I had the pleasure of being at the BLOHARDS meeting at the Yale Club yesterday, the second of luncheons they hold every year when the Red Sox come to town.
For those who are not in the know, the BLOHARDS are the Benevolent Loyal Order of Honorable Ancient Red Sox Diehard Sufferers of New York, which has been a shelter for Red Sox fans living in New York since the mid-1960s. I am a proud member and I do five Red Sox trivia questions every meeting (and they will appear at the end of this post) and give away prizes.
A special guest from the Sox usually attends, and this time it was Red Sox interim manager Torey Lovullo. He was interviewed by WFAN radio host Ed Randall, who attends most of the meetings as well. Torey was very personable and articulate and Ed asked him questions about taking over as interim manager. It was also a very emotional subject for him, as when he talked about the day John Farrell let him know about his lymphoma diagnosis, Torey had to stop and compose himself. He has been a close confident of Farrell's for many years, serving as bench coach in Toronto as well as at Fenway.
I was impressed to learn that Lovullo does not occupy the manager's office at Fenway or even on the road, in a sign of his respect for John Farrell.
And I have to admit that I never knew that his father was once a producer on the 1960s/70s TV show "Hee Haw." Torey talked about hanging out with the cast as a kid, playing cards with star Roy Clark.
Torey Lovullo has impressed a lot of people since becoming interim manager on August 14th. If John Farrell is healthy enough to return next season, the Red Sox could end up losing Lovullo to another team looking for a permanent manager. (I can't help think of Bruce Arians, the NFL coach who did such a great job with the Colts a few years back after head coach Chuck Pagano left the team early in the season with a cancer diagnosis. When Pagano returned, Arians left for a permanent head coaching job in Arizona.)
I did the Red Sox trivia shortly after Torey left for Yankee Stadium. It's always fun to hit the 80 of so attendees with recent questions of the Red Sox past, and give away prizes. Here are the questions from Tuesday's luncheon (answers will follow below):
1. What former Red Sox pitcher recently picked up his 50th save of 2015?
2. Manny Ramirez hit his 500th home run in 2008 against what team?
3. What pitcher led the pennant-winning 1975 Red Sox in wins with 19?
4. Who is the only Red Sox shortstop to win a Gold Glove Award?
5. Who is the last Red Sox pitcher to throw 300 innings in a season?
I was impressed that I didn't have to give out any clues to help the crowd get a winning answer. BLOHARDS Transportation Secretary Ray Duffy concluded the day with a cool slideshow, which featured a nice tribute to the late Yogi Berra.
My thanks to Joe Cosgriff, Ray Duffy, Julie Powers Killian and Peter Collery of the BLOHARDS. They always put on a great luncheon, and I am always honored to be part of it.
The trivia answers are: 1. Mark Melancon; 2. Baltimore Orioles; 3. Rick Wise; 4. Rick Burleson (1979); 5. Luis Tiant ( 311 innings in 1974).