For Boof Bonser and Victor Martinez, today’s trip to Progressive Field had special meaning.
For Bonser, today marks his first day on a big-league roster since the end of the 2008 season when he was in Minnesota. He missed all of last season after having shoulder surgery and spent two months this season finishing his rehab.
“Long road,” Bonser said. “Today means a lot to me.”
Bonser is capable of going five or six innings, which could be helpful to the Sox with Daisuke Matsuzaka pitching tonight and Tim Wakefield tomorrow. Terry Francona hopes to use the Boofer as a long man, but his stuff would play in a short role as well.
Martinez is back in Cleveland for the first time since the Indians traded him to the Sox last July 31. Victor spent 13 years in the Cleveland organization after being signed out of Venezuela.
He lamented that he only knows a few of the players on the Cleveland roster, such is the turnover in the organization. It’s hard to believe that the Indians were a game away from the World Series in 2007.
Victor played rookie ball in Mahoning Valley back in 1999. Back then, as young players often do, he stayed with a host family. Victor stayed close to Jack and Patty Bixler and is staying with them this week along with his son, 5-year-old Victor Jr.
“They’re like my parents,” he said.
It speaks well of Victor that he remains close to that family after so many years. That’s a nice story.
Stephenson was 3-1 for the Impossible Dream Sox of 1967 and pitched in relief in the World Series. He later scouted for the Sox before retiring last October..