathy in Maine, Cathy in Massachusetts, Donna in Texas and Tom in Florida on winning the DVDS!

Now the rest of this will be a little rambling…bear with me!

I was out the other night with friends I’ve met through baseball (as many of you know, the Internet has brought many a like-minded group together!) and we were talking about how odd this year’s World Series win has been. Odd in that it feels almost natural. One friend commented on where she planned to go for the “next parade”. And it wasn’t said with any sense of entitlement and when she said it she acknowledged that it was crazy she could even feel that way.  I’d say the majority of friends I’ve made through our united love of baseball and the Red Sox are in their forties or older. That is to say, they’ve (we’ve) seen a lot of lean years in our baseball fandom and for those of us who are Boston sports fans, our sports fandom in general.  Heck the Celtics were all we really had to keep us going for quite some time and even they had 22 years between their two most recent championships.

So far, it’s been my experience that this time around Red Sox fans aren’t doing the things they did in 2004 (or even 2007). Sure everyone seems to have a championship t-shirt or pennant or maybe they picked up the Sports Illustrated special issue…but you don’t see fans clamoring to be saturated with Red Sox World Series memorabilia the way we were in the past. Maybe this is our version of “acting like we’ve been there before”?  I know for me the three World Series wins I’ve seen have been markedly different. 2004 was emotional. For all the older Red Sox fans and players who never saw or never thought they’d see, a World Series Championship banner go up . I spent the day of the 2004 “rolling rally” watching from home, sobbing like a baby.  In 2007 I really felt like it was for me…us….and all I wanted to do was party. So I went to the parade with two friends and we spent the day celebrating.  It was a blast, if not a bit of a blur.  This year I almost didn’t go to the parade because of things going on at home and was talked into it…and I’m glad I was.  It was, again, a blast, but it was different. I spent more time looking, really looking at the team and thinking about what it must mean to them. So many of them a bit older than the average player and now they will forever be labeled “champions”.  One of my favorite baseball stories ever being Daniel Nava, undrafted and eventually “purchased” for $1 by the Red Sox (turning into $1500) is now a member of a “World Champion” baseball team. How wonderfully ridiculous is that?

Even though the likes of Bill Maher will have you think what happened in April wasn’t that big of a deal (or that there was no connection to the Red Sox and their fans), thinking back on how dark Patriots Day became (after being so happy about a Red Sox walk-off win) and seeing the Red Sox bring the World Series trophy to the finish line of the Boston Marathon felt like the perfect way to end this season. And I will admit to feeling just a bit of attitude while standing on Boylston Street on the day of the parade, up against the barricades that lines the streets on April 15th. There is nothing that will make up for what happened at the Boston Marathon and no number of trophies or parades will bring back the lives lost and devastated by the bombings but there is a part of me that felt like the Red Sox reminded us this year that no matter how terrible things are…it’s still okay to be happy. So thanks for making us happy, Red Sox!