Results tagged ‘ Fenway park ’

45 Miles from McCoy

by Ryan Young

Believe it or not, the title does not refer to a trip to Connecticut. But indeed, I’ve had the privilege of heading up to Fenway a couple of time while the PawSox were on the road. I had only been there once in my life before this summer and I’m so glad that got to change. (And it didn’t hurt that I got to interview some pretty cool people…see below…)

I imagine most people reading this blog are familiar with Fenway, so I’ll spare just describing the experience. But I must admit that Yawkey Way sets the tone just as well as the new Mondor Way does at McCoy.

And while the sold-out crowds are awesome, Fenway (as most ballparks are) is even cooler when the place is empty.

IMG_4799.JPG

Two things stood out when I visited in July:

  1. The Red Sox had one of the better promotions I had ever seen.IMG_4622.JPG
  2. There is a lot of Boston media. Here they are swarming the Red Sox’ new addition at the time, Drew Pomeranz:  IMG_4609.JPG

Fortunately, I obtained some one-on-one interviews.

BradleyJr_PawSoxFirst and foremost I spoke with All-Star centerfielder Jackie Bradley, Jr. He spent parts of each of the previous three seasons in Pawtucket and after he heated up at the end of his PawSox stint in 2015, JBJ has finally reached his full potential.
I spoke with JBJ about all sorts of topics, including his time with Pawtucket, seeing his good buddy Bryce Brentz succeed, being in a playoff race and the outfield celebration.

 

Last week, I was also able to catch up with Jackie’s current (and past) teammate, Travis Shaw. It was barely over a year ago when both men still played at McCoy.

Shaw hasShaw_PawSox-Swing played mostly played third base this season after surprising many by both making the big league club out of spring training and then getting off to a tremendous start.

I asked Travis about his mentality coming into the season, his relationship with some PawSox coaches, how the fans have taken to him in Boston and if he is now recognized on the streets.

 

I also had the privilege of speaking with former PawSox broadcaster Dave Flemming and Boston Globe writer Alex Speier in my time at Fenway.

I caught up with Flemming (the brother of one of our current broadcasters…I’ll let you figure out which one) when the Giants were in town in July.

He spoke about some of his favorite PawSox memories, his younger brother and his favorite ballparks.

 

I caught up with Speier last week to discuss Boston’s push for the playoffs. He talked about the keys for the Red Sox down the stretch, the PawSox we might see at Fenway next month and some other notable players in the lower levels of the minors.

 

One point from Speier worth reiterating: Sandy Leon leads the majors in OPS (min. 100 AB)! It was just yesterday (well just shy of three months ago) when I sat down with him at McCoy. It’s worth noting that when I asked him about his offense in that conversation, he told me “I like to catch better than hit.” That still might be the case, but I bet he find hitting pretty cool by now.

He might not be Sandy Leon, but David Ortiz has also been incredible to watch up close this season. In fact, forget the fact that this is his final season…if you want to talk about clutch, he homered in all three games I attended this summer. (Somewhat kidding.) Here’s some shoddy proof (I promise that’s Big Papi pointing to the sky three times):

So, if you guys want me to keep coming to Fenway into the fall, I wouldn’t mind. I’m available. Although, I’m sure Ortiz will find a way to work his magic this October no matter what…as long as the Red Sox can find their way there.

Thanks to the Sox for letting me come out. Now it’s back to McCoy. Only nine home games left. Make sure to come by before it’s too late. As Speier and I discussed, there will be a handful of guys who will (also) make the 45-mile trip to Fenway next month.

Gomez Called Up, Gets First Big League Start

If such an award existed, Mauro Gomez would have a strong case for PawSox mid-season MVP. Among International League batters, he ranks second in average (.311), is tied for third in homers (19), is third in RBI (55), leads in extra-base hits (46), is tied for first in doubles (26), and is second in total bases (172).

Yesterday afternoon the first-year Red Sox farmhand received the good news that he had been called up to Boston for the second time this year. Not only is he now with the Red Sox, tonight in Oakland he will make his first Big League start, playing third base.

Yes, third base.

Gomez made his Major League debut on May 13 of this year at Fenway Park against Cleveland. Overall, he appeared in two games finishing 0-for-2. (Kelly O’Connor)

A position he hasn’t played since 2009 when he was a member of the Rangers’ High-A Bakersfield club, Gomez gets the start because of soreness in Dustin Pedroia’s right thumb. With Pedroia out of the lineup tonight, and Will Middlebrooks struggling with a hamstring injury, Nick Punto will start at second base, Gomez at third.

Once he finds someone’s glove to borrow, this should be a July 4th worth remembering for Gomez.

-AG

@aaronmgoldsmith
agoldsmith@pawsox.com

My guess is Gomez looked something like this when he found out that he’d be going back to the Major Leagues. (Kelly O’Connor)

“Futures at Fenway” to Feature PawSox, Spinners

Mike and I minutes before going on-air at the "Futures at Fenway" game in 2009 when Portland beat Bowie.

I’ll always remember August 8, 2009, the date of the Futures at Fenway game the year I was the No. 2 broadcaster for the Double-A Portland Sea Dogs.

When I first started in this business back in 2007, I knew that there was a chance that I could spend my entire professional career broadcasting baseball and never have the opportunity to call a game from a major league ballpark. Although it wasn’t a major league game, Mike Antonellis and I were able to broadcast a Sea Dogs’ game from Fenway Park on that perfect Saturday afternoon from Fenway.  It remains the biggest thrill of my career, and being able to share it with my great friend Mike was the only thing that could have made it even better.

Not only was it my first time broadcasting a game from a big league park, as a kid from St. Louis, it was my first time inside Fenway Park (needless to say, the second time wasn’t quite as cool, but still great).

Because of the fantastic memories I have from that afternoon, I’m thrilled to know that this year I’ll once again be able to broadcast from Fenway – this time as a member of the PawSox.  The Red Sox formally announced this morning that the PawSox and short-season Lowell Spinners have been selected as the two teams to participate in this year’s Futures at Fenway.

Paws entertaining some fans on top of the dugout at Fenway Park during last year's "Futures at Fenway" game. (familyfriendlyboston.com)

The seventh annual minor league doubleheader will be held on Saturday, August 18. The Spinners will make their fifth overall appearance at Futures at Fenway, taking on the Hudson Valley Renegades, the short-season affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays, at 1:05pm. Game two will feature the PawSox, also making their fifth Futures at Fenway appearance, as they face off against the Buffalo Bisons, the Triple-A affiliate of the New York Mets.

While this great event is a thrill for the players and broadcasters, one of the biggest beneficiaries is the fans, many of whom will have the opportunity to enjoy seating locations they may have never before had the chance to experience. For the sixth consecutive year, tickets will start as low as $5.00 (for Bleacher seats) and range up to just $30.00 (for Green Monster Seats, Dugout Seats, the EMC Club and the State Street Pavilion Club). In addition, discounted concession items will be available for fans attending the games. Maybe the best part is that one ticket gets you into both games.

Tickets go on sale to the general public starting Saturday, March 17. Fans can visit www.redsox.com/futures or call (877) REDSOX-9 beginning at 10:00 a.m.

In case you’re curious, Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino originally approached the Red Sox seven years ago with the idea to host minor league games at Fenway Park. Although records are incomplete, the Futures at Fenway games in 2006 are believed to be the first minor league games played at Fenway Park since the 1977 Eastern League All-Star Game. The last known regular season minor league game played at Fenway had been a 1966 Eastern League contest between Pittsfield (Red Sox) and Pawtucket (Indians).

My calendar is marked, hope yours is, too.

-AG

@aaronmgoldsmith
agoldsmith@pawsox.com

New Jersey’s Green Monster

Ahhh, Saturday.  My clever wife buttered me up this morning by cooking me a pancake breakfast, only to then summon me to curtain-hanging-duty.  So, yes, by taking a blog-break, I’m risking my marriage for you, my loyal reader.

You might remember my video interview with Red Sox prospect Alex Hassan earlier this winter. Among other things, he talked about how he built a replica Fenway Park in his backyard.  The image below might not be an exact replica, but one New Jersey resident sure is a Sox fan.

Ever wonder how a baseball is made?  Here’s a great video my parents found and shared with me.  It’s a little surprising to me that despite modern technology, every major league baseball is still hand-stitched.

 

Thank you to my three latest subscribers: vteyes, carlosoli, and marlyneg. You can subscribe by by typing in your email address in the top-right hand corner of this page and clicking “subscribe.”

Back to the curtains.  Hopefully I’ll be rewarded for my work with a Chipotle burrito for lunch.

-AG

@aaronmgoldsmith
agoldsmith@pawsox.com

PawSox Fan of the Week

If this beacon of health enters, he will automatically win (baltimoresportsreport.com)

The thing I love most about working in the Red Sox farm system is the fans.  There’s a good chance that you love your minor league teams more than any other fans out there.  I experienced this firsthand during the 2009 season when I worked for the Portland Sea Dogs and we had fans in the ballpark for all nine innings during those cold, rainy April nights.

I’ve been told that fans here in Rhode Island are just as passionate as those in Maine and I’m wanting to see it first hand.  That’s why we’ve created a new contest where we’re seeking out the PawSox Fan of the Week.

It’s pretty simple: send me a picture showing why you are the biggest PawSox fan out there.  We launched this contest yesterday and I’ve already received about 15 emails.  While some of the pictures are good, none have blown me away.  Although pictures of you, the fan, from  McCoy Stadium cheering on the PawSox are nice, what I’m really looking for is a picture taken specifically for this contest.  Deck yourself out in all your PawSox gear.  Dress your brother and sister up like Paws and Sox.  Build a replica McCoy Stadium in your backyard (too much?).  Bottom line, do something over the top.

If Matt Damon enters, he'll also automatically win (Man Crush).

What will you win if selected?  The winner receives four tickets to the PawSox double-header on April 7. Plus you’ll be entered to win the GRAND PRIZE of 4 tickets to an upcoming 2012 Red Sox game at Fenway Park with a limo ride to and from the game!  Of course, you’ll also get your picture posted to our Facebook wall.

Email your (over the top) picture to me at agoldsmith@pawsox.com with the headline “PawSox Fan of the Week.”  Tell me you heard about the contest from this blog and you’ll get extra credit points.

The winner will be announced Friday afternoon.

Don’t let me down.

-AG

Monday’s News and Notes

Eli and the Giants did it again. (Chris O'Meara)

Today is not a fun day at McCoy Stadium.  It has nothing to do with the fact that it’s Monday, but everything to do with the man pictured to the left.  Short debates have been had here at the ballpark among co-workers as to whether or not last night’s loss was more deflating than the loss 0f 2007.  As a guy with no ties to the Patriots, I’m trying to stay low, keep my mouth closed, and avoid eye contact with pretty much everyone.

As sad as I am that football season is officially over, the bright side is that we’re now even closer to the beginning of baseball season.  It’s crazy to think that pitchers and catchers report on February 19 – that’s in 13 days!  Speaking of which, looks like I’ll be out in Fort Myers for Spring Training March 18-24.  I can’t wait to get out there, see the new facility, and start covering the team.  I’ll be blogging daily and also conducting interviews to share here and at pawsox.com.

Here are some news and notes the I found interesting this morning:

  • For the first time since 2008, the annual Cape Cod Baseball League All-Star Game will be played on Cape soil.  This year’s “Mid-Summer Classic” will be at Whitehouse Field, home of the defending league champion Harwich Mariners.  Recently the game has been hosted by the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park.  The Sox once again invited the Cape League to Fenway this season, but the two sides couldn’t agree on a date that worked for both parties.  Despite not hosting the All-Star Game, the Red Sox have declared Sunday, July 22, as Cape Cod Day at Fenway Park.  The Cape League will hold the qualifying round of its Home Run Contest at Fenway that day.
  • Emily and Brad didn't work out, but who knows, she might find love as the Season 8 Bachelorette (ABC)

    The Charlotte Knights, the Triple-A affiliate of the Chicago White Sox, and fellow members of the International League, are working towards a new ballpark in Charlotte’s Uptown area.  The club has been looking for a new ballpark deal for years now, but various economic occurrences have delayed the project.  Some good news for the Knights is that Mecklenburg County has tentatively approved spending $8 million on a new ballpark and will provide the land for the project.  The city of Charlotte is now having talks about putting in somewhere between $6 million and $11 million.  No matter the ballpark, I’m just hoping for an Emily Maynard sighting when we travel to Charlotte (her hometown).

  • Red Sox slugger David Ortiz was the keynote speaker at a recent banquet to honor the participants in Major League Baseball’s Venezuela-Dominican Republic Showcase. According the redsox.com, “the event was held at the Mets complex in Boca Chica where 25 prospects from each country displayed their skills in front of more than 200 big league scouts in a series of drills that included the 60-yard dash along with infield, outfield and batting practice — before wrapping up with a six-inning game on Friday.”
  • Fun fact of the day: after last night’s game in Indianapolis, 15 of the 46 Super Bowls have been played in a city with a minor league baseball club.
If you missed my interview with PawSox team president Mike Tamburro regarding his induction into the International League Hall of Fame, you can watch it here.  We’re trying to do a video feature like that once a week going into the season.  We have some ideas, but if you have some story ideas you’d like to see done, let me know.  You can leave a comment below or email me at agoldsmith@pawsox.com.
-AG

Behind the Scenes of McCoy Stadium

Everyone in New England knows that this year marks 100 years for Fenway Park. But few are probably aware that McCoy Stadium, the home of the Pawtucket Red Sox, turns 70 years old this year.

Named in honor of Thomas P. McCoy, Pawtucket Mayor from 1936-1945, McCoy Stadium was erected in 1942.  It’s the oldest ballpark in the International League, and one of the oldest minor league parks in the country. Here’s something incredible, in the last 20 years, general admission tickets at McCoy stadium have increased by only $2.00.  Two bucks!

Over the course of the year I’m sure I’ll be posting plenty of fun facts and tidbits about McCoy, but I thought we could kick things off today with a great video hosted by a fan favorite no matter where he’s playing, Tommy Hottovy.

On a side note, after arriving in New England on New Year’s Eve to begin working for the PawSox, I’m happy to say that my wife and I have found a great place to live in Mansfield, Ma. and our belongings are currently on a moving truck and are scheduled to be delivered tomorrow.  We’ve been living with my terrific in-laws for the last month and it couldn’t have worked out any better.  Who doesn’t like dinner waiting for you when you get home?

Since I won’t be at work tomorrow, and I don’t yet have Internet at our new place, there’s a strong chance there won’t be a new entry on the blog tomorrow.  Just a heads up.

Enjoy the tour!

-AG

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