Thursday, 28 September 2017 21:20

Neighbors: Snippets of Life From Your Community

Wade Boggs gives the thumbs-up at Saratoga Casino Hotel. Wade Boggs gives the thumbs-up at Saratoga Casino Hotel. PhotoAndGraphic.com

Who: Wade Boggs, Major League Hall-of-Famer. Boggs appeared in 12 All Star games and won five American League batting titles during an 18-year baseball career, 11 of those with the Boston Red Sox. In 1996, he won a World Series as a member of the New York Yankees.

Where: Saratoga Casino Hotel. 

What did you think of your home run performance during the All-Star Celebrity Softball game?

I look at it like this: Jose Canseco was 1-for-3 in his first three swings, and we have similar body types, so I had to make a 50-and-older softball league run here.

You retired from baseball more than 15 years ago. How do you stay in baseball shape?

I coach high school baseball in Tampa, Florida, so I take BP (batting practice) with the kids and get to hit periodically. But it’s a whole different animal with the softball and the lobbing it in.

How do you feel about the day overall?

It was great to come out here. We had a huge crowd and it was a wonderful day. We even had the jockeys out here – and I’m considered a jockey since I rode a horse in ’96.

Interacting with the fans is the main thing. Everyone’s so gracious to come out and enjoy an afternoon playing a little softball, seeing some famous people and hopefully we don’t embarrass ourselves in front of people. You look around and everyone’s having a great day. We couldn’t ask for a better day in New York

Is there a camaraderie that bonds together athletes from different sports?  

Absolutely. It gives us a different opportunity to get into their world. You sit around and talk with the guys. We hang around with hall-of-famers and do our little locker room talks, but you also get into the football guys, and we got some jockeys out here. I mean, Ron Turcotte: the guy who rode Secretariat. Does it get any better than that?

What kind of conversations do you have with the other athletes?

I asked L.T. what is it when you look through that mask, and a guy’s coming at you, that you just want to knock his brains out? Does that stick with you forever?  He said: at the end of your career it sort of leaves you. That’s when you know it’s time to get out of the game, when you don’t want to get hit. And it’s sort of that way in baseball. At the end of your career, you know it’s time and the only one who can answer that is you when you look in the mirror. Because you never lie to yourself when you look in the mirror.

Did Anyone’s performance especially surprise you?

Angel Cordero. He said he couldn’t hit and then he walks out there and hits a rope to left field. I said, ‘Dude, we could have had you leading off the whole time!’

The purpose today is that you’re out here raising money for charity.Well, that’s what we do. We’re facilitators of raising money when we can come out and lend our name and draw these crowds. And when you go home at night and put your head on the pillow, there’s a big smile on my face knowing we raised money for the Ronald McDonald House.

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