The American League Championship Series (ACLS) starts Saturday, Oct. 12, at Fenway Park in Boston, where the Red Sox start their best-of-seven against the Detroit Tigers.
Here in Connecticut, eyes will be on Trumbull native and Red Sox relief pitcher Craig Breslow, who is playing an increasingly important role for his team. The left-handed relief specialist is out from under the radar, according to a report on NESN.com which referred to Breslow as part of a powerful post-season trio, along with Koji Uehara and Junichi Tazawa.
Breslow, a Yale graduate who double-majored in molecular biophysics and biochemistry, has been called the smartest man in baseball. Yet Breslow is but one of many major league baseball players from the area. In fact, baseball and Connecticut are synonymous, with many stars were born and raised here, including 19th century Hall of Famer ‘Orator Jim’ O’Rourke.
Mo Vaughn, a compact first baseman with a power bat, was born and raised in Norwalk. With 328 home runs, primarily with the Boston Red Sox, in his career, he won the Most Valuable Player Award in 1995. No other Connecticut native has duplicated these achievements.
Bobby Valentine was one of the state’s greatest all-around athletes — he was a first-team football All-Stater for three seasons at Stamford’s former Rippowam High. Though he was frustrated by injuries as a player, he became one of baseball's most successful managers, winning the National League pennant with the New York Mets in 2000.
Fairfield gave us Charles Nagy, a strapping 6-foot-3 right-hander who was the dominant pitcher on strong Cleveland Indian clubs in the 1990s. He won 129 games in his career, more than any other Nutmeg State native since the dawn of the 20th century, and pitched in two World Series and two All-Star Games.