Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Red Sox Great Rico Petrocelli Turns 69 Today

Rico At Bat In 1974
When we recall 1967's birth of "Red Sox Nation" (the real movement not the gimmick with the ID card), there are a handful of images burned into our psyches. One is Carl Yastrzemski's tumbling catch at Yankee Stadium. But for sheer staying power, nothing symbolizes the joy of that pennant more than Rico Petrocelli's pop fly catch and triumphant leap at the end of the clinching game. They still had to wait for the Tigers to lose, but somehow we—and Rico—knew we were champs.  Today, Americo Peter "Rico" Petrocelli turns 69 years old. Looking back on his Red Sox career, we see an astounding number of achievements:

• 1967 and 1969 All-Star selections
• Two HRs in Game 6 of the '67 World Series
• Top SS fielding percentages in '68 and '69
• 40 HRs in '69 at SS
• Switched to 3B, had top fielding percentage in 1971 (take that A-Rod)
• Hit .308 with four RBIs in 1975 World Series
• Induction into the Red Sox Hall Of Fame

For all the thrills he gave us down through the years, we all wish Rico a very Happy Birthday!