I was lucky enough to have attended the Boston Baseball Writers Dinner on January 19. Hey, I love baseball and I write about it; so why not me? Anyway, the highlight of my night was capturing the moment that David Ortiz greeted Josh Reddick. True to his nature, Big Papi greeted the recently traded Josh Reddick with a giant hug and pat on the back. It was clearly heartfelt and, as a fan, it was a touching moment to witness. Best wishes to Josh as he goes to work for Billy Beane in Oakland. We, and the Red Sox, will miss his dirt-doggedness in Boston. I hope a few fans show up in Oakland and show him some love.
Other highlights of the evening were:
- Having a few words with Bobby Valentine and having him sign a quilt square for my in-process Red Sox quilt. (YES!!!!)
- Listening to Jim Lonborg (winner of the Special Achievement Award) tell a sweet story about the 1967 Impossible Dream year in which he met the woman he married. (Every woman in the room fell in love with him — again!)
- Seeing Jarrod Saltalamacchia win the Good Guy Award. (A fitting tribute to a ….. well…..a good guy.)
- Witnessing the poise of Ryan Lavarnway as he accepted his Red Sox Minor League Player of the Year award. (Remember the splash he made in game 161? I have a feeling we will be seeing him again soon.)
- Seeing the AAA Cubs’ Tony Campana (ironically, another Tony C.) accept the Tony Conigliaro Award. (He overcame Hodgkin’s lymphoma when he was 7, underwent surgery to remove a tumor in his chest, eight months of chemotherapy and ten more years of treatments before being declared cancer-free.) This 5 foot 8 inch guy with a 6 foot 10 inch heart was drafted by the Cubs in the 13th round of the 2008 draft.
- David Ortiz received the first ever Tim Wakefield Award for his many charitable good works. (The highlight of David’s presence for me was to witness first hand how he lights up a room. Truly awesome!)
- Boston has lost this year’s Red Sox Rookie of the Year Award winner in Josh Reddick. The “Chronicles of Reddick” will have to take up production in Oakland. Josh was kind enough to stop for a few words and to let me snap this picture. And, yes, the flow of his hair was outstanding that night!