Son of Red Sox hero keeps it real

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Keith Foulke was the man on the mound when the Boston Red Sox won the 2004 world championship in St. Louis.
Keith Foulke was the man on the mound when the Boston Red Sox won the 2004 world championship in St. Louis.

NORWICH - Imagine if the offspring of Mick Jagger, Paul McCartney, Bruce Springsteen, and Brian Wilson played in the same band. The curiosity factor alone would be off the charts.

Baseball has a real life version of rock royalty touring throughout New England this summer. Their names are Ortiz, Ramirez, Martinez, and Foulke. They are the bad-ass dudes who crushed the Curse of the Bambino. And yes, fans have been eager to meet and see their sons play baseball.

DAngelo Ortiz, Manny Ramirez Jr., Pedro Martinez Jr., and Kade Foulke are honing their skills this summer in the Futures Collegiate Baseball League as members of the Brockton Rox.

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The sons of the former Boston Red Sox legends attracted another huge crowd on Thursday night to Dodd Stadium where everyone witnessed a where-have-we seen-this-before moment.

The Rox trailed the Norwich Sea Unicorns, 5-4, with one out and nobody on in the top of the ninth and Ortiz and Ramirez due up. Ortiz doubled and Ramirez clouted a two-run homer and just like that it was 2004 again. Clutch genes are, indeed, hereditary.

Brockton’s manager, however, left it up to someone other than Foulke to get the save and the Sea Unicorns rallied for one of its best wins of the season on RBI doubles from Matt Flaherty and UConn-bound Drew Kron.

Kade Foulke was inside Busch Stadium with his mother and grandparents when the St. Louis Cardinals’ Edgar Renteria bounced a comebacker to the mound. Kade’s father, Keith Foulke, caught the ball, raced towards first and underhanded it to Doug Mientkiewicz for the final out of the 2004 World Series. After suffering 86 cursed years for selling Babe Ruth to the New York Yankees, the Boston Red Sox were world champions.

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“There is a picture of me and my dad on the field after the World Series, so that’s cool,” said Kade, who was just 11 months old on that historic night. “It’s a nostalgic moment for sure. It was the perfect moment for that to happen. Everybody still remembers it to this day.”

Keith Foulke played for five teams over 12 major league seasons. His four-year stint (2003-06) with the Red Sox didn't end well. After a series of injuries, as well as losing his closer’s role to Jonathan Papelbon, he signed with the Cleveland Indians after the 2006 season.

But Foulke’s heroics in the 2004 postseason has secured his place amongst the Red Sox’s canyon of heroes. After falling behind 3-0 to the New York Yankees in the American League Championship series, Foulke played a major role in the greatest comeback in sports history.

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Foulke threw 100 pitches and didn't allow a run in Games 4, 5, and 6. He got out of a ninth inning jam with the Sox ahead 4-2 to earn the save in Game 6.

Foulke pitched in 11 of 14 games during the 2004 postseason. He allowed just one earned run. His signature pitch was one of the best in the business: a circle changeup.

“I’ll play catch with him and his changeup is still amazing,” Kade said.

Kade played other sports while growing up in Florida. He didn't get serious about baseball until his sophomore year at Spruce Spring High School in Daytona Beach.

“I had a good arm, that’s why I chose to pitch,” Kade said.

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A 6-0, 175 pound lefthander, Kade is still developing. He has 15 strikeouts over 8.2 innings for the Rox. But he’s also allowed 11 hits and eight earned runs.

“Any problems I have my Dad can pretty much solve them,” Kade said. “I try to complain about something and he’ll say, ‘Yup, I’ve been through it a million times.’ ”

Kade has committed to play next season at his dad’s alma mater, Galveston College in Texas. He’s enjoying his time with Brockton.

“It's really fun,” Kade said. “There's a lot of good guys on the team and it’s fun to have a college experience before I go. I can't really go wrong with what we’re doing right now.”

The one thing Kade didn’t expect was the media scrutiny. Jaden Sheffield, the son of former New York Yankee Gary Sheffield, is also part of the Rox’s traveling band. With five sons of major leaguers, including two Hall of Famers (Big Papi and Pedro), the Rox are more attractive than any minor league or college team in the country. Baseball fans and the media, including ESPN, have taken notice.

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“I had no idea that I’d be doing interviews and this type of thing because I've never done this before,” Kade said. “I just came here to play baseball but it's cool traveling with (DAngelo, Pedro, Manny, and Jaden) and just seeing how many fans want the autographs of baseball players' sons.”

The Rox meet the Sea Unicorns again at Dodd on July 13, July 21, and July 29.

Kade’s baseball journey may someday take him all the way to the Red Sox bullpen. Right now, the 18-year old son of Red Sox hero Keith Foulke is still learning how to get batters out in a collegiate wood bat league and keeping things real as he and his famous teammates travel Beatles-like from town to town.

“We haven’t done anything yet with our careers at all,” Kade said.

Jimmy Zanor can be reached at 

This article originally appeared on The Bulletin: Son of Red Sox hero keeps it real