HYANNIS (CBS) – It’s as if baseball central casting tailor-made him for our cynical nation of New England fans. The soft-spoken, well-grounded 22-year-old Jackie Bradley, Jr. represents new hope for the embattled Red Sox.
“He’s a kid who’s very humble,” says Bill Merritt, the assistant general manager for the Cape Cod League’s Hyannis Hawks. “He remembers his family, both his Cape Cod family and his real family.”
Bradley played on the Cape for a summer back in 2009. Yesterday in the Bronx, he said it was his Hyannis friends who recently kept him in the loop about his prospects in Boston. “I…have host parents who are from the Boston area, the Cape Cod area, so they were kind of keeping me informed,” said Bradley.
“He’ll embrace the fans tremendously,” says John Cabral, who called the games the summer Bradley played. “I’m sure he’ll set a record for number of autographs signed by a rookie.” He also says Bradley has a tremendous arm.
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His old managers on the Cape League are proudly watching his Major League start. “Looking at him, he’s the same kid,” says Bill Bussiere, a VP with the Cape Cod League, referring to Bradley’s recent television appearances. “Same interview. Looking at him, he’s got that funny smile. He’s just not cocky at all…same way he was here…which is awesome.”