It was six years ago this month that Doc Rivers asked Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, and Ray Allen to join him for a ride around Boston on a duck boat, the message behind the meeting unmistakable. The coach wanted to show the Celtics' captain and the team's two prized acquisitions the city's ultimate victory vessels, explaining that when titles are won in this town, that's how the champions are paraded through the streets.
With Rivers in Los Angeles, Allen in Miami, and Pierce and Garnett both in Brooklyn, nobody expects a new-look Celtics team to be requiring use of the duck boats come early summer, like those legends did in 2008. But eight of the new players will begin their time in Boston the same way Garnett and Allen did, boarding the ducks Wednesday afternoon for a tour of the city -- and, additionally, supporting the team's Read to Achieve Program in the process.
The players will read "Make Way for Ducklings" to children from Holland Elementary School, discuss the importance of reading, then hop on with the students for a tour of Boston's historic sites. Scheduled to be in attendance are first-round pick Kelly Olynyk and veteran big man Kris Humphries, as well as DeShawn Sims, Chris Babb, Phil Pressey, MarShon Brooks, Damen Bell-Holter, and Kammron Taylor. Jordan Crawford, a holdover from last year's roster, is slated to be there, too.
They'll be riding around from 3-4:30, so keep an eye out -- because after this we might not see a Celtic on a duck boat again for a while.
Photos by Walpole Event Photographer, Dan Busler
Led by owner Robert Kraft, a number of current and former Patriots joined linebacker Jerod Mayo at King's in Dedham on Monday night for the fourth annual "Mayo Bowl" -- which raised money for two charities close to the hear of its host.
In total there were more than 400 guests on hand for the event, with proceeds benefiting the Boston Medical Center -- which last year unveiled the "Mayo Zone" in its pediatric waiting room -- and Pitching in for Kids, which aims to improve the lives of children around New England. The guest list was star-studded, too, with Tom Brady, Tedy Bruschi, Danny Aiken, Dont'a Hightower, Brandon Spikes, Julian Edelman, Chandler Jones, Vince Wilfork, and Hall of Famer Andre Tippet among those participating in what has become one of the best-attended charity events on the club's calendar every year. Usually near the start of the season, some players said last year that it has even become something of a bonding experience they look forward to.
This year the boss brought his girlfriend, Ricki Noel Lander, and she was at Kraft's side as they posed with Jerod and Chantel Mayo in the photo above. The Mayos also posed with their kids for the photo below, as did ex-Patriot Matt Light with his bowling squad in the picture below that.
No word yet on how much money was raised this time around, though the 2011 and 2012 undertakings reportedly raised close to $250,000 for the two charities. A good time well spent, it would seem.
The Red Sox are likable, they have a collection of tremendous beards, and they're sizzling to the degree there's a chance that next Wednesday could very conceivably be the night they clinch their second American League East title in 18 years.
But a Wednesday night in September is a Wednesday night in September. And Fenway Park is no longer immune to the realities of the calendar, the school year, or autumn weather.
It appears as though those who wish to pay full price for their tickets should have no trouble finding as many as they want, wherever they want, this coming Wednesday night. But if the baseball isn't enough, this is how the Sox will try to entice fans to come to the park and cheer them on:
The sellout streak must be rolling over in its grave.
The team will be in Tampa, but the Red Sox will still host their annual Day of Remembrance blood drive at Fenway Park on Wednesday. From the club:
The Red Sox, the American Red Cross, and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center will host the 11th annual Day of Remembrance Blood Drive at Fenway Park tomorrow, September 11, from 7:00 a.m. to 2 p.m. Those who are eligible are invited to donate blood in honor of those lost in the 2001 terrorist attacks. This year’s drive will also commemorate Boston Marathon survivors. The event is presented in cooperation with the Boston Police, Firefighters, and EMTs.
Donors can enter the ballpark through Gate D, on the corner of Yawkey Way and Van Ness Street. A blood donor card or driver’s license, or two other forms of identification, are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental permission in some states), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health are eligible. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain additional height and weight requirements.
Since its inception in 2003, the annual blood drive has collected nearly 9,000 units of blood. In addition to Fenway Park, the Day of Remembrance Blood Drive will include a location at Faneuil Hall.
Appointments to donate blood can be made by calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or by visiting redcrossblood.org.
The Bruins are back. And they've already got a win under their belt.
Granted, it was over a team of assorted media types and radio personalities, and it was just a charity softball game. But much of what may be Boston's most likeable team came out in support of Milan Lucic on Thursday night and helped him raise money for Align Credit Union's charitable partners and the Celebrities for Charity Foundation -- while posting a 14-0 thumping of the Rocks in the fourth-annual event at Lowell's LeLacheur Park.
Lucic led off for the Jocks -- a team of mostly Bruins with a few others thrown in -- and the lineup also featured legend Ray Bourque, newcomer Loui Eriksson, linemate David Krejci, and a large number of other teammates, including Brad Marchand, who lived up to his get-under-your-skin reputation by pointing the bat as though he was calling his shot, then dropping a bunt for a basehit. (At least he redeemed himself by stopping to sign an autograph while on first base. Check it out below.)
The pitcher forced to field Marchand's bunt was comedian Lenny Clarke, whose Rocks teammates included Melissa from Hot 96.9 FM, Krazy Kulo and Ramiro from Jam'n 94.5, both Toucher and Rich from 98.5 The Sports Hub, Pete McKenzie from WZLX (100.7), Lori Grande and John Willis from Country 102.5, Karson from Mix 104.1, Joe Haggerty from CSNNE.com, Joe Amorosino from Channel 7, Jamie Erdahl from NESN, and comedian Dave Russo.
Not the stiffest of competition, apparently. But a win is a win. Especially in the name of a good cause.
(Videos embedded from BostonBruins.com; photos courtesy of BillyKaos Photography.)
Representatives from each of Boston's big four sports teams came together at Fenway Park on Thursday to discuss their experiences playing in Boston, their charitable efforts, and what it takes to be a champion -- all to help Ahold USA's "Our Family Foundation" raise money for a cause that supports local families and kids.
Mediated by hall-of-fame baseball writer Peter Gammons, the panel (as depicted above) featured Danny Ainge, ex-Celtics' guard and currently the team's President of Basketball Operations; Shawn Thornton, the Bruins' winger; Pedro Martinez, the legendary Red Sox pitcher who is now a Special Assistant to the General Manager with the organization; and Joe Andruzzi, three times a Super Bowl champion with the Patriots. (Joining them all in the photo above is Joe Kelley, President of Stop & Shop New England.)
As part of a daylong event, their chat was preceded by a visit to the Dana Farber Cancer Institute for a look at some of the ways in which the money donated by the foundation is being put to use. According to Ahold, Our Family has donated $12.75 million this year to cancer and pediatric cancer research organizations, as well as non-profits committed to easing childhood hunger through programs connected to regional food banks, including the Greater Boston Food Bank.