(Photo courtesy of Zach Foley)
By Kieran Wilson
Welcome to Gary’s Roundup, a new, recurring piece written with Y-D Red Sox superfan, Gary Wilson! He has been around the team for twenty years and has especially fond memories of the 2016 season that ended with the club’s third straight championship. He has become such a key part of the team and community that manager, Scott Pickler, allows him to speak to the players every year, and Wilson jokingly refers to himself as the “team grandfather.”
These articles will hopefully be a place for Wilson to share his thoughts on the team, players, recent games, and some stories from his life.
Wilson said his theme for the week is “opportunity.” Opportunity for the players, coaches, interns, and volunteers. He told stories of former players and interns who have gone on to either play in or work a major league team. Wilson also stressed the importance of making the most of every moment that comes.
He mentioned Will King as someone who has “been a tremendous surprise,” and has certainly taken advantage of his spot on the Y-D roster: “Everything he hits is up in the air, line drives, long fly balls. He’s been a very, very pleasant surprise. And he’s got a great arm, he’s a great catcher. He’s like a little spark plug back there.” Thus far, King has played in 11 games and in 32 at-bats, he is slashing .344/.364/.375, with his average ranking seventh in the league.
After the June 16th game vs. Harwich, Wilson remarked that it was his favorite game up until that point in the season: “I just had a good sense that we could come back, and they just came, and bingo!”
Of course, a few days later, the Red Sox earned another walk-off win against Wareham that also excited Wilson. In response to the come-from-behind win, he referenced two renowned figures in the sports world. The first was Yogi Berra, who famously said, “It’s not over till it’s over,” and the second was Jim Valvano, whose iconic speech at the ESPYs is widely remembered for the words, “Don’t give up, don’t ever give up.”
Wilson said, the win “relates to the spirit of the team. They’re together. They are working for each other, and they know they have the talent…They took it one batter at a time…I think they’re as good as any team in the league.” Y-D has displayed a remarkable ability to fight their way back into games in the late innings, with the two walk-off wins being the best examples.
In the first game of the season, the Red Sox scored two runs in the top of the ninth inning to beat Harwich. A few days later, they scored two runs in the eighth inning to beat Brewster 8-6. On June 14, the offense scored a run in both the seventh and eighth inning to earn a close win against Chatahm 5-3. They also scored a run in the bottom of the tenth inning to earn a tie against Falmouth. Wilson has been immensely impressed by the ability of the team to battle back in tight games.
A few words of wisdom from Gary Wilson
Prior to Y-D’s walk-off win against Harwich on June 22, Wilson told a story about Red Sox Hall of Fame broadcaster, Curt Gowdy. He recalled when Gowdy spoke at Fenway Park at a ceremony honoring the life of Ted Williams. In his speech, Gowdy told a story about an interaction he had with Williams in which he thanked him for having made him a better broadcaster. Wilson relayed that even though Williams was not a broadcaster, Gowdy was able to appreciate and mirror the preparation and dedication that Williams put into his career as a baseball player.
Wilson ended his anecdote by saying, “So, that was a story about Gowdy and preparation, but that could be applicable to whatever you do in life, not just baseball. Be prepared.”