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Red Sox are Boston in name only

Posted by Obnoxious Boston Fan  October 22, 2013 02:33 PM

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globe sox celebrate.jpgThe Boston Red Sox are Boston in name only.

They represent all of New England [save for Fairfield County in Connecticut] and a link to those who follow the team but find themselves in places like Florida, Phoenix, the Far East or Finland.

This season, the OBF Blog has heard from fans in Australia and Austria.

This month, the Berkshires and Blue Hills are alive with the sound of baseball.

And the Bay State is replete with the names of Red Sox players - past and present, both in spelling and pronunciation.

Coincidence or fate, you decide.

With 351 cities and towns in Massachusetts, it's not surprising that a pitcher named Jon Lester [pronounced Leicester] will start Game 1 of the World Series at Fenway Park.

"Fear the Beard" has replaced plain old "fear" this season. The Red Sox entered 2013 with minimal expectations, setting up their fans and the rest of the American League for six months of exhilarating baseball.

Yogi Berra once said "90 percent of this game is half-mental."

For the Red Sox and their fans, 2013 was a mind-blowing experience. One factor in the creation of Team Chemistry occurred thanks to an expanded role Manager John Farrell this season gave former pitcher and current team sports psychology coach Bob Tewksbury.

Talk of Leicester and Tewksbury got us thinking just how many Red Sox players from past fall glory and elsewhere share monikers with various locales across Massachusetts? The answer is "quite a few." We'll let DudeWithTooMuchTimeOnHisHands.com give us an exact number, but there are plenty of players who come to mind.

Here's a not-pretending-to-be-complete list of some of the notables:

For instance, the last time the Red Sox won the World Series, they were powered by Series MVP Mike Lowell and Cy Young Award winner Josh Beckett, who for some reason, needed an extra "t" in his last name.

The folks in Berkshire County, where Becket is located, are thrifty, if nothing else. And Boston's third baseman gave the team "Lowell Connector" a whole new meaning seven years ago.

Tim Wakefield spent 17 seasons with the Red Sox and won two World Series rings but always called Florida home.

There's of course, Williamsburg and Williamstown.

Two towns. That only makes sense given Ted's stature. Perhaps they, too, should have one of Ted's statues.

There's Abington, Arlington and Lexington, but no Yazington. However, Massachusetts does have a Carl-isle.

And there were probably a few fans who called Boston's 1972 Rookie of the Year Charlton Fisk when he first broke into the majors. By the 1975 World Series, the "h" was long gone, in addition to Pat Darcy's final pitch of Game 6.

The 1975 Red Sox had a true-five tool star in center field. And the first American Leaguer ever to win Rookie of Year and MVP honors in the same season was not from the North Shore, even if though his name was Fred Lynn.

Lefty-in-all-senses-of-the-word Bill Lee was a crucial cog in the Red Sox rotation in 1975. The Spaceman also served up Tony Perez's infamous blast in Game 7 of that year's World Series courtesy of the Leephus. That ball will complete its 36th geo-centric orbit above Fenway Park Tuesday night. Even Tim McCarver, yes that Tim McCarver, played 14 games for the Red Sox that season. And he was joined behind the plate by Bob Montgomery.

Dennis is on the Cape. But Eck is in the NESN booth, after a Hall of Fame Career that included parts of eight seasons in Boston, plenty of lettuce and lots of cheese.

Joe Hudson appeared in 101 games with the Red Sox over three seasons in the mid-1990's and left the Red Sox in 1997, the same year Hudson native and late Paul Cellucci became Massachusetts governor.

Your elders fondly recall Dalton Jones from the "Impossible Dream" 1967 Red Sox, who were also managed by a [Dick] Williams, he can get Ted's second choice.

Speaking of heroes, the Massachusetts Bay Colony heroes of the Revolutionary War are also covered on the Red Sox-Bay State Town Name List. Among our founding fathers were Gary Hancock and Terry Adams. While the Red Sox have never had a Washington, it's hardly a stretch to say the Boomer [George Scott, not Chris Berman, kids] was fan favorite in Georgetown. Luis Rivera will have to suffice for Revere.

Mike Greenwell followed Jim Rice in left-field and probably would have been MVP in 1988 if Jose Canseco had not discovered steroids. Folks in Greenfield may disagree, but they certainly recall Greenwell's presence in the middle of the lineup Tom Bolton was a reliable left-handed starter on the 1990 A.L. East champion Red Sox.

Carl Everett said he didn't believe in dinosaurs. That earned him the nickname "C-Rex," which certainly created plenty of chuckles in Everett. He did, however, break up a potential Mike Mussina no-hitter in 2001 as a pinch-hitter in the ninth inning and provided plenty of entertainment for Red Sox fans during his two seasons with the club.

Allen Webster, who appeared in eight games for the Red Sox this season, emerged as a borderline pitcher after coming to the Red Sox of the deal that shipped Beckett, Carl Crawford, Adrian Gonzalez and Nick Punto to the Dodgers. Webster is a Connecticut borderline town south of Auburn and Worcester.

Otis Nixon spent a year [1994] in centerfield, so it's unlikely he ever made it out visit the town bearing his name in Berkshire County. Wendell sits north of Springfield and has minimal signage on Route 2. Wendell Kim was a third-base coach for the Red Sox in the late 1990s. His signs were also hard to read.

The future is even more exciting.

With four more wins this season, it may be only a matter of time before we see one of those 351 Massachusetts' locales asking its residents for a name change to Kojiburg, Papiville or Dustington.

This blog is not written or edited by Boston.com or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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Obnoxious Boston Fan offers a fun, unique and biting perspective on the Red Sox, Celtics, Bruins, Patriots and whatever else people are talking about in the world of sports. We More »
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