January 27, 2013

On Baseball: Catch-all for Sea Dogs

Rich Gedman, the new hitting coach, can cover all bases of the game and life.

By Kevin Thomas kthomas@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

(Continued from page 1)

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Rich Gedman, shown attempting a tag at the plate against Gary Pettis during the 1986 American League Championship Series, brings his many years of baseball experience to the Portland Sea Dogs, whom he’ll serve as hitting coach for the upcoming season.

The Associated Press

Rich Gedman
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Rich Gedman

Brita Meng Outzen/Boston Red Sox

It was with Worcester that Gedman managed a pitcher named Greg Montalbano, a one-time Red Sox prospect who pitched in Portland in 2003 and 2004. Montalbano battled cancer in college and later in his pro career. Still, he was always giving, helping out with the Maine Children's Cancer Program and Boston's Jimmy Fund. Montalbano's career ended with Worcester in 2006. He died Aug. 21, 2009, at the age of 31.

Gedman was not expecting a question about Montalbano. When I mentioned his name, Gedman let out a deep breath, emotion instantly showing on his face.

"Wow," Gedman said, pausing for a moment. "He was so special.

"He was one of those guys. You couldn't tell anything was wrong. He was going through all these problems and always saying, 'I'm OK.'

"I don't know many people who could live so much in such a short life."

Gedman managed in Worcester through 2010 before joining the Red Sox organization as hitting coach for the Lowell Spinners in 2011. That year he briefly coached his son, Matthew, an infielder drafted in the 45th round that year.

Last year, Rich coached in advanced Class A Salem, while Matthew, 24, played in Lowell again.

"He is still trying to find out what pro ball is all about," Rich said. "As dad, all I can tell him is to make the best of it. Enjoy it. Appreciate this game."

Rich Gedman appreciates it. And soon he will bring that appreciation to Hadlock Field. The new hitting coach will teach fundamentals. But the veteran also has a lifetime of experiences to share.

Staff writer Kevin Thomas can be reached at 791-6411 or:

kthomas@pressherald.com

Twitter: ClearTheBases

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