29 August 2004
Don’t tell Frank Curreri he doesn’t know how to pick his spots.
The Yarmouth-Dennis catcher hit just two home runs in the regular season, but his blast into the left-field bullpen in the first inning of the ultimate showcase, the All-Star Game, earned him East Division Most Valuable Player honors. In the first game of the postseason, with thousands watching at Red Wilson Field, Curreri put the game out of reach with a two-run bomb to center field.
And in his most important at-bat of the season, he knocked a game-tying single to center field against Falmouth’s Chris LeRoux to send the second game of the Cape Cod Baseball League championship series to extra innings. He then set up the game-winning run with an 11th-inning sacrifice bunt.
But Curreri didn’t win the John Claffey New England Top Prospect Award just for his timing.
The Weymouth, Mass., native and UMass-Amherst sophomore hit .293 for the Red Sox this season, but he led the league in hitting for much of the season – his mark of .354 on July 18 put him ahead of his closest competitor by 21 percentage points.
And while most hitters struggled to adjust to the wooden bat, Curreri thrived in the early part of the season, hitting .436 in the month of June.
He becomes the first Red Sox player to win the John Claffey Award, named in honor of a longtime Cape League administrator and supporter. Only in its fourth year the Claffey Award is given to the top prospect from a New England college or who resides in New England.
By Brian MacPherson, 2004 CCBL Intern, bMacPherson@capecodbaseball.org