Did You Know – Red Sox Opening Day Home Runs

Hitting a round tripper on Opening Day, like hitting one in the World Series or an All-Star Game, is not an unusual feat, but doing it more than once is noteworthy in some respects.

Hitting a round tripper on Opening Day, like hitting one in the World Series or an All-Star Game, is not considered unusual, but doing it more than once is noteworthy in some respects. In the ninth inning of Tuesday afternoon’s 6-2 win for Boston over Cleveland, Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz hit what proved to be his fifth career home run on Opening Day, his third with the Red Sox after hitting two with the Minnesota Twins earlier in his career. After what was a quiet spring (4-for-35 with three extra base hits), the sight of him launching one into the bleachers was a welcome sight to Red Sox fans looking for a positive start to the 2016 season.

The home run also proved to be number 504 in Big Papi’s career, which ties him with Eddie Murray for 26th all-time in MLB history. After Murray, his next target on the all-time list would be Gary Sheffield (509), followed by Mel Ott (511), Ernie Banks (512) and Eddie Matthews (also 512). He now also has 446 home runs with the Red Sox, which puts him six behind Carl Yastrzemski for second place (452) and well behind Ted Williams with 521, whom he has a chance to catch only in the career total category.

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Boston Red Sox Star Pitcher Josh Beckett, Local Stars & Athletes Throw Strikes for Children at Fifth Annual Beckett Bowl

Boston Red Sox star pitcher Josh Beckett will throw strikes of a different kind on August 29, when he trades in his cleats for bowling shoes at his fifth-annual Beckett Bowl, a celebrity-studded bowling tournament at Lucky Strike Lanes in Boston benefiting Children’s Hospital Boston, the nation’s top pediatric hospital.

BOSTON — Boston Red Sox star pitcher Josh Beckett will throw strikes of a different kind on August 29, when he trades in his cleats for bowling shoes at his fifth-annual Beckett Bowl, a celebrity-studded bowling tournament at Lucky Strike Lanes in Boston benefiting Children’s Hospital Boston, the nation’s top pediatric hospital.

Beckett Bowl features an impressive lineup of athletes and celebrities joining local corporations and individuals who will bowl to raise funds for children in need. The roster of VIPs will include current and past Boston Red Sox, New England Patriots, Boston Celtics, Boston Bruins, and New England Revolution players, along with actors, comedians, musicians and celebrity chefs with New England ties.

Local corporations and philanthropic individuals are invited to sponsor four-person bowling teams for the event. Each team will be joined by a celebrity teammate and will compete for unique prize packages. For information on sponsoring a team, please call 617.338.2766. A limited number of tickets to attend the event are available for $250 by emailing events@ammteam.com.

Beckett Bowl has continuously attracted some of Boston’s top professional athletes and celebrities, including Beckett’s Red Sox teammates Jacoby Ellsbury, Jonathan Papelbon, Kevin Youkilis, Jon Lester, David Ortiz, Jason Varitek, Clay Buchholz, and Tim Wakefield; HBO’s Entourage star Adrian Grenier; performer Darryl “DMC” McDaniels of legendary hip-hop trio Run DMC; stand-up comedian, actor, stuntman and performer Verne Troyer (aka “Mini-Me”); country music stars Pat Green and Jason Aldean; Boston Celtics 2008 Finals MVP Paul Pierce and teammate Glen “Big Baby” Davis; Patrice Bergeron and Milan Lucic of the 2011 Stanley Cup Champion Boston Bruins; current and former New England Patriots Randy Moss, Wes Welker, Adalius Thomas and Steve Gostkowski; New England Revolution stars Matt Reis and Taylor Twellman; and many more.

“We’re thrilled by the tremendous support we’ve received from the local sports and business community,” said Beckett. “As a result of everyone’s tireless efforts, we’ve raised funds that have made a positive impact on the lives of kids served by Children’s Hospital Boston. This is something that’s close to my heart and a cause I truly believe in. Any time you can touch other people’s lives, your life ends up being touched just the same.”

The annual fundraiser is organized by The Josh Beckett Foundation, which supports community-based programs that improve the health and well-being of children, especially those who are seriously ill, disabled, poor, or otherwise disadvantaged. Since its inception, the Josh Beckett Foundation has donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to Children’s Hospital Boston from the proceeds of the Beckett Bowl. Monies from these efforts facilitated the 2009 opening of The Josh Beckett Cancer Treatment Room at Children’s Hospital Boston which features a miniature Fenway Park scene, giving patients the opportunity to cherish a ballpark-like atmosphere.

“Thanks to the support and dedication of Josh Beckett and everyone at the Josh Beckett Foundation, Beckett Bowl has been throwing strikes for the nation’s top pediatric hospital since 2007,” said Children’s Hospital Boston CEO James Mandell, MD. “Support from generous individuals like Josh allows us to address the hospital’s most critical needs and essential programs including our cutting edge cancer care and research center.”

The Josh Beckett Foundation is also hosting the Beckett Bowl Ultimate Jeep Raffle presented by AFTER FX CUSTOMS, where fans will have a chance to win prizes including an authentic jersey autographed by Beckett and two “Monster Seat” tickets to the Boston Red Sox vs. Tampa Bay Rays game on September 17. One Grand Prize winner will drive away in a 2011 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sport 4-Door, fully customized by AFTER FX CUSTOMS, including: full JL audio sound system with Alpine DVD/navigation head unit, 20-inch KMC wheels with Nitto tires, multiple exterior upgrades, and much more. Winners will be drawn at Beckett Bowl.

Computer World, After FX Customs, Liberty Bay Credit Union, Reebok, Cooley LLP, ProPrint, Improper Bostonian, NESN-TV, and WAAF-FM among others, are working with the Foundation in support of Beckett Bowl.

About The Josh Beckett Foundation

The Josh Beckett Foundation is a charitable organization established in 2007 by Boston Red Sox pitcher Josh Beckett to support community-based programs that strive to improve the health and well-being of children, especially children that are seriously ill, disabled, poor, or otherwise disadvantaged. The Foundation provides Beckett with an opportunity to have a direct and permanent impact on the lives of children throughout New England.

About Children’s Hospital Boston

Children’s Hospital Boston is the nation’s top pediatric hospital, ranked first in more specialties than any other, and the only one in the top three for all 10 areas rated (US News and World Report Best Children’s Hospitals 2011). We’re number one in: cancer, cardiology and heart surgery, neurology and neurosurgery, kidney disease, orthopedics, and urology. Learn more at http://www.childrenshospital.org/usnews.

In 2009, Children’s Hospital Boston unveiled the Josh Beckett Cancer Treatment Room which features Boston Red Sox imagery including Beckett and his teammates, crowd scenes and the historic Fenway Park sign.

Contacts

Keith Gainsboro, Elevate Communications, 617-861-3650, keith@elevatecom.com
Colleen White, Elevate Communications, 617-861-3679, cwhite@elevatecom.com
Katie Largay Dean, Children’s Hospital Trust, 857-218-3193, Katie.dean@chtrust.org

Red Sox Set for Opening Day and the 2011 Season

With great anticipation, the Boston Red Sox will open the 2011 season this afternoon at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington against the 2010 American League Champion Texas Rangers.

With great anticipation, the Boston Red Sox will open the 2011 season this afternoon at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington against the 2010 American League Champion Texas Rangers.  The revamped Sox, who last season missed the playoffs for only the second time under manager Terry Francona, have the baseball world abuzz as they are considered the pre-season favorite by many, including ESPN, Sports Illustrated, CBS Sportsline, FOX Sports, and The Hardball Times, to win the World Series this fall.

The Opening Day lineup includes two of the newest Red Sox players, first baseman Adrian Gonzalez and left fielder Carl Crawford, as well as several familiar faces, including second baseman Dustin Pedroia, third baseman Kevin Youkilis, center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury, and designated hitter David Ortiz.  On the mound will be Jon Lester, who is another pre-season media favorite as the 2011 Cy Young Award winner.

Here is the complete Opening Day roster for Boston (asterisk denotes Opening Day starters):

Starting Pitchers: Lester*, John Lackey, Clay Buchholz, Josh Beckett, Daisuke Matsuzaka

Relief Pitchers: Matt Albers, Daniel Bard, Bobby Jenks, Jonathan Papelbon, Dennys Reyes, Tim Wakefield, Dan Wheeler

Catchers: Jarrod Saltalamacchia*, Jason Varitek

Infielders: Gonzalez*, Jed Lowrie, Pedroia*, Marco Scutaro*, Youkilis*

Outfielders: Mike Cameron*, Crawford*, J.D. Drew, Ellsbury*, Darnell McDonald

Designated Hitter: Ortiz*

Jason Varitek Celebrity Putt-Putt Tournament To Benefit Journey Forward

This year, the Jason Varitek Celebrity Putt-Putt Tournament will benefit Journey Forward, a non-profit gym dedicated to bettering the lives of those affected by spinal cord injuries. It is truly a great organization and Jason has decided he wants to help them out. This year’s tournament will be held at the Tsongas Center in Lowell, MA on 01 July.  Doors open at 5:00 PM and the event starts at 7:00 PM.

Varitek and his Boston Red Sox teammates will come together to compete in a miniature golf tournament with fans and fellow players.  It is a great family fun event and fans get the opportunity to interact with their favorite Red Sox players, even the opportunity to snag autographs.  The day also includes a live band, interaction with the players, and other entertaining events.

General Admission tickets are $15.00 each and can be purchased either at the door or online at Ticketmaster.

Journey Forward Hosts Casino Night and Jason Varitek Spring Training Raffle

RANDOLPH, MA – The Journey Forward Foundation is putting on an event like no other for one night.  Journey Forward will be hosting their annual Casino Night at Lombardos.  The night will consist of popular casino games, an auction with amazing prizes, and food and drinks to be enjoyed by all. Tickets for the event are $125. The first event, Casino Night, has a ticket that includes $1,000 play money, drink tickets, dinner, and a great evening. This event will not only be benefiting a remarkable foundation but allowing people to enjoy giving back. For more information regarding the event and to purchase tickets please call 978-749-6700.

The second is a raffle that includes a dinner with veteran Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek. The raffle closes on Monday, 22 March 2010 at 9:00 AM EDT.  The winner will receive two (2) tickets to Red Sox Spring Training games in Ft. Myers, FL on 27 March and 28 March, dinner for the winner and a guest with Jason Varitek, and $1,500 to put towards traveling expenses during the trip.  The online raffle will take place at www.netraffle.org; tickets cost $2.00 each and there is a minimum purchase of 5 tickets. This gives every fan a chance.

About Journey Forward

Journey Forward was founded by Dan Cummings who was paralyzed one day while going for a swim with his friends. Dan was diagnosed a C6 quadriplegic and was in ICU for four weeks. Dan fought to live and showed improvement but was told there was a good possibility of never walking again. Dan promised to anyone that would listen that he would walk again and after three years in Boston and four years in California he did. Dan realized that his new mission was to make the program he used in California easily accessible to those in need so he moved back to Boston and began Journey Forward. Journey Forward is a non profit organization that is dedicated to bettering the lives of those who have suffered a Spinal Cord Injury through an intense exercise program. Journey Forward’s exercise program is designed to assists those with Spinal Cord Injuries so that they can achieve basic lifelong functions and receive the benefits.

About the Celebrities for Charity Foundation

The Celebrities for Charity Foundation was established in 1997 to assist charities in obtaining celebrity support for their organization fun raising and charitable purposes. It was also established to support celebrities in fulfilling their philanthropic aspirations. CFC is professionally managed by volunteers and provides celebrities with advice, fulfillment services, state of the art technology and a 501 (c) (3) public charity vehicle from which they can conduct their charitable work. Over the past 11 years Celebrities for Charity has donated $2 million of memorabilia and funds to over 1,000 different causes.

Pedroia Snags First Gold Glove Award

He may be better known for his discipline at the plate, finishing second in the 2008 American League batting race with a .326 average, but Boston Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia was recognized Thursday for his fielding skills with his first Rawlings Gold Glove honor. Paired on the right side of the infield with 2007 Gold Glove winner Kevin Youkilis, Pedroia appeared defensively in 157 games and made just six errors in 733 chances, one year after making the same number of errors in 625 total chances; he also collected 448 assists and helped turn 101 double plays. Pedroia, who is also a leading candidate for the 2008 AL Most Valuable Player Award, became just the second player in team history to win a Gold Glove at his position; the only other Red Sox second baseman to accomplish the feat was Doug Griffin in 1972. He is also the third Red Sox player to win a Gold Glove in the past four years; besides Youkilis taking home the honor last season playing error-free ball at first base, catcher Jason Varitek earned recognition for his efforts behind the plate in 2005.

Much like Youkilis, who transitioned from third to first in 2006, Pedroia moved from his natural position at shortstop, where he had been named as a first-team All-American by Baseball America playing for Arizona State in 2004, to second to fill Boston’s needs and the change has been near-seamless. Pedroia’s .992 fielding percentage in 2008 was second in the American League only to Oakland’s Mark Ellis and third best in team history behind Mark Loretta (.994, 2006) and Bobby Doerr (.993, 1948). He also became the first Red Sox second baseman since Doerr to finish with as few as six errors in 700 or more chances. At one point this season, Pedroia enjoyed a 61-game streak without making an error, 12 games shy of Doerr’s record 73 straight games at that position, also made in 1948. In the post-season, his defense continued to shine, playing error-free ball in all 11 games for Boston while making 35 assists and taking part in five double plays.

Comeback Complete – Lester Pitches No-Hitter

Less than two years after being diagnosed with cancer, Red Sox starting pitcher Jon Lester threw the 18th no-hitter in Boston history Monday night, blanking the Kansas City Royals 7-0 with just two walks allowed while striking out nine at Fenway Park. Lester’s gem comes over eight months after fellow starter Clay Buchholz threw a no-no against the Baltimore Orioles last fall in the rookie’s second major league start, the first time since the California Angels in 1974 and 1975 that a single team has recorded back-to-back no-hitters – in that instance, both were thrown by Nolan Ryan. Lester, who was the winning pitcher in the final game of the 2007 World Series for the Sox, threw 130 pitches, 86 for strikes, in his first-ever complete game effort and became just the fourth left-handed pitcher to throw a no-no in team history, the first since Red Sox Hall of Fame pitcher Mel Parnell threw one in July of 1956.

After going 36 years between Dave Morehead’s no-hitter against the Cleveland Indians at Fenway Park in 1965 and former Japanese sensation Hideo Nomo’s feat in 2001 at Camden Yards against the Orioles, Sox pitchers have thrown four in the past eight seasons. Following Nomo’s performance in his first-ever start for Boston in the second game of the season, Derek Lowe threw Fenway’s first no-no in 37 years; five seasons later, Buchholz tossed the third one of the decade for Boston to begin the month of September 2007, only the third pitcher in major league history to throw in a no-hitter by his second career start.

Veteran backstop Jason Varitek also made history by catching his fourth no-hitter, the most ever in a career by a catcher, and it marked the fourth different pitcher that he has helped accomplish the feat. He even helped Lester’s cause by hitting a two-run home run to the grandstand in right field to plate the final two runs of the night for Boston. Lester’s command was near perfect in his bid, throwing first-pitch strikes to 19 batters, and the only threat by Kansas City came with two outs in the fourth, when Jose Guillen’s sinking line drive was caught by a diving Jacoby Ellsbury in center field to end the inning.

Did You Know? – Red Sox Gold Glove Winners

Red Sox first baseman Kevin Youkilis strung together 135 errorless games and 1,094 errorless innings at first base during the 2007 regular season for a fielding percentage of 1.000, a feat of perfection that has been duplicated only once before in major league history. He has also played 190 consecutive errorless games in the regular season at first base, three shy of Steve Garvey’s major league record, and has easily surpassed the old Red Sox record (120 games by Stuffy McInnis) and American League record (178 games by Mike Hegan). For his efforts, American League managers and coaches last week honored the four-year veteran his first Rawlings Gold Glove award, one year after making the full-time switch from the third base position where he was raised as a professional player. He is the first Red Sox player to earn the honor since teammate Jason Varitek won the honor at the catcher’s position in 2005 and only the second Red Sox first baseman to be recognized, the other being George Scott, who won it three times between 1967 and 1971.

Since the awards were first handed out in 1957, 16 Red Sox players have captured the honor a total of 36 times. The first year the awards were given, only one award was made for both leagues, and Frank Malzone won the inaugural honor at third base. Five Boston players have won the award multiple times, with former outfielder Dwight Evans holding the team record with eight Gold Gloves won between 1976 and 1985 and Carl Yastrzemski capturing seven in his 23 seasons with the club. Nine times, the Red Sox have had more than one honoree in the same season; twice they have had three. Yastrzemski, Scott, and outfielder Reggie Smith all won at their positions in 1968 and Evans, outfielder Fred Lynn, and shortstop Rick Burleson each capture the honor in 1979. The last time the Sox had more than one winner in a single season came in 1990, when pitcher Mike Boddicker, the only Boston player to ever win a Gold Glove as a pitcher, and outfielder Ellis Burks both won. Gold Gloves have been at a premium for Boston players since averaging better than one per season between 1957 and 1985; catcher Tony Pena in 1991 had been the last Red Sox player to capture the defensive honor before Varitek ended a 14-year drought in 2005, giving the team a total of just five awards in the last 22 seasons.

Red Sox Are World Series Champions!

With Jonathan Papelbon blowing a 95 MPH fastball past pinch-hitter Seth Smith on a 2-2 count, the Boston Red Sox won Game Four of the 2007 World Series over the Colorado Rockies 4-3 and earned its second World Series title in four years. Third baseman Mike Lowell, who batted .400 with a home run and four RBI in the Fall Classic, was named series MVP, less than two years after coming to Boston as part of the deal that brought American League Championship Series MVP Josh Beckett to the club.

Boston only trailed for three innings in the entire series and, after taking Games One and Two at Fenway Park by scores of 13-1 and 2-1, the switch to the high altitude at Coors Field seemed to make little difference to the Red Sox, who won Game Three by a score of 10-5 before closing out the series Sunday night in gritty fashion. Rookie outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury, who started all four games of the series after starting the last two of the ALCS, got Boston on the board first with a double followed one out later by a David Ortiz RBI single on the drawn-in infield. Boston got another run in the fifth on an RBI single by catcher Jason Varitek as Lowell slid home ahead of the tag, and the club got two more runs on solo home runs by Lowell and Bobby Kielty in the seventh and eighth innings, respectively. Colorado made it close with a solo home run by right fielder Brad Hawpe in the seventh and a two-run shot by third baseman Garrett Atkins in the eighth with one out, but Papelbon recorded the last five outs for his third save of the series.

The Sox have now won eight straight World Series games dating back to its Fall Classic sweep of the St. Louis Cardinals in 2004, when Boston won its first title since 1918, a span of 86 years. It marks the seventh World Championship in franchise history, and the Sox are the first club to win two titles in the 21st century as it ends a seven-year streak of seven different teams winning the title, which began in 2000 with the New York Yankees.

Boston Red Sox Are Post-Season Bound

Thanks to a three-run ninth courtesy of Jason Varitek’s game-tying home run and Julio Lugo’s two-run shot three batters later, the Red Sox’s come-from-behind win on Saturday night at Tropicana Field over the Devil Rays, coupled with the Detroit Tigers’s 7-4 loss at Comerica Park to Kansas City, gave Boston its first trip to the post-season in two years, the team’s third October in four years, and the club’s sixth post-season appearance in the last ten seasons. The final standings are yet to be determined, as Boston is two games ahead of New York for the lead in the American League East at the end of play Monday with six games left in the season. The Red Sox will be home all week at Fenway Park, hosting Oakland for an abbreviated two-game series before concluding the season with a four-game tilt against Minnesota. Meanwhile, the Yankees, who have gone 47-22 since the All-Star break and won 15 of 21 in September to close a five-game difference entering the month to just two games, will be on the road this week visiting Tampa Bay for three games before finishing the season in Baltimore over the weekend.

With a 5-1/2 game lead in the AL Wild Card race and Detroit fading fast, New York is almost guaranteed a playoff spot for the 13th straight season, having made the post-season every year since 1995 when divisional series play began. The Yankees have also won the AL East division nine straight seasons, with the Red Sox finishing second in eight of those first nine years. As for Boston, the team has a chance at its first division title since 1995, finishing that season seven games in front of New York with the second-best record in the American League; unfortunately, the Red Sox were swept out of the first round of playoffs by the Cleveland Indians in three games.