Notes from the BoSox Club Luncheon - September 13, 2016

The 2016 BoSox Club Man of the Year Award was presented to pitcher Rick Porcello. At the time of the luncheon, he held a record of 20-3, the first 20-game winner in the major leagues this year, and the first one on the Red Sox since Josh Beckett in 2007.

Club president Steve Hollingsworth fittingly opened the luncheon by acknowledging that the Red Sox were in first place in the American League East.

Steve then introduced the club's three military guests, all from the United States Coast Guard, Boston.

Our other head table guest was Orlando Cabrera, of the 2004 World Champion Red Sox.

Also attending the luncheon were Dan Rea and Bill Wanless from the Pawtucket Red Sox and Judy Scarafile from the Cape Cod League.

The announcement of the selection of Rick Porcello reads:

"In recognition of his excellence on the field at Fenway and his many charitable efforts, the BoSox Club is pleased to recognize Rick Porcello as the club's 50th Man of the Year. In addition to his excellent work on the mound during his 20-win season for the Red Sox, Rick has been a great supporter of many charitable efforts including: Visiting with the Jimmy Fund during their visits to spring training and Fenway Park, and partnering with Team Joseph for the last five years in their fundraising efforts to Strike Out Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. Congratulations, Rick Porcello, the 2016 BoSox Club Man of the Year."

Dan Roche of WBZ was MC for the day. He asked Rick Porcello a number of questions regarding the 2016 team, his own adjustment moving from a disappointing first season with the Red Sox in 2015 to the superb season he has enjoyed in 2016.

"It's been a different feel," Rick said, in his own understated fashion. "I was my own worst enemy last year," he said, perhaps reflecting the pressure of arriving in such an intense baseball market after being signed to a large contract. Now in his second year with the team, he feels he has been better able to marshal his focus this year. Asked about how it feels to be among those likely to contend for the Cy Young Award this year, he said, "Personal accolades are really nice, but the real measure of success for the season will be for us as a team."

Asked a final question as to what it is like to watch David Ortiz go through his final season before retirement, he said the players in the clubhouse have been passing a hat around with everyone throwing in $20, to try to get him to come back next year.

Orlando Cabrera then was brought to the podium and he, too, answered some questions posed by Dan Roche. "It was a pleasure to play in Boston. Just spectacular," he said. He couldn't believe it when he learned he'd been traded to Boston. His first reaction was that he wasn't going to get a chance to play much, since the Sox already had a star shortstop in Nomar Garciaparra. Then he learned that there had been three teams involved in the trade, and that there was a slot for him. Having great teammates welcome him on arrival made a huge difference. Manny Ramirez even gave him a pair of pants to wear.

Right from the start, the thing that impressed him the most was that – when the team was on the road – half the fans were Red Sox fans. It was something he'd never experienced before.

He lives in New Hampshire these days, and enjoys the fly-fishing and appreciates the quality of the schools. Dan asked him if he is ever recognized and he told of a time he saw a couple of guys eyeing him. They finally approached him and told, "You look exactly like Shane Victorino!" He said he just had to say yes.

The awards were presented in keeping with the BoSox Club's mission to promote baseball at all levels, wanting to honor this year's amateur champions. The 2016 amateur champions honored represent baseball talent from the youngest players just beginning in Little League through players at the end of the major leagues in the Cape Cod League. The BoSox Club feels privileged to recognize these outstanding teams.

League 2016 Champions

American Legion Shrewsbury Post 387
Babe Ruth Lynn 15 Year Olds
Cape Cod Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox (for the third consecutive year)
Division 1 College Baseball Bryant University
Division 1 College Softball Boston College
High School Div. 1 Baseball West Springfield High School
High School Div. 1 Softball King Philip Regional High School
Intercity League Lexington Blue Sox (winning for the 12th time in the league's 22 seasons)
Little League Wellesley South Little League
Park League Towne Club
Yawkey League Somerville Alibrandis Club (their seventh consecutive championship)

Congratulations to all.

The luncheon concluded with the raffle and lucky winners took home autographed baseballs signed by Dustin Pedroia, Jim Rice, Koji Uehara, Brad Zeigler, and others, and a bat signed by Brock Holt.

The next luncheon will be held on November 11.

Luncheon write-up credited to Bill Knowlin

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