Peter Gammons: New Englander Jeff Locke and a personal David Ortiz moment

JUPITER, Fla.–Jeff Locke is now 29. He was an all-star in 2013, he has won 35 major league games, and after coming through the Braves system and being traded to Pittsburgh, is now with the Miami Marlins.

But, throughout, he remains a New Englander. He grew up in North Conway, N.H., home of the Skimobile. He bought a house for himself and another for his parents at Mount Chocorua, where he lives in the off-season. Most of all, he is a small town Red Sox fan.

“We used to get the day off and get the bus down every Patriot’s Day to see the Red Sox game and the end of The Marathon,” says Locke. “I was there for Pedro Martinez’s first win for the Red Sox in 1998, against Randy Johnson. I was there to see Clay Buchholz’s no-hitter.

“But the best moment was a couple of years ago, when the Pirates played in Boston. My teammates knew what it meant to me to be there. Edinson Volquez knew David Ortiz. Edinson knew my mother (Pam) had cancer and it was weighing on me.

So he asked David Ortiz if he could meet me. Papi ran up to me, picked me up, waved me around, hugged me…He signed two baseballs to my mother, asked what else he could do, but nothing else was necessary. It meant the world to my family.

“Then the next spring he made the trip to Bradenton, he ran over and hugged me, and asked how my mother was doing, and even remembered her name. That defines what the Red Sox are to a kid from a small town in New Hampshire.”

Comments

  1. Mike Auger says:

    There will never be another David Ortiz

  2. Teddy Ballgame says:

    I feel like there are so many of these stories that go untold, not to single out Ortiz (because there are alot of guys that take the extra time to do great things for others), But David I think realized just how much people loved him and felt an added/ gladly-accepted responsibility to go above and beyond when ever he could. I really hope he stays around the both the team and the game, we need these type of figures in this game.