THE STORY FROM TOREY

     While the PawSox are swinging through Louisville and Indianapolis, the Red Sox are hosting the Toronto Blue Jays at Fenway.  Toronto is managed by former Boston pitching coach John Farrell.  One of the first things Farrell did upon his hiring, was hire former Big Leaguer,Torey Lovullo to be his first base coach.  Torey had just finished his first season as manager of the PawSox.  We are prone to superlatives in this world.  “The greatest this, the best that…”  I can tell you that there is no one baseball that I respect more, or like better than Lovullo.  “The one year  spent in Bostons’ organization, I made some great friends.  There’s nothing I wouldn’t do for Hydes.”

     Lovullo is sitting the opposite dugout these days, but he’s especially proud of one of his former players.  “I have had a chance to visit with Daniel Nava and see him and watch what he’s turned into.  He was a starry-eyed triple A player the year I was there.  He got called up.  It did get to be a little too much for him towards the end, but I’m watching him now, running around leftfield.  he’s playng the ‘monster’ as good as anyone in the American League.  He’s having great at bats and that’s fun for me.  I’m very proud of all those kids.  Kalish, Anderson…the year I spent wiht them, I became very close with them.  If I was able to help any of them, I am able to look back very pridefully on our time together.”

     After his first year in Toronto, the Red Sox made a call to Torey to see if he’d like to interview for the seat vacated by Terry Francona, and eventually filled by Bobby Valentine.   “Anytime you get a chance to sit in that chair, it’s an honor. It’s a great honor.  I sat with some great leaders of the franchise and share some of my thoughts and visions for the future.  I was honored that they considered me and I got the 7-1/2 or 8 hours to express myself.  It was a great baseball conversation.  Unfortunately, I didn’t get the nod.  It’s all about timing and if the situation arises again, I will be ready.”

     Lovullo grew up in California and attended the same high school as Cher and Michal Jackson (not at the same time).  He starred at UCLA and eventually was ijnducted into the schools’ Hall of Fame.  His father is Sam Lovullo, the Executive Producer of the old TV show, “HeeHaw”.  I made Torey tell me my favorite story, his encounter with music royalty, a man known as the “King”.  “The story has turned into folklore and certain people love to hear about it.  My dad was on a trip from Nashville to L.A. where they produced the show.  A man got into first class and sat next to my father.  It was Elvis Presley.  He and my dad struck up a conversation and he eventually invited us all back to his place in Palm Springs.”  Torey continued.  “My sisters say I get the story wrong every time I tell it, but hey, I was only 5 or 6.  I remember the excitement when we got out of the car and arrived at Presleys’ home.  Everyone was very excited.  To me, it was a chance to play some basketball and I couldn’t wait to get out there.  I don’t remember the details, but I know I played some basketball with him and I got the chance to meet him in a way most people don’t get to.”  Torey joked.  “I guess it doesn’t really matter.  In ten years from now, I’ll be saying I was up on stage with him, and one of his best friends.”

     I suspect that in ten years from now, he’ll be better known as a top flight major league manager, rather than a guy who shot hoops with the “King.” 

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