Great expectations for Sox SS

by Brantford Expositor

Originally appeared in Brantford Expositor June 20, 2013 by Brian Smiley

Brantford Red Sox shortstop Lee Delfino has come a long way since his arrival at Arnold Anderson Stadium in 2006.

He was fresh out of professional baseball when he came to Brantford that first season. Since then, the now 33-year-old has solidified his ties with the city.

Earlier this week, Delfino got engaged to his girlfriend, Brantford native Rebecca Hamilton.

"I'm pretty excited," said Delfino, who is also expecting to become a father in early July when Hamilton gives birth to the couple's first child, a boy.

"I'm probably the most excited I've ever been with getting engaged and having a baby that can be born any day. It's a lot to take in but I'm lucky I've got a great family and a great future father-, mother- and sister-in-law."

When Delfino came down the 403 from his Toronto area home for that 2006 season, it was to win one final championship with a bunch of his former buddies.

One title has turned into six - including the past five in a row - and now he and his teammates are looking to make history by winning a half-dozen straight Intercounty Baseball League championships, something that's never been done before.

"It speaks volumes about the kind of town Brantford is, the kind of team that we have and the kind of ownership we have," said Delfino. "It's like a big family.

"I literally look forward to getting here and seeing the guys. It's a blast. The days are numbered. This may be the last year. It probably will be the last year.

"We're all going to miss it but we'll have the memories."

In the past, Delfino has put up some outstanding numbers. This season his stat line has dropped a bit.

The former two-time draft pick of the Toronto Blue Jays - fifth round in 1998 and sixth round in 2001 - is hitting just .256 with three home runs, 16 RBI, 15 runs scored and five stolen bases.

Those numbers are down from his career totals.

"Overall, I'm not really happy," he said of his season. "There's been a lot of times, to be honest, that my head has been in the clouds. I've got a lot going on with work and my personal life.

"The season can be a little monotonous especially when every team makes the playoffs."

One area where Delfino has always been impressive is in the field. Case in point was Wednesday night during the team's 5-4, 11-inning come-from-behind home win against the Hamilton Cardinals.

In that game, Hamilton's Jon Saparsantos hit a ground ball deep into the hole at short in the fourth inning. Delfino shifted to his right, planted, took the ball in his glove on his backhand and then threw an overhand laser to first baseman Scott Thorman to get the runner by inches.

Later, with his team trailing 4-0 in the seventh inning, Delfino got things rolling when he doubled and then scored on a two-run home run by Steve Lewis.

The Red Sox scored once more in the eighth - Josh McCurdy came in on a wild pitch - and once in the ninth - Jeff Hunt scored on a Joe Colameco triple, that wound up with Colameco getting thrown out at the plate when he tried to stretch it to an inside-the-park home run after third base coach Tyler Moe waved him then held him.

McCurdy was the hero in the 11th, knocking in Hunt.

Stefan Strecker earned the win.

"I think that was a good win," said Delfino, whose Red Sox played late on Thursday night in Barrie against the Baycats (11-8).

"We obviously came out a bit flat, not to take away anything from their pitcher (Simcoe's Matt Martinow). He pitched great.

"Putting it all together at the end of the game was pretty big."

AROUND THE HORN . . . Recently signed pitcher Tom Boleska made his 2013 debut for the Red Sox. Boleska played in Brantford several years ago before being selected by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 35th round of the 2007 major league baseball draft. Boleska, a 30-year-old right-hander from Quebec, spent several seasons in the minors, including stops in AA, before arriving back in Brantford. Boleska left the bases loaded in the seventh inning with no damage done. He wound up allowing one hit and a walk while striking out three in 1.2 innings of work.