I don’t know about you, but I’ve never had a major league baseball player deliver me a pizza.
But some residents of Effingham County, GA who placed an order with Pizza Hut in the last few months of 2009, had Red Sox outfielder Josh Reddick show up at their door.
(Photos courtesy of Kelly O’Connor)
“I usually get a job back home in the off-season just to keep myself busy and not spend all of my money,” Reddick said. “Last year I didn’t do a whole lot, but the year before that I actually worked two jobs. I put-together and delivered furniture for a furniture store from 10 to 5, and then from 6 to 10 at night, I would deliver pizza. Not because I needed the money, but to keep myself busy and not spend my money. My furniture store paycheck went into my bank account, and I had cash around just from my tips for delivering pizzas. Believe it or not, it was actually quite enjoyable.”
Earlier that year, Reddick made big news in his small hometown when he jumped directly from Double-A Portland to the big leagues. So did the folks back home recognize their pizza guy?
“The only time I really got recognized was when I delivered to people that I already knew,” Josh said. “That was pretty interesting when they said, ‘What are you doing? I just saw you on TV a month ago.’ That’s just the way I was brought up – I’ve got to be doing something. It’s just like my dad – he’s always got to be doing something. He can’t sit around or he’ll get bored and go crazy.”
The 24-year-old outfielder is off to an excellent start this season, batting .252/.341/.555 after 31 games with 7 doubles, 1 triple, and 9 home runs. Reddick ranks third in the I.L. in HR and 19th in OPS.
“The only thing that is a little bit down in my batting average, but I’m seeing a lot of pitches this year and that’s a big step for me,” Reddick said. “The walks are up and the power numbers are up there. I’m hitting the ball well to left field and when they try to come inside, I’m turning on it pretty good. That’s when I’m good – when I don’t try to pull everything. As long as I’m staying in the middle of the field, that’s when I’m at my best.”
Reddick is on a pace to walk 77 times in a 144-game season. That would double his career high for walks in a season (38 in 2009).
“I’m seeing the ball really well this year,” Reddick said. “I don’t know if it’s my stance or what, but I’m taking pitches that are close and if they are called strikes, I tip my hat to the pitcher. It’s all about looking for that one pitch you can drive and that’s really working out for me. I think teams are trying to pitch me away and get me to chase, and I’m just laying off the bad pitches. The next thing you know, I’m ahead in the count 2-0 or 3-1 and I get a fastball that I can hammer. It seems like I’m not missing those pitches a whole lot.”
In short, Reddick is delivering.
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Pawtucket’s 8-game homestand continues on Wednesday at 6:15 with Game 3 of a 4-game series against Gwinnett. I hope you’ll join us for radio coverage beginning with the pre-game show at 6:00 on the PawSox radio network and pawsox.com.
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