More of Stan Grossfeld’s ‘What they were thinking’
More of Stan Grossfeld’s ‘What they were thinking’
Former Red Sox pitcher Luis Tiant conducted the Boston Pops during Red Sox Night, part of the Pops City of Champions series.
Indians first baseman Casey Kotchman and second baseman Jason Kipnis tried in vain for a foulball that drifted into the stands at Fenway Park on May 13.Said Kipnis, ‘‘There’s less foul territory here than in Cleveland. I was trying to look out for the wall, not run into thestands and find the ball at the same time, so it’s just all jumbled up. When I was coming down with the bare hand, it already hit the wall and was bouncing up. It came straight at me. My left glove was supported by my left arm so I just used my right hand and tried to catch it barehanded. On that kind of foul ball, it’s whoever can get there first makes it. But that’s a hard play for either of us to make. Casey always gives it everything. You don’t have the highest fielding percentage [in major league history for first basemen] without going hard for balls.’’Said Kotchman, ‘‘I was just trying to catch the ball. I don’t know how I ended up like that. I didn’t get hurt. You knowthe tarp is there, you’re just trying to make a play, but it didn’t hurt. It’s a soft tarp.’’
Andrew Moss, an assistant producer at WZLX, during the station's Karlson and McKenzie Drive for Charity event at Southborough Golf, at which golfers who made a donation to Save A Dog of Sudbury could take aim at him from 155 yards on May 11, 2012. Said Moss: "This is the moment where I remembered I wasn’t wearing a cup. It just missed my groin, so everything was good. There had to be 500-600 shots taken at me. I could barely see. It’s almost impossible to see unless the ball is going right at you. You don’t see it till the last moment. I’ve got on the traditional goalie pads, leg pads, chest protector, pants, and gloves. The helmet is a modified garbage pail. I was thinking, ‘Oh dear God, I’m wondering what it’s going to be like,’ but you don’t know until you get that first shot. After the first shot, it didn’t hurt. I thought, ‘OK, that’s it, bring it on.’ When it hit the pail, it didn’t hurt so much, but it was so loud it just scared the crap out of me. It was totally worth it for charity. I was totally trash talking. Oh yeah, I told them I should just move all the way in close so that maybe they hit me using their putter. I was out there for almost five hours. I still have to answer the call of nature. Thankfully I’ll be able to answer the call of nature.”
Joseph Shurmatis, 28, of the Mystic River Rugby Club, shakes off a headlock to advance the ball against Middlesex at Pine Banks Park in Malden, April 7, 2012.
Former Red Sox first baseman Bill Buckner, greeting fans under the bleachers during the centennial celebration for Fenway Park, April 20, 2012.
Blake Denham, 16, of Wenham, paddleboards past pelicans while on spring break in North Myrtle Beach, S.C., April 19, 2012.
Anna Volodko, 21, performing in the Big Apple Circus at City Hall Plaza, April 8, 2012.
Celtics center Greg Stiemsma blocks the shot of Dexter Pittman of theMiami Heat at TD Garden, April 1, 2012.
Amateur boxer Nick Capobianco (right), an automotive technician, was sent to a neutral corner by referee Dan Conway after knocking down Joel Del Tufo, a truck driver, during the third and final round of their “Battle at the Bay’’ fight.
Alexandria Richards, a senior forward for Greater New Bedford, took a tumble in the Division 4 title game against Fenway at TD Garden, March 13, 2012.
Red Sox outfielder Darnell McDonald (right) slides safely into home past Northeastern catcher Tucker Roeder in the inaugural game at JetBlue Park in Fort Myers, Fla., March 3, 2012.
Jogger John Canty, 68, of Webster. Said Canty: “These snowflakes invigorate me. Makes me feel like a new man. It reminds me how lucky I’ve been this year not having major snowstorms. This is just a reminder of what could have been. ... I run for the cardio, to keep my weight down and because it makes me feel stronger. I’ve done 10 Boston Marathons. This is just a fabulous year for an athlete. I think this will be a record breaking year at the Boston Marathon as far as times go because you’re able to train constantly through the winter as compared to years past where we weren’t able to run because of the snow and ice. ... In my young tender I don’t remember anything like this. This is the best winter ever. I’m up at 4 in the morning and I do two miles then. Then I come back and do the rest in the afternoon. It just makes me feel a lot better. A few years ago I was attacked by a couple of German Sheperd’s on this road, right over there as a matter of fact, but I got away.”
Spencer Knickerbocker, 19, winning the open class in the USA Ski Jumping competition at Harris Hill, Brattleboro, Vt., Feb. 18, 2012.
Celtics forward Kevin Garnett, giving away food and other items at the Mildred Avenue Community Center in Mattapan as part of teammate Keyon Dooling’s Gametyme Foundation, Feb. 11, 2012.
World Peace: ‘‘My aggressiveness on the court will never change. That’s basketball, competition. I’mnot going to beanice guy on the court. It will never, ever happen. I’mvery protective of my teammates. I’ma very hard-nosed player.I’mmixing it up all the time. The fans are brutal. Boston fans have no mercy. One guy said, ‘Hey, crazy boy, youstill cuckoo?’ But I’d rather have a Nobel Prize than a world championship. It’s much more important.’’Pierce: ‘‘I don’t know what to say about that picture.’’
BC High captain MATT SULLIVAN (far right) carries the puck up ice with Catholic Memorial’s AARON MARCEL (far left) and JACK O’HEAR in pursuit during their game at Fenway Park, Jan. 14, 2012.
Celtics rookie Greg Stiemsma draws a foul the hard way as Washington’s JaVale McGee barrels into his head while trying to block the shot, at TD Garden, Jan. 2, 2012.
Bryce LaPlante, 14, of the Springfield Sliders, finds himself in an awkward position during a Junior Sled Hockey scrimmage at Amelia Park Ice Arena in Westfield (LaPlante, who has cerebral palsy, is skating on his own for the first time this season), Dec. 5, 2011 “I was trying to go after the puck and I fell. I’m like a turtle because of the way I’m lying and trying to get up. My dad wants me to try and get up on my own. One side I can do it and the other side I can’t. I tried my best but I couldn’t. It was nothing. I’ve been playing since I was 8. I know what I can do. I know that I’m strong enough to get myself off the ground. am a good player. I need to work on my focus. When I started playing, I couldn’t push myself but now in the tournament my dad wants me to push myself. It’s getting me tired out. But now that I have him off my neck, I can focus. It feels like I’m strong enough to push myself and get after the puck. I like to play offense. It was funny, I scored a goal against the Pee Wee team on Tuesday in a scrimmage. I think I’m like Chara.’’
Tyler Bernstein, 13, of St. Louis, celebrates the first day of winter by performing aerial somersaults on the beach at Marco Island, Fla., Dec. 22, 2011. Said Bernstein: “My sister’s been on the gymnastics team for six years. It looked like fun. I was trying for three somersaults in a row, because that’s what she can do, but I only got two. I was a little dizzy 15 feet in the air but it was cool because you could see the ocean when you were flipping. It was a little scary. I was trying to make sure I didn’t land on my head. But it wasn’t that scary after the first one. The judges gave me a 2 so I think I’ll go back to hockey and lacrosse.”
Dr. Ann McKee, a professor of Neurology and Pathology of Boston University School of Medicine and co-director of the Veterans Affairs Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy, inspects a brain in the Bedford Veteran Medical Center. Said McKee: “These are the brains of people that have suffered repetitive brain trauma and after many years they have this progressive neurological deterioration called Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy What has been so amazing to me was until four years ago we had no idea (that it existed.)—Now we see it in our sports players-even in high school- and our military veterans. It can happen. It really doesn’t matter what the sport is, what matters is the head is traumatized so many times. “Helmets are never going to solve the problem, they’re going to make the problem better but they are never going to eliminate the problem of repetitive trauma. That’s because the brain is floating freely in the skull. Its got this cerebral spinal fluid inside the skull. “I like to say that the skull is nature’s helmet protecting the brain. But the brain is this gelatinous substance and as its being accelerating back and forth and rotating, the cells inside are being stretched and you see damage on the cellular level with these rapid movement. “ It’s really this incredible mystery; the brain is so complex and full of all these complexities. Its not squeamish at all-no -because the brain is you. The brain is your identity. Everything you think, everything you feel. It’s a window to a person so it’s not creepy, it’s fascinating.”
Dave Maimaron, Duxbury High School coach, was doused with ice water by junior linebacker Ron Kosharek after the team concluded its second consecutive undefeated season with a 35-0 victory over Tewksbury in the Division 2 Super Bowl, at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough on Dec. 3. Said Maimaron — ‘’Yeah, I knew it was coming. I brought an extra set of clothes just in case. I took off my headset and gave someone my wallet and my phone. The water was cold and wet. I’m getting used to it, two years in a row. It’s good, we’re glad. Hey, we had a great season. The senior class won us a lot of football games and we are going to miss them. It’s been awesome.’’ Said Kosharek — ‘’To “In my mind to be honest, words can’t describe how happy I was. Going undefeated two seasons in a row is indescribable. I just want to give credit to the seniors for a tremendous season and our coaching staff, who put in more hours, I think, than some college programs. It was a direct hit on him. It was freezing. Its cold out here. Jeez, I can’t imagine how he felt when he got showered. I was thinking, ‘Let’s go home and have a good time.’’’
Caroline Brady, 9, of Concord, on the offense at the Bruins-Red Wings game at TD Garden on Nov. 25, 2011. Said Brady, “I go to a lot of Bruins games. I was cheering them on because their mascot is a bear. My aunt surprised me with these new Bruins claws and I thought, ‘Wow, maybe I can get on the big screen, ‘cause I could actually look like a bear.’ That was my goal. I was screaming, ‘Go Bruins.’ I was trying to get their attention. I was thinking that I love the Bruins and that it is really fun here. I thought the Red Wings were annoying. I think they would hate me because I was cheering for the Bruins. When I finally got on, it was like, ‘Wow, there’s my big face and I actually got on the big screen.’ It was huge. My friends were like, ‘Whoa, you actually did it.’’’
Kyle Jiminez-Fox, an East Boston High School senior running back, leaped over a South Boston defender during his team's 12-6 win to capture the Boston North League title onNov. 24, 2011. Said Jiminez-Fox: ''You know this game, you've got to play hard or you go home. I was just playing my hardest. Anything it takes, I was willing to do to win. I just expect anything in the city championships. I got hit earlier and it was kind of a cheap shot, so I just decided to get up and run harder next time. As the play is just going, I don't really know what I'm thinking. I just do it as it's coming, deciding when to jump or when to just keep going. I'm a senior. This has been a long journey for me. This rivalry has been going on since 1901. It's the first one for me. It feels big to me. This is a big win. I can talk about this for the rest of my life, that we beat Southie in 2011 and are the city champs.''
Boston College wide receiver Colin Larmond Jr. carries a baseball bat onto the field during pregame introductions at Alumni Stadium, Nov. 12, 2011 — ‘‘Well, it all started in the Friday night meeting with the players. The captains speak to the team and then the other players, if they have something to say, can talk. [Offensive lineman] Bryan Davis was telling us that before he left to go to school, he gave hismoma baseball bat and said, ‘If anyone tries to break into the house, use the baseball bat and swing.’ He related it to how on Saturday we’re playing a game — the last home game and senior day against the [North Carolina State] Wolfpack. He said, ‘You know the wolves are going to come into our house and attack in packs and what were we going to do to keep them out?’ He had that baseball bat and he said, ‘Seniors, you better go out swinging,’ and he gave me the bat. So I just ran out on the field with the bat and we did come out swinging, so I guess that’s our new little bat now. I want to say it’s a Louisville Slugger . . . Oh, and that Mama’s Boy on the towel, that’s because I grew up with my mom [in Morristown, N.J.], who was a single mother, so I’mnot afraid to say I am a mama’s boy.’’
Vita Zus Burwell of Yoga Unbound volunteers to teach yoga to demonstrators at Occupy Boston in Dewey Square on Nov. 7, 2011. Said Zus Burwell, “I was thinking that there has to be a way to make the slogan, ‘Yoga changes lives,’ true and real. Sleeping in tight quarters of a tent in all weather conditions with a low priority on exercise is just as detrimental as being chained to an office desk or a car. Yoga allows you to engage your underused muscles and joints, making the body stronger and immune system healthier. For occupiers, there’s a lot of different messages floating around the camp. Yoga allows you to take the time to calm down, get away from all the mental stimulus, breathe, and think about why this movement matters to you. I’m doing it free because it should be free. You can be creative and share it with people who will benefit from it most. I’m really grateful for the time they take to support democracy for the rest of us. Stay true to what matters to you. One breath at a time, and it’s going to do magic for you. Just take a few breaths and it becomes a meditation in motion, your mind relaxes.’’
Joseph Alfano, 45, of Holden, runs through a flooded course of the Cape Cod Marathon. Said Alfano: “ The Cape Cod Marathon is a hard race. It’s got a lot of hills. It was a windy day right after the big storm but also very beautiful. When I saw the flooded road, it was not a big deal. You’re about 3 miles out. I thought, ‘Come on, you’ve made it this far, you’ve got to keep running. You can’t go around it, you’ve got to get your feet wet.’ You’ve got to go a little crazy if you run a marathon. I’d rather go straight for the finish line and not waste two steps than stay dry. I’ve run this course seven times and its usually beat me. But this is the one time I’ve run strong. I needed to run it in 3:25 to qualify for Boston, and I ran it under 3:20. It worked out. Post race I’m sore but it’s a happy sore. Then when I got home I didn’t have a snow blower. All of Monday, I shoveled for the entire day. I guess I like being sore.”
The Motley Rowing Club, competing in the senior master eights at the Head of the Charles, Oct. 22, 2011. Left to right: Jim Moroney, 58: ‘’Feeling bad. So why have I continued to do this for 39 years? I guess because it makes everything else in life so easy.’’ Dick Dreissigacker, 64: ‘’This will only last a finite amount of time. How many strokes to the finish?’’ Peter Dreissigacker, 60: ‘’Why am I still doing this? Gotta use it or loose it.’’ Casey Baker, 61: ‘’If I keep grimacing like this, my dentures will fall out.’’ Rob Buchanan, 53: ‘’500 meters to go? You better be serious.’ Mike Verlin, 60: ‘’I’m thinking ... Rob’s shirt is coming out. Should I tuck it back in?’’
Jackie Driscoll of South Boston, jogging along Wollaston Beach in Quincy, Oct. 5, 2011—‘‘I was adjusting my earphones on my Shuffle, listening to Beyoncé. It keeps me going. You know how everybody says running clears their head? It doesn’t for me. I’m always thinking about what I’m doing next. I deliberately don’t have my phone with me, because you listen to music on your iPhone, your phone will still ring. You still get e-mail alerts and text. This is my chance to get a break. I like running along the water. It’s better than the gym.’’
Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez was hit by Jets linebacker David Harris, at Gillette Stadium on Oct. 9, 2011 Said Hernandez: ‘’You better get off my head before I ... I’m just joking. What was I thinking on that play? I’ve got to score. I don’t know, it just happened so fast, I forgot. He cut my lip and he scratched me. I’ve had a helmet ripped off my head before. I was thinking, ‘Ow, that hurts.’ My mother saw it and said, ‘Be nice to my baby,’ or something like that. Be nice to me.’’
Bruins center Patrice Bergeron hoists the Stanley Cup as part of ceremonies before the season opener at TD Garden on Oct 6, 2011. Said Bergeron: “Oh that’s pretty cool. Obviously it’s always a special moment to be able to hoist the Cup in front of our fans in Boston. It was a dream. My dream was always to win the Stanley Cup. I was thinking more about the memories of the experience of winning [than the previous concussions]. All the grind, all the work it took as a team to get there. It’s true, I couldn’t see the crowd. It was so loud. The atmosphere was awesome. It was unbelievable. Very special.’’
Bruins forward Milan Lucic gives Ottawa’s Zack Smith a glove to the face during a preseason game at TD Garden on Sept. 29, 2011: Said Smith: “Nick Foligno had hit [Zdeno] Chara from behind and he got a penalty on it. Lucic was coming in, so I just stepped in between. He went for my face and I was startled. Someone puts their hand in your face, you want it out of there. It looks like he’s got my nose there. He grabbed it. I’ve broken it a couple of times. I said, ‘Let go,’ and I thought for a second we were going to fight but it got broken up. It’s good to see that, even though it’s the last game of preseason, it’s still physical and people are making a last push for the regular season. That stuff is expected. No hard feelings.’’ Said Lucic: “Obviously, I didn’t like the hit with Zdeno. He got hit from behind and a scrum ensued. He grabbed me and I really didn’t want to be touched. I pushed him off and he shoved me back. We kind of got paired off and I shoved him in the face. Gave him a punch in the chops to soften him up. I was ready for anything. Ready for a fight, getting into the battle. It was a heat-of-the-moment thing but it never really ensued to what it could have been.’’
Red Sox outfielder Darnell McDonald, leaping in vain for a double by Baltimore's Matt Angle that knocked in two runs in the third inning of a 6-5 loss on Sept. 19, 2011: “I was just trying to catch the ball, man, and make the play and help my pitcher out. I thought I was going to catch it, actually. I just needed a couple inches more. It’s a layup when I needed a dunk. It’s hard to play the Wall. Look at all those things out there. The Monster is not very friendly. It doesn’t give. There’s no pad on that. It’s like going across the middle against the Ravens. I’m a little sore today. The sun was the worst I’ve ever seen out there. Sunglasses didn’t help. Try going out there with sunglasses someday and stare at the sun for 15 seconds. You can’t see a thing.’’
Red Sox shortstop Marco Scutaro, tossing the ball to second baseman Dustin Pedroia after a diving grab on a grounder by Toronto’s J.P. Arencibia (the runner was safe), at Fenway Park, Sept. 13, 2011 — ‘‘First of all, I didn’t know if I could get to the ball. It was on the other side of second. Dustin [Pedroia] was covering. We kind of communicate where we are playing and try to ﬁgure out who is going to cover the bag. We’ve been playing long enough together to know each other. When the ball was hit, I thought, ‘Just go get it.’ I dove. After I got it, my reaction was just try to ﬂip it with my glove. There was no time to get it out of my glove. I was thinking hopefully to make a good throw. There was a lot of dirt. Unfortunately I didn’t get a good ﬂip to him but hopefully next time I will."
Graham Parker, 22, of Nantucket, surﬁng off Cisco Beach, Sept. 7, 2011: ‘‘We follow these storms from Africa and then watch them on the Weather Channel. We get excited because legitimately on the East Coast we only see ﬁve or six solid swells a year. It’s deﬁnitely dangerous but I feel comfortable out here. I’ve been surﬁng since I was 10 and I can read the waves. Because of Hurricane Katia, there were 8-foot waves. I’m thinking, ‘Get the hell out of here,’ because when the wave hit the sandbar, it’s like a big giant gets cut in half. The water crunches into the sand, and there have been three boards smashed here. I’d rather be battling a lineup of waves than stuck in an ofﬁce doing something I don’t want to do. It’s a harmonious order. It’s your brawn versus whatever the earth has to offer.”
Heidi Watney, a former NESN personality, at the "Chipping In for the Red Sox Foundation" event at Fenway Park, Aug. 29, 2011 -- "I was the emcee. I was not supposed to be golfing. I told them I do not want to golf because my game is so terrible. I should not do it in front of people. And yet Jim Rice put me on the spot, handed me a club, and said, 'You're going to hit a stroke.' I don't think there's ever been someone golfing in high heels at home plate at Fenway. I have no idea what club this is. I'm not athletic. I got up there and hit a really terrible shot. I've only golfed with [cousin] Nick maybe once. What am I thinking? Make contact with the ball. I'm thinking I'm going to kill Jim for this. I'm in high heels. Please don't fall on my butt.'"
Johnny Damon, Tampa Bay Rays pinch hitter, after striking out against Red Sox reliever Daniel Bard at Fenway Park, Aug. 16, 2011 -- "I was just trying to get the job done. Oh, he's good. He started me off with a first-pitch slider. It started here [belt-high] and then broke down. Then he throws me two more pitches in the same spot but they happened to be fastballs. The boos? You know what? It doesn't matter to me. I was like the fourth player from the '04 team who went to the New York Yankees. It is what it is. And they've had a few Yankee guys come over here. It's all OK when players opt out of their contracts and come here. J.D. Drew -- that's OK with them as long as they're wearing the Red Sox uniform. So that's how the fans are here."
Alain Kohl, 28, of Luxembourg City, diving at the Institute of Contemporary Art into Boston Harbor as part of the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series, Aug. 19, 2011 -- "I hope everything is going fine, because you have a feeling but you don't have a visual. I can only see straight to my knees, my legs, that's it. Before you dive, you enjoy the skyline, but when you dive, you focus on the dive. Oh, I'm terrified of diving. You have to work with the fear because it helps you to be concentrated and to be focused. When you're not scared of diving, you are in danger because then you are not aware of what you are doing. The water smells good, looks good, and tastes good. But the impact is quite hard because it's salt water. It's very dark under the water. You can't see very far. Most of the stops are from cliffs, so this urban setting is very cool. It's cool to see the skyline. Very beautiful, Boston."
Tom Ryan, skippering the Roseway as it makes its way into Boston Harbor, Aug. 11, 2011. The 137-foot schooner, which guided ships into the harbor during World War II, was designated a national historic landmark in 1997. -- "Our sails are tanbark. It's a little unusual. We get a shipment of fish every week, we cut them open and smear the blood and fish oil all over the sail. Yeah, I'm totally [kidding]. But that's what they used to do. What am I thinking when I'm sailing here? Get the heck out of the way, little boats. Oh, and why is my crew doing that wrong? The wind is all over the place down here. You can't get a good gauge of where the wind is coming from because of the buildings. It's kind of a challenge but at the same time it's fun. Once you get out past Castle Island, it kind of straightens out. It's just absolutely gorgeous out there right now. A great day to go sailing."
Randy Proffit, 36, enjoys setting his hair free while watching the Red Sox at Sonny McLean's Irish Pub in Santa Monica, Calif., July 30, 2011 -- "I'm from San Diego. Ted Williams was from there and Adrian Gonzalez was born there and played for the Padres. I guess the attraction with the Red Sox for me is the history, the longtime suffering. I like it here because the Sox games are always on, they ring the bell when they score. Here I can let my hair out of my baseball cap that I wear to work. I put on my Red Sox Nation T-shirt and nobody bothers me. People get along here. I get real antsy watching the Sox. That sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach when they get behind. I feel bad enough to throw stuff. But every time I come here they win. It's the ultimate high when they are doing good."
Greg Teeny, combing the waters of McCovey Cove outside AT&T Park in San Francisco, scooping a pair of baseballs during batting practice, July 25, 2011 -- "I'm out here for almost every game for the last four or five years. I used to drive a truck for the San Francisco Chronicle for 37 years. I'm thinking, this is a lot of fun. I've probably got 60-70 batting practice home run balls but I've never gotten a game ball. There's been 57 Giants 'Splash Hits,' and [Barry] Bonds had more than 30 of them. Sometimes there's more than 50 people out here. There's a bunch of regulars who come out here and then college kids on floats who sit out here on nice days and drink beer. When the ball splashes down it can get a little serious out here. I look for the kids wearing Giants stuff and I throw them the ball. I missed one once because the other guy just dove in. I'm not going to dive in to get it, the water's too cold. Plus, I got my cellphone in my pocket."
Bob Kelley jogs on Nantasket Beach as part of his daily workout regimen, July 21, 2011 -- "I am thinking, why is J.D. Drew in right field for the Red Sox? Yeah. I don't want to see him take another called third strike or hit a ground ball to the second baseman. I'm 75 years old. I do triathlons, I don't have a lot of competition. Every day I run 5 or 6 miles, I bike 25 miles, and I swim a mile. Growing up down here in Hull, I love running on this beach. Now the beard is because I'm Abraham Lincoln down at Faneuil Hall. In the wintertime, I'm a pirate down in Key West in front of Sloppy Joe's."
Jacoby Ellsbury is in no-man's land on a line drive to Padres pitcher Mat Latos, who dropped the ball and forced Ellsbury at third base on the front end of a double play in which Dustin Pedroia was out at second, June 21, 2011 -- "I'm trying to get back and then when I saw the ball come out of his glove, I'm trying to go again. So I'm stopping and starting out there. It's actually harder to stop once you are already going. I was thinking, 'Oops, I wish he would throw it away or something.' There was nothing Pedey and I could do in that situation."
Kevin Youkilis, after getting hit by a pitch against the Blue Jays, July 4, 2011 -- "Let me throw a ball at you and then ask you what you were thinking. What am I thinking? I've just been hit in the back and my neck is killing me. Man, I've got a headache. It wasn't deliberate. He didn't hit me on purpose. I get hit a lot. You can't let it change the way you go to bat. I'm not going to back away from the plate."
Padres first base coach Dave Roberts signals "safe" as he watches a replay of his historic stolen base with the Red Sox from Game 4 of the 2004 ALCS against the Yankees, June 20, 2011 -- "I had no idea they were going to play it, and [Dustin] Pedroia was over at second base telling me I was out while the video was going on. So I was kind of poking fun with him telling him I was safe. The applause was so heartfelt, and to be honest I don't know how to receive that, 40,000 people with all eyes on you. It's pretty emotional. There were numerous points during the game where I looked down from the first base coach's box at second base replaying those steps. It's amazing that seven years ago, history was changed. It's still all vivid to me."
Zdeno Chara, bicycling to TD Garden for the start of the Stanley Cup parade, June 18, 2011 -- "Because of the parade and all the street closures, I knew I couldn't drive, and I knew walking would be tough, too. I thought the smartest and most practical thing to do was ride my bike, which I enjoy so much and haven't really had the opportunity to do during the season or the playoffs. Also, I was in such good spirits on the parade day, I thought it would be fun to bike past the fans through the streets. At first the fans couldn't believe it was me. But after they realized it, it was almost like a cat chasing mice, in a fun way. It was really fun for me. I didn't bike away from the fans when they were chasing me, I just gave high fives and celebrated with them. Even though we won the Cup, I'm still just a regular guy, still the same Z. I'm not going to be taking limos to the rink just because we won the Cup. Still going to ride my bike like I always have."
Dustin Pedroia, grasping unsuccessfully for a popup hit by Gordon Beckham of the White Sox at Fenway Park, June 1, 2011 -- "What am I thinking? Dang it, I wish I caught that. I wish it landed in my glove and not on the ground. Looking back and seeing the sun, you just hope the ball doesn't stay in it. It's a weird play, man, cause Wake [Tim Wakefield] was pitching and I was playing behind second. The right fielder was shaded over and Gonzo [Adrian Gonzalez] was over towards me, too, so it was a long run for all of us. I was the one to get there but just couldn't make the play. It happens."
Frank and Amanda Gentile of Braintree, watching J.D. Drew make a diving catch at Fenway Park, May 31, 2011: Frank (far right)--"This was my Father's Day present. I thought it was coming right at me. I thought it was going to hit my daughter, actually. She was nervous about sitting here, so I had to protect her. It was hard to pick up the ball till the last minute. It's hard to pick up the ball off the bat, until at least it gets into the air. That was a nice play for Drew, I'll give him that. His attitude, though -- it seems like he doesn't care. He's just here to make his millions. No fire. Nice play, but he needs a little more fire." Amanda -- "I was a little bit scared. I was thinking the ball is going to hit me. My Dad was willing to take a ball for me. These are amazing seats. We are so close to J.D. Drew. He made an awesome play."
Renee Ioannilli (center, in vest) and Jana Gailunas (center, sunglasses), of Falmouth High School, during the Figawi High School Invitational Regatta in Nantucket Harbor, May 29, 2011. Ioannilli -- "I'm just hoping we round the mark fast enough without getting cut out. It's intense, really. I just enjoy it all, no matter what. I think we're going to hit a boat. We were trying to keep the boat flat. I'm hoping we didn't capsize. That would be bad. The water's really cold. I'm glad I didn't fall in. We try not to talk trash, but sometimes it just slips through." Gailiunas -- "We're about to run the windward mark to port and we have buoy room on the boat, windward of us. When you're not in the right of way, you don't go forward. When you're starboard or leeward, they have the right of way, and where you have buoy room, you go for it. Racing in Nantucket is really cool because there's a lot of people. It was interesting to have spectators because at our yacht club, there's only maybe a couple of parents. We're not used to having fans rooting on the docks. Every time they yelled, I wanted to say, 'Thank you.'"
Lincoln-Sudbury senior Mike Shron, celebrating a volleyball victory over Framingham, in front of sophomore Jessie Bursma (bottom center), May 26, 2011 -- Shron: "I was in Turks and Caicos one year in eighth grade. I was doing back flips into the pool, off the stairs and into the pool. I found the perfect ledge and the perfect height and I threw it and did it. My parents didn't approve of it too much, so they sent me to gymnastics for two private lessons to learn how to do it correctly. They were worried I was going to get hurt but they knew they couldn't stop me. I'm known for my flips. I get the team going. They all love to see it. After every playoff game, I promised the team that if we win, that's when you get to see me do my flips. I can do it on the ground but the wall is my favorite." Bursma: "I had no idea what was happening but it was a pleasant surprise. It scared me a little bit, but that's typical Mike. It's all good."
Revolution goalkeeper Matt Reis (left) and Vancouver defender Greg Janicki vying for the ball at Gillette Stadium, May 14, 2011. -- Reis: "This one was a corner kick that was in where I thought I could get it towards the back post. It's something I can do to help out the team. I knew that guys are going to be coming from behind me to come after the ball, but you have to just get up and get it. It's tough whenever I'm going backwards, because guys can come through and get me, so I was happy to just hold on to it. You can see the contact." Janicki: "I was thinking, 'Please, please, please, drop it.' And then, 'Please, please, please, don't elbow me in the face.' I was kind of having to back up a little bit, so I knew it was going to be tough to get up as high as he was. Especially since he's a goalie. He gets to use his hands. I was on my back foot trying to jump, just trying to put a body on him, hoping he drops it. But he's sure handed and it didn't work out for me.'"
Adrian Gonzalez (at bat) and Kevin Youkilis, in the Red Sox-Twins game at Fenway Park, May 8, 2011 -- Gonzalez: "The step is part of getting ready for the swing. What was I thinking? Looking for a fastball middle away to drive." Youkilis: "This is me just timing the pitcher. Every time I'm on deck, I watch the pitches being thrown and I'm just timing them. I've been doing that since I was a kid. I'm not focused on what Adrian's doing. They pitch him differently because he's lefthanded. I'm just watching the pitcher in his windup. I just work on my timing to see the ball all the way to the plate. When I was a kid, I imitated Eric Davis and his crazy stance and it worked for me. I've talked about my stance too much. Everyone has their own stance."
Peter Bourjos of the Angels, leaping over Kevin Youkilis, who was covering second base, May 5, 2011, at Fenway Park -- "I hit a jam shot up the middle. I was going hard around first and I looked up and nobody was covering second. I went on my own. Then when I was halfway there, I saw Youkilis coming over. I said to myself, 'Oh no' Both of us are coming in hard to second. Luckily nobody got hurt. The throw came right at me and Youkilis dove right in front of me and I had nowhere to go, so I slid. He dove right into my slide and I ended up trying to pop up and get over him so I didn't plow right into him. At this exact second, I thought I was out and I was saying 'Oh, shoot.' Everything was fine, but I'm thinking, 'Oh man, I'm out.' I thought he held onto the ball. And then I saw the ball trickle away and then I just got up and kept running, 'cause nobody went after it."