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Congratulations and another cool event.

November 12, 2007

Congratulations to the 2007 AL Rookie of the Year, Boston Red Sox 2B Dustin Pedroia. Broken hamate and all, he managed to have a phenomenal season this year. After a slow start he got on a roll, played pretty much every day, and never let up.

 

Just another example of a kid who, 10 years ago, would most likely have gone undrafted. I’ve always understood, to an extent, scouts looking for size and stature in draftees, but in Dustin’s case, much like Youk, you watch, you see not one tool that screams 5 stars or All Star.

 

However, when you watch both of them for 162 games, and you assess the body of work, you see two guys that were born to play baseball, period. It’s also a testament to the way this organization scouts and drafts young players.

 

Much like New York, this team has to look deeper, in my opinion, at the players it considers due to the “X factors” inherent in playing in these markets. There are extra parts to the puzzle that makes up the big league organizations in these cities. From relentless win it all at all costs expectations every single season, to the media contingent that can measure 5-10 times the size of other local beat writers and columnists in other cities. Playing here, succeeding here, and enjoying it, means you have to be built a little different than you might playing somewhere else.

 

Also today, Shonda and our two oldest children had a chance to attend a joint Microsoft/USO event held in NYC at the Radio City Music Hall. The luncheon was held to honor 5 different award recipients of the first ever “Above and Beyond” awards presented by Microsoft.

 

I’ve had the pleasure of meeting and working with the folks at Microsoft, and regardless of whether or not 38 Studios and Microsoft ever are able to work together I can honestly say I have an immense amount of respect for what Mr Gates, his wife, and the entire company do philanthropically. Microsoft and the Gates family give HUGE amounts of time and money to an extraordinary amount of charities and this event is the result of their desire to positively impact not just their communities, but our country at large.

 

I had a chance to chat with Vice Chief of Staff, US Army, General Richard Cody, as well as many other high ranking US Military officers. Mark Romano from Microsoft Federal, and Ed Powell, President and CEO of the USO. It was an incredibly well run event.

 

The highlight of the night for my 10 year old daughter was meeting Selena Gomez and getting her and her friends picture taken with them.

 

The award winners were the true heroes at this event, along with the many men and women from Walter Reed Hospital who were able to attend. I am kicking myself right now for not remembering his name, but I met a young Marine who told me the story of his Gunner. His gunner was a huge Red Sox fan, and the Marine I met, not so much. His gunner was killed in action but this man promised him he’d wear his Red Sox cap if he didn’t make it. He now wears that cap and made a point to tell me the story. If you are out there, and you read this, thank you, I’ll never forget you or your friend. If you ever run into this Marine, and you aren’t a Red Sox fan, I’d strongly advise you to keep your opinions to yourselfJ

 

Patti Patton-Bader received the Effort Award. Patti started a non profit called “Soldiers Angels” please see www.soldiersangels.org to help. Basically this group sends care packages to troops overseas, and to date she’s got a group of over 100,000 members who have sent tens of thousands of care packages to men and women overseas. An even cooler footnote? She’s the great-niece of General George S Patton.

 

Paulette Nelson received the USO Promotion and Success Award. This amazing woman spends upwards of 10-13 hours a day at the Savannah airport, greeting troops returning home, and saying good bye to troops shipping out. She does every ounce of this as a VOLUNTEER! An absolutely incredible story.

 

Walter Fricke received the Medical Attention Award. Mr Fricke, a helicopter pilot during Vietnam, founded Veterans Airlift Command (http://veteransairlift.org) to provide free air transportation to wounded and recovering troops and their families, friends, through a national network of volunteer aircraft owners. This man speaks from experience and his story was an awesome one.

 

I, along with Ms. Selena Gomez (much to my daughter’s amazement) got to present Brittany and Robbie Bergquist with the Youth Leadership Award. These two kids, and they ARE kids, have raised over 1 million dollars for their cause. They read a story about a soldier who had spent over 8,000 dollars on phone calls to home. So what did they do? They went to the bank, deposited their last 21 dollars, and told the bank manager they were saving up to purchase phone cards for troops overseas. The bank manager was so impressed that he added 500 dollars to the deposit and their program began. From car washes to bake sales, to recycling old cell phones, here they are, 1 million dollars later, with a story that makes you realize there is a lot more good in the world that you are led to believe when you open your newspaper, or turn on your television. These kids ‘get it’, and it was truly an honor to be part of this presentation.

 

I should also add that they are from Norwell, Mass, and proud members of Red Sox nation!

 

Major Todd Schmidt of the U.S. Army received the Everyday Difference Award. During his latest deployment in Operation Enduring Freedom he founded the non-profit Operation Dreamseed (www.operationdreamseed.org) which had as its initial plan to provide kids in the cities and towns torn apart by war, with books and school supplies. During the past four years it, and he, have accomplished so much more. Hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of books and school supplies have been sent to local villages in Iraq and Kosovo. Under this mans guidance they even built a SCHOOL! Outside Kandahar City by raising over 80K for the cause.

 

You just can’t make this stuff up. These people are real, and they’re Americans. I don’t give a rip what your political affiliation is, what I do know is that people like this ARE making a difference and ARE changing the world. At the end of the day that’s all that really matters. They could have spent their time, and their money, doing just the opposite. Instead of protesting, instead of making comments that put our soldiers in harms way even more than they currently are, they did the exact opposite. They showed that no matter how many people use their pulpit, their forum, to denounce our President, denounce policy, denounce the war, there’s still an enormous amount of men and women proud as hell to call themselves Americans and even prouder that the country we live in is populated with some of the worlds best people.

 

It truly was an honor to participate and a heartfelt thank you and congratulations to each and every award winner, veteran, and soldier that attended today, as well as the hundreds of thousands currently serving in country, and abroad. God Speed to you and may you come home safely.

 

27 Comments leave one →
  1. game6sockwasfake permalink
    November 12, 2007 9:58 pm

    curt –

    you should get on pedrioa’s diet, ortiz has bats heavier than that guy…

    kudos to the sox for making the only requirement at that positon being able to see over the bag…

  2. fruitchunk permalink
    November 12, 2007 10:11 pm

    Way to go Schill!
    How long are you staying in NYC?
    I’m one of the RedSox citizens who live in NYC and would like to meet you.
    I live in Brooklyn but my heart is in Brookline!

  3. ctsoxfan permalink
    November 12, 2007 10:55 pm

    Thanks for sharing these great stories, Curt. My only regret is that I didn’t know about it beforehand…would have loved to attend and show support, as I am within driving distance from NYC.

  4. papifan permalink
    November 12, 2007 11:46 pm

    Curt, I have always been a fan of you as a player and have great respect for all the great charitable work that you do. It was great reading your post all the way up to the point where you decided to insult 70% of the country, which I felt was a low blow. My interpretation of your statement was that if one disagrees with the policy of the President or the war, you somehow feel like that person is not as good as an American as somebody who supports these policies. I respect your point of view on the subject as far as supporting what you believe is right, but to denounce individuals who don’t agree with you and question their patriotism is very much wrong IMO, and I am disappointed that you feel less of people like me. President Bush deserves respect, but to expect blind devotion and agreement across the board from people is not my idea of democracy and freedom, which is what is the backbone of what this country stands for.

    An individual who has been a great American and a patriot in my mind disagrees with you and has denounced the policys and the President is Ron Paul. Paul is proud to be an American and I am too. Just because his idea of the path this country should be following is different then yours does not make him any less patriotic then you.

    By the way for your information Ron Paul who disagrees with the current policy has received more support then any other candidate from the Armed Services. Seems US troops have a high opinion of him to me.

    By the way I defended you when all those pinheads got mad at you when you voiced your support for the candidate you wanted in 2004, which was your basic right and you were unfairly insulted by many for it. You have just done the same thing that was done to you back in 2004. Insults when somebody does not agree with your views.

    Congressman Paul’s opposition to the war and championing of a balanced budget resonates strongly with current and active American military personnel. He has received more military campaign contributions than any other candidate. Regarding his military judgment, Ronald Reagan once said, “Ron Paul is one of the outstanding leaders fighting for a stronger national defense. As a former Air Force officer, he knows well the needs of our armed forces, and he always puts them first. We need to keep him fighting for our country!”

    RESPONSE: I wasn’t attempting to insult anyone who voices their opinions, be it for or against, any of the topics mentioned. Disagreeing with any of this is your right, your choice and your duty as a citizen. My problem lies with those that are using the war, the troops and any of this to gain political favor or further their own agendas. If this did not come across then that is my fault.

    Am I in favor of the war? No, and anyone that’s talked to a soldier or heard the stories can’t be. But I do know that over the past few years people have taken their ‘opinions’ and ‘stances’ and aired them to a level that far exceeds opinion and view, and made these topics basis for their political ascendance.
    I want our troops out of harms way, I want our men and women home safe, but I also think that some of the avenues politicians are using to make these same statements are having the exact opposite effects. Talking to troops returning from the Middle East confirms this in spades.

    I voted for President Bush, in my opinion he was the candidate I trusted to at the very least remain true to the guy I was voting for. Do I agree with all of his stances, policies and ideas? No, but does anyone out there agree with ANY candidate on everything they stand for? Hell something my wife and I are adamantly in favor of and extremely interested in, Stem Cell Research, is something that President Bush is not allowing to happen. That bothers me on MANY levels. But I don’t expect the President to agree or make happen, what I want, at least not everything. I want the President to be someone that I know has the safety and health of this country as his top priority. Now I know the war in the Middle East will offer many Democrats, and Republicans, as well as Bush haters, to sound off. I also believe that we are at a place and time where someone that will bend to majority opinion, or public pressure, could institute a plan or policy that while it may remove us from the Middle East today, would only have us back there inside of 3 years. Whether you agree with what’s happening or not, it’s my opinion that if we leave Iran or Pakistan before there is some sort of stabilization and resolution, before the people of those countries are allowed to elect a government that will allow them to live in peace, before we’ve helped them to be able to police themselves, we’ll end up right back in this spot very very soon.

    The soldiers I have had a chance to talk with and listen to have all, ironically and sadly, come around to making the same point, which is sad to me. They have all said in some form or another “Don’t believe what you read and hear, there is much good happening over there and while it may not seem like it or sound like it, things are happening for the better, every single day”.

    Face it, platforms change, agendas change, priorities change, I think we are at a time, I know I am, when I refuse to vote along a party line because my ‘guy’ or ‘girl’ is a Republican, or a Democrat, I am voting for the person I trust to remain closest to themselves, regardless of outside or special interests. The morals they put out there, the platform they run on, the ideals they preach, all run a distance second to me being able to trust that person to be that same person 2, 3 or 4 years after I’ve cast my vote.

  5. unhwildcats permalink
    November 13, 2007 1:10 am

    Hey Curt.

    Keep up the great job with the 1986 Red Sox.

  6. 1967dru permalink
    November 13, 2007 2:04 am

    Papifan, I think your interpretation is incorrect and your using this forum to endorse Ron Paul.

  7. November 13, 2007 2:39 am

    This sounds like an excellent and worthy event.

    I think what bothered Papifan and me with your initial statement is that it presumed that you can’t be against the war and still be philanthropic and volunteer to help out with various charities supporting the soldiers. That’s the biggest misnomer of the Bush administration and their followers, that one is either FOR the war and then will help the soldiers, or AGAINST the war, and are out protesting and demanding the troop withdrawal. They are not mutually exclusive at all. I’m against the war. I’m against ALL war. I’m a 3rd generation pacifist and I don’t happen to believe that war is an answer to conflict, especially a war that has been rationalized and shoved down the throats of American citizens. But that has never, for one second, meant that I don’t work hard to raise money for noble efforts even though personally I live in a fixed income and am raising two children inside 128 on less than 30K/year. Try and do that for a month!

    I also protest the war and will continue to do so until it ends.

    I raised hundreds and hundreds of dollars for Children’s Hospital this year. I volunteer every year at Christmas in the City (something you might consider doing…they’re always looking for volunteers!). My children and I have sent countless packages overseas to soldiers we do not know through soldiersangels.org. They may not be outfitted with Ipods, but they are filled with things needed and missed by soldiers stationed overseas.

    Like you, I believe strongly that giving of myself is the right thing to do. Even as a poor, disabled person living in MA, I do so because it makes me and my children better people, it honors people less fortunate than we are, and it gives me a feeling of personal satisfaction I rarely get in other ways. But again, that does not mean that in any way I support or condone ANYTHING that the Bush administration has done. They’re removed my children from the health care roles, they’ve cut money to all social services, they refuse to acknowledge that there are poor people who need help, and they do anything in their power to undermine poverty and shut citizen’s eyes to the nature of poverty in America. This is a Shonda, which means an embarassing shame in Yiddish. Not that your wife is anything like that, but I have to admit I’ve had a chuckle at the oddity of her parent’s name choice. I’m guessing they’re not members of the tribe, huh?

    I just wanted to show you that you can be both against the war and the Bush administration and be supportive of the soldiers who are fighting this ridiculous debacle.

  8. November 13, 2007 2:54 am

    Curt, Have to agree with you about DP being one of those guys you never would have seen in baseball in the past. I don’t get why every one is ranking on him for being so short He is tall enough to get the job done, and much like everyone on the team, he is taller than I am.

    I happen to disagree with the war, and I do support the troops, by sending them the things they need that our own government is not. But that is neither here nor there. I am also a citizen of Red Sox nation, heck it’s my religion to not coin a phrase. You are your own person Curt, and I love you for that. We might not agree on everything, but we do not have to.

    Speaking of you, 38pitches, and Microsoft, will your company be attending Arisia (the big science fiction convention – with big gaming track) in January? We are not as big as ComicCon, but we are local.

  9. ciao614 permalink
    November 13, 2007 3:32 am

    Hi Curt!
    I recently heard about this Blog of yours and of course want to Congratulate you & all of the Red Sox for such a great proud year!
    You seem like a very likeable, intelligent person and I was thrilled to hear you ‘ll be with the Sox at least another year!
    (I hope many more than that!)
    40 is the new 30! As a member of the 40 club myself (43), I think more sports teams should take a look at a person’s ability not age, as a factor in resigning them.
    Peace & Health to you & yours this Holiday season!
    -Maureen in Natick

  10. poltroop permalink
    November 13, 2007 4:33 am

    Mr. Schilling,

    I got the privilege of working a security detail at the Air Show here at Nellis AFB over Veterans Day holiday. Even though I came home with blisters from standing/walking for 13 hours each day, I got to talk with WWII and Vietnam Vets in admiration of what they have done for this country. For the first time in my life I was asked by a child for an autograph, for the simple fact that I was in uniform (USAF active duty). I received many “thank-yous” from strangers, all which I felt embarrassed, yet grateful for.
    What I wanted to say was thank you for what you have been doing for veterans. I do not mean me, for I have not fought in a war. I Thank you and others like you who support, show care for, and simply recognize what they have sacrificed, or even suffered for all these years. I have no doubt that there are some homeless Vietnam Vets out there on the street who have not received their initial “thank you” yet, but I hope somehow they get at the very least that.

  11. soxinspain permalink
    November 13, 2007 6:30 am

    I have been a loyal Sox fan for years, this year watching the playoff games START at 2:30 or later, as I live in Spain. And it was a treat to watch Dustin every night, he really deserves the honor. Congrats, Pedroia.

  12. papifan permalink
    November 13, 2007 8:09 am

    Curt, thank you for your response. My apologies for misintepreting your heartfelt sentiments. I hope I did not ruin a very important day for you with my post. In retrospect I feel very bad. The sad part is there is not an easy answer. I think the one thing we can all agree on is there are a lot of great people making expectional sacrificies for this country. I for one am very thankful for that. Many thanks for giving time out to some of these courageous people. I am sure it picked up their spirits.

    As far as people using a situation for grandstanding I would agree in a lot of cases. The person I mentioned does not fit this bill IMO.

  13. mgosselin permalink
    November 13, 2007 10:26 am

    Curt,

    First of all, thank you for everything you’ve done for Red Sox Nation since you’ve been here. It is a pleasure to watch a true professional go about their business, while at the same time doing things for others. You are the ype of athlete that the Dustin Pedrioa’s and Kevin Youkilis’s coming up throught the minors should look at as a role model and emulate the way you go about your business.

    I also agree with your political commentary. Keep telling it like it is!!

  14. arnibeth permalink
    November 13, 2007 11:01 am

    I am happy that you will be returning to the red sox. I admire all the work you and your wife do. I know you have better things to do most likely, but is there anyway you can talk to Mike Lowell and influence him to stay in Boston. Players look to the fans for loyalty but this goes both ways. I would be very sad to see him do the same thing that Johnny Damon did. I want to have faith in the fact that some players feel it is more important to stay with a team and a city they love but more and more it seems that it becomes just about the money. I find it ironic that most red sox fans can’t even afford to go to the games and all you are making millions.
    I am sorry to bother you with this when I am sure you have much more important things to think about but maybe a well respected player like yourself can help him decide. He seems like a man with integrity and to see that evaporate would truly be sad. Thank you for your time, your devotion to charity and most importantly for making so many red sox fans dream come true, not just once but twice! Roni in Marlborough

  15. redsox0717 permalink
    November 13, 2007 11:26 am

    Curt you are my hero. Not only are you a great man and play for my favorite team, but you play my favorite game (WoW) too! I can’t wait to see your new game.

  16. soxfaninco permalink
    November 13, 2007 2:10 pm

    Curt-
    I too share your views. I have many family members who have served our country from WWII to now. No, I do not agree with sending our beloveds overseas but I do know and realize the GOOD that is coming of it. Multimedia doesn’t want us to see that though.
    The men and women who do serve in our armed forces are protecting Americans’ right to protest. Whatever YOUR view on the war, thank these troops. Because of them, you are given the freedom to either flaunt your war protesting signs or wave Old Glory.
    For all who serve our country, THANK YOU and God bless you and your families.
    For those who are not huge philanthropists but want to show your appreciation, you can send Christmas/ Holiday cards to a soldier at Walter Reed Army Hospital. The address is as follows:

    A Recovering American soldier
    c/o Walter Reed Army Medical Center
    6900 Georgia Avenue,NW
    Washington,D.C. 20307-5001

    God Bless America!
    GO SOX!
    And Curt, can’t wait to see you on the mound next year!

  17. mainefan permalink
    November 13, 2007 5:15 pm

    Thanks so much for pointing out the good work being done by young people. Too often people stereotype all young people as being selfish and self-centered when in fact there are many who are philanthopists “in-training.” I work in an academic setting and while yes, there are those who make you wonder what will become of this world if this is our future, there are those who spend their vacations doing things like Habitat for Humanity. They work in local soup kitchens, raise money for charities, are stewards for the environment. Like you said, these kids “get it.”

  18. jeffri permalink
    November 13, 2007 5:21 pm

    Curt,
    The kind of people you’re talking about are my friend, Vietnam vet, 58 years old, 100% disabled Marine who, after seeing our response to 9/11 said, while looking at the images on TV, “I wish I could go with those guys.” We both stood there, him with his ever-present crutches. and real tears came to my eyes. Everyone who knows you admires the work you do. God bless you and God bless this country.

  19. redsoxeats05 permalink
    November 13, 2007 5:51 pm

    dear curt,

    i 100% agree with your response to papifan’s comments. This is the type of thinking that voters and politicians in our country need to have.

    a well balanced view that doesn’t incorporate political party, but rather values and national interests.

    people always forget sometimes how easy it is to look in hindsight about what happened. Even terry francona gets criticized daily for everything he does. the only thing you can do is make the best possible decision with the information that you have in front of you.

    criticizing people or politicians based on information that is learned after the fact is rather unfair.

    the u.s.’s concentrations should be in the middle east until there is stability because backing out until there is would be incredibly dangerous looking into the future.

  20. redfisher permalink
    November 13, 2007 5:52 pm

    Curt,
    Please tell me in a nutshell, why can’t 35-45 MILLION for 3 years work, be eough? I keep asking myself over and over, am I blind?

  21. redsox9175 permalink
    November 13, 2007 8:11 pm

    I don’t know what Curt has to say about Mike Lowell’s contract demands, but would you stay in your job if you knew you could do the same job elsewhere and get say another 25 percent of your salary to do it? Just about everyone would take the other job. Lowell’s loyalty should be to his own family and if another 10 million in his pocket will set up another generation of his family, he shouldn’t be disliked for doing so.

  22. ilovebigpapi permalink
    November 13, 2007 8:51 pm

    Just wanted to say that I am so happy to read that you are a strong supporter of stem cell research-one could/would assume you would be based upon your dedication to ALS research and cure. But of course some people who are dedicated to research and even some who are afflicted with so many terrible diseases themselves are opposed to it, for reasons we all know. That is one thing I just can’t wrap my brain around, putting that sort of morality above health and science and potential to do so much good. If babies were being aborted for the purpose of stem cell research, well of course I would be opposed to it.

    I have diabetes and Alzheimer’s in my family too, so that makes me an even bigger supporter of it.

    Thanks for stating your position on that, it’s helpful for higher profile people to do so. I wish some more would.

  23. Matt Zimmitti permalink
    November 13, 2007 9:53 pm

    Great that you got to meet these people that really deserve some spotlight. Folks like this really deserve recognition and all too often they sort of get left out in the middle of nowhere.

    I wouldn’t have heard about any of these folks if you hadn’t posted this.

    Thanks for the info.

  24. November 14, 2007 4:42 pm

    I work at Hanscom AFB – and so I work with many people who voluntarily put their lives on the the line as their choice of career – so that others like myself don’t have to.

    And you’re absolutely right – political party choice aside – there is no denying their impact and dedication.

    What’s so very sombering is when the bodies of the soldiers who have fallen come home, and travel through the base on their way to the funerals. I’ve often written about it in my own blog because it has such an impact.

  25. paulette1537 permalink
    November 17, 2007 9:52 pm

    Hey Mr Schilling, I was one of the winners from the Microsoft USO awards. I’m the USO volunteer, Paulette Nelson. I wanted to thank you and everyone for your kind words. The recognition was GREAT!! We were treated so nicely. However..I was winner long before i got this award. Being able to be there for the soldiers as they leave is awe inspiring. I have never done anything so incredible as that. As I said in my speech, I never have to wonder if I’m making a difference. Because I KNOW I am. If I dies tomorrow, I could rest easily. I have a blog on here now. I have posted only one story so far. More will come..but for now there is only one. It’s about my son William who is also a baseball player. :o) He has spent many afternoons on the side of the highway when soldiers were coming home. Waving the flag to the buses as they passed by. It makes my heart swell with pride when I see my son carrying on with what I’m trying to instill in him.
    I hope you have time to read it. Thank you again. I’m sorry I didn’t get the chance to meet you on Monday. It was overwhelming for me. I don’t think I’d survive as a celebrity! I’ll stick with just being plain ‘ole me. If you’re ever down here..I’d be honored to take you to USO with me. There is NOTHING in this world like it. Thank you again sir for your words. They didn’t go unnoticed.

  26. sabcm permalink
    December 7, 2007 8:23 pm

    So glad to see you congratulating Dustin. I live in Sacramento which is near his hometown of Woodland. I go there once in a while as my husband has a branch office there and I need to go to his office sometimes. I was able to take photos of the sign outside of Dustin’s parents’ tire store that congratulated Dustin and the Red Sox on winning the World Series, then the next day the sign changed when the Rookie of the Year award for Dustin was announced. Yay!!! Sheila

  27. johnb121454 permalink
    December 13, 2007 9:19 am

    Just wanted to add the Web address for Cell Phones for Soldiers: http://www.cellphonesforsoldiers.com. People should know that Brittany and Robbie (with behind-the-scenes help from their sister, Courtney, and their incredible parents, Bob and Gail) put in a tremendous amount of time and energy and are totally unfazed by the accolades they’ve deservedly received. They see whatever attention they get as attention for Cell Phones for Soldiers, which translates to more phone cards for our deployed servicemembers. Their compassion is genuine, and they are a true inspiration. They’ve long since done more than anyone could ask, and no one could begrudge them for deciding somewhere along the line that it’s someone else’s turn. Instead, they’ve continued to make their program bigger and better. Brittany, Robbie and their family are American heroes in every sense of the word. They were thrilled to meet you, and it’s great to see you were just as thrilled to meet them.

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