Posted on 27 November 2013.
Last year's 13s Enjoy Reunion
The 6th annual Banquet was held at The Fours Restaurant on Monday, November 25th. A record turnout of 200 attended the festive evening celebrating the 2013 Ruffnecks season. Each year the event seems to get better, with players and families enjoying the opportunity to reunite and share the memories of warm summer baseball. New Ruffnecks also attend the Banquet. This year 9 players from the new 13s attended the evening’s festivities along with new members of the 14s, 15s, and 16s. It is a unique opportunity for first year players to understand the culture of the program they are getting into. The evening, the food, and the venue (The Fours), are made possible through the generosity of Mr. Tim Colton, parent of alumnus Jack Colton who is currently a junior baseball player at Harvard University. Special guests included Taylor McCollough, National Tournament Director of Perfect Game, who traveled from Georgia to attend the event. It was an honor to have Mr. McCollough with us. The highlight of the evening is the presentation of the Johnny Pesky Teammate Award, named after the late Red Sox legend, who until his passing last year signed each copy of the book The Teammates given to the award-winners.
Mr. Stu Porter Speaks at Banquet
This year’s banquet featured several special recognitions and announcements. Mike Doyle, a Boston Police officer who is the parent of Mikey Doyle (15U Ruffnecks), was given a standing ovation for his service during the Boston Marathon attacks. He was stationed right near the Finish Line. The evening also featured a hearty recognition of Mr. and Mrs. Porter with the establishment of the Stuart and Susan Porter Service Award. The award was established to acknowledge the significant contributions the Porters make behind the scenes to enable the Ruffnecks experience to be what it is for all players. The award recognizes a member of the Ruffnecks community who goes above and beyond baseball to serve the community. The first Porter Award Winner is Zack Horwitz for his initiative organizing and executing the Ruffnecks equipment drive which was wildly successful this fall. The Ruffnecks equipment is to be distributed to inner city youth baseball organizations and to the Guyana national program through Coach Mark Gafur. The evening also recognized four players who have played with the Ruffnecks for five years. Mike Gianci, Jack Porter, Mike Samko, and Justin Smith received framed team pictures of the 2013 “Senior” Ruffnecks. The entire 18U “Senior” team also received team pictures, though unframed. A seven minute video of the 2013 season entertained everyone prior to the highlight of the evening, which is the presentation of the 2013 Johnny Pesky Teammate Awards. The Teammate Award is the only award given to Ruffnecks that recognizes on-field contributions by players. The award is in keeping with the tremendous value the program places on loyalty, TEAM, and the content of character in the context of the team. It underscores how those values provide an inextricable bond between personal development and relationships among teammates. The 2013 Pesky Teammate Award winners are: 13U Calvin Sullivan; 14U Owen Batchelder; 15U Sam Zager; 16U Colin Ward; 18U Paul Campbell.
Finally, Mr. August presented a chunk of sod and formally announced that ground has been broken on a brand new baseball complex in Northborough that will become home to the New England Ruffnecks program. The New England Baseball Complex will be a three-field baseball complex that will also serve the greater New England Baseball community as a tournament destination site and a developmental center of baseball activity. The evening ended, as it does every year, with folks going home with smiles on their faces, eager for the coming spring and the new season to begin. On to 2014!