Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Fenway Memories: Jason Varitek, Literacy Champion

With Red Sox captain Jason Varitek announcing his retirement last week, I thought I'd post a few pictures of another one of my favorite Fenway memories, the time I got to meet Varitek before a game at Fenway when we were both involved with the Massachusetts Teachers Association's Red Sox Reading Game.

If you're not familiar with the MTA Red Sox Reading Game... kids in grades K-8 in Massachusetts can enter by reading nine books (one for each position on the baseball field), and they can win some great prizes, like autographed baseballs and tickets to a Red Sox game.

In 2005, the MTA promoted the Red Sox Reading Game with posters and bookmarks that featured Jason Varitek reading my book, Zachary's Ball. My role in the program basically involved me going to two Red Sox games for free (it's a tough job, but someone's gotta do it...). I did a book signing at Fenway as part of their kickoff event in April, where I got to meet Jason Varitek, who spoke for a few minutes about the importance of reading. Then I did another signing at a game at Fenway in August, on the night when all the kids who won tickets got to go to the game. Of course, I'm happy to be involved with any program that encourages reading and literacy... but the Red Sox tickets are a nice perk!

And here's some exciting news- this year, the MTA Red Sox Reading Game posters will feature Red Sox first baseman Adrian Gonzalez reading my new book, There Goes Ted Williams! I'm thrilled and honored to be involved with this excellent program again.

(If you missed it, I wrote a post a few months ago about the year Derek Lowe was the spokesman, called The Derek Lowe Poster Incident.)

Jason Varitek reading Zachary's Ball

A thank you gift I received from the nice folks at the Massachusetts Teachers Association- the copy of Zachary's Ball used in the photo shoot, signed on the cover by Jason Varitek! It says "To Matt, Jason Varitek, #33, 2004 World Champs!" So cool!
As a thank you gift to Jason Varitek, the Massachusetts Teachers Association presented him with a print of one of my illustrations from Zachary's Ball, during a pregame ceremony at Fenway.

No comments:

Post a Comment