Talk about luck. When the Greater Hartford YMCA began soliciting donations many weeks ago for its annual “YMCA Celebrates Champions” awards dinner held Thursday, guess what the Red Sox sent?
An autographed ball by get-the-Sox-to-the-series hitter Shane Victorino.
And 10 weeks ago, when the organization was deciding who to invite as the featured guest, they reached out to former Sox pitcher Tim Wakefield and he said “yes.”
So it was no surprise that it was mini-Red Sox Nation at Hartford’s Connecticut Convention Center Thursday as 400 guests not only celebrated the local champions who support the YMCA, but also those Red Sox who are making New England a pretty happy and exciting place these days.
“We planned it this way,” joked YMCA president /CEO James O’S. Morton who was bleeding red via the Boston Red Sox tie he sported for the evening. “When we arranged all this we had no idea the Red Sox were going to the series and had no idea, when we received the donated ball from Victorino that he would be the guy to make the final run to get the Sox into the series.”
Wakefield was one happy guy before the dinner started (but before the Sox lost Game Two of the series to the St. Louis Cardinals) admitting that he wished he could still be on the field.
“They are doing everything right,” he said, flaunting one of his mega-sized World Series rings. Now a NESN Red Sox analyst, Wakefield had his own series prediction as he signed four dozen baseballs that were part of the swag for VIPers who paid the big bucks to meet Wakefield in person.
“Six in six,” he said, being generous to the Cardinals talent. “They’re a good team but we are going to win it.”
Honorees at the dinner were Yvette Melendez, Christine Marcks and Douglas McCrory.