June 26, 2013

Kevin Thomas: Cecchini & baseball, a heavenly match

By Kevin Thomas kthomas@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

(Continued from page 1)

click image to enlarge

Garin Cecchini has only been with the Portland Sea Dogs since Friday, but he has impressed, going 5 for 16 in four games.

Gabe Souza/Staff Photographer


• Tuesday night's game between the Sea Dogs and Binghamton Mets was suspended because of rain with the score tied 0-0 after two innings.

• The game will resume today at 5 p.m. and be followed by another, seven-inning game.


WHO: Sea Dogs (TBA and Drake Britton 6-6) vs. Binghamton Mets (TBA and Cory Mazzoni 3-2)

WHEN: 5 p.m.

WHERE: Hadlock Field

TICKETS: About 3,000 available


Baseball America's top 10 Boston Red Sox prospects, most of whom have played for the Sea Dogs:

1. Xander Bogaerts, shortstop promoted from Portland June 13 to Triple-A.

2. Jackie Bradley Jr., outfielder played in Portland last year and is now in Triple-A.

3. Matt Barnes, pitcher now with the Sea Dogs

4. Allen Webster, pitcher who finished last season with Portland and is in Boston.

5. Henry Owens, pitcher in Class A Salem and expected in Portland later this year.

6. Blake Swihart, catcher in Salem and possible late-season promotion to Portland.

7. Garin Cecchini, third baseman promoted to Portland last Friday.

8. Bryce Brentz, outfielder, promoted to Triple-A at the end of last year.

9. Jose Iglesias, infielder who played in Portland in 2010 now with Boston.

10. Deven Marrero, shortstop playing in Salem.

Cecchini suffered a broken wrist in his first season in 2011, when he was hit by a pitch. He finally came on in 2012 in Greenville and broke out with Salem early this season. Cecchini is a patient hitter, and a solid hitter to all fields.

"I've never seen anyone put the barrel on the ball like he does," said Sea Dogs reliever Mike McCarthy, who was in Salem with Cecchini.

But McCarthy, 25, said there is more to Cecchini.

"He's a great teammate," McCarthy said. "He's younger than me and I still learn from him."

It is not an accident that Cecchini is a good influence. The Cecchini family may be known for raising baseball players, but they also build character. The ball field is important, but church is the real hallowed ground.

"God is first" Raissa said. "A baseball career is a short time. I want (my sons) to be good Christian men and good fathers."

That may be why Garin Cecchini is known for spending time visiting hospitals and doing other good deeds wherever he plays. When he signed with the Red Sox, he immediately donated $20,000 to the Jimmy Fund, the Boston charity for cancer research.

Ask Cecchini about his good deeds and he winces.

"You don't boast about stuff like that," Cecchini said.

He will allow that he wants to be known as a good baseball player -- and much, much more.

"I want to be known as a child of God, being a good person for other people, giving them the respect they deserve," Cecchini said. "I want to be a good citizen, and I want to be a good teammate."

As far as being a good ballplayer in the majors, Cecchini is getting closer. He's impressed in four games with Portland, batting .313 (5 for 16) and making flashy plays at third base.

"It's another step," Cecchini said of Double-A ball. "Another challenge to try to master."

Another prospect with big goals, and that easy smile.


Kevin Thomas can be contacted at 791-6411 or at kthomas@pressherald.com

Twitter: ClearTheBases


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