Saturday, October 2, 2010

Mike Lowell Calls It a Career

Prior to playing his final big league game, the Boston Red Sox honored Mike Lowell in a pre-game ceremony with a third base bag, his father throwing him the ceremonial first pitch and a $100,000 donation to the Mike Lowell Foundation. His foundation assists low income families in Boston and Miami dealing with cancer (Lowell had testicular cancer early in his playing career) as well as supporting youth baseball programs.

During the game, Lowell went 2 for 2 with a walk and 2 RBI before being removed in the fifth inning for a pinch runner to a lengthy standing ovation. Unfortunately, the Sox lost 6-5 to the New York Yankees in extra innings.

Lowell ends his 13-year big league career with a .278 lifetime batting average, 223 home runs and 952 RBI. He was selected to the All-Star Team four times, won a Gold Glove with the Florida Marlins in 2005 and two World Series rings - one with the Marlins in 2003 and one with the Red Sox in 2007. Lowell won the World Series MVP in '07 when he went 6 for 15 with a home run and 4 RBI. As Ronald Reagan would say, "Not bad. Not bad at all."

Lowell was born and raised in Puerto Rico but is of Cuban heritage. Both of his parents escaped the island in the early days of the revolution but other members of his family weren't so lucky. Shortly after Lowell was acquired by the Red Sox in 2006, Lowell told a reporter he hoped Fidel Castro would die. Lowell is a man of few words but when he speaks, people listen.

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