Join Date: Oct 25 2012
I have a story about a boy that a sox fan might like and want to remember
This is a story from a dad about a very unique young man still starting life, his name is Andrew Turner and he has had a crush on the Boston Red Sox since before he threw his first baseball.
Andrew Turner is not yet known out of a small circle of coaches and parents but what is known is enjoyable in a very unique way.
If Forest Gump played baseball he would be like AJ Turner.
He is now a junior in high school in central Florida. He is 6'2" and bats and throws left handed. He has been playing Varsity since 8th grade and he has never waivered in wanting to be a Boston Red sox baseball player. As a full time Varsity High School sophomore he batted .500 and OBP was .626 but that is the boreing stuff. He has been clocked on a live triple to run to third base in 9.9 seconds. In the clutch, when it looks like no hope, he steps up and shines like no one I have seen. If anyone remembers Mark Fidritch, the bird, from the 1970 Detroit Tigers, AJ also talks to the ball and the ball listens...
It started on a Sunday when he was 9 years old. It was in the spring, late morning and it was getting to be time to go to soccer practice. He played soccer since he was 3 and he was very good and fast. I knew something he was up the second he say, "Dad, I want to have an adult conversation with you, let me help you take out the trash". I said ok and we started wheeling the trash cans down the drive. " I want to quit soccer" he said, I thought I knew it and I said, why? He said correcting my thinking, "No, I don't want to just quit soccer, I want to quit because it interferes with baseball season and I want to play baseball, I think baseball is in my blood". Literally shocked I laid out the obvious facts. You have never played baseball, you don't own a mitt, you have never thrown a baseball. He said, " That reminds me, get me a mitt for my right hand because I want to play left handed." I was in a stupor and said, you are right handed! He said, " I think I will play better left handed." Thinking this was a passing fantasy of his I said, anything else? He said, "Yes, I want to change my initials. I was born Dec.24 and we celebrate Jesus birthday on Christmas, so I want to be called AJ to honor Jesus."
Out of 100 nine year olds I would not have considered Andrew in the top 99 to say that. And that began a remakeable journey.
Now I said he is a Forest Gump of baseball and it really is true. He is a clutch player and growing up he had no idea that he was the little dog in the pack, he still thinks he is the Alpha dog.
Playing Junior Varsity in 7th grade at Mountverde academy, he convinced the varsity coach to let him play first base. He was under 5 feet and he looked very small playing first base. The opposing coach made a comment about his
size that upset him. The first batter hit a fast one hopper down the first base line in foul territory, he dove, snagged it and dropped it at the feet of the opposing coach just to prove a point. That game he hit two doubles drove in 3 runs and we won 5-2. In the last inning with one out and a 6 foot tall player on first base our coach talked to our pitcher and AJ walked over and listened as the coach walked back AJ talked to the pitcher. The next three pitches were to first base. The first two were thrown easy and AJ did not even try to tag the man on first as he easily walked back but the third throw from the pitcher was fast and right on and the player on first had to hustle to make it back but he came in standing. AJ kept his mitt on the player and the player looked like he over ran the bag and AJ's mitt stayed on him the whole time. The umpire calked him out. After the game, I asked AJ what was going on during that play? Why were you so lazy the first two throws by the pitcher? He says, "Dad, I was just setting him up, on the third throw he came in hard. He did not overrun the bag, I am allowed to tag him as hard as I want so I positioned myself in a way that I could straighten out my arm and push him off the bag. I realized then that AJ plays a different game than anyone else.
Last year, as a sophomore he batted great, his average is always around .500 but he really wanted to pitch. Finally his coach allowed him to pitch one inning, 9 pitches later three batters were out. The coach asked him if he wanted to pitch another inning, he told the coach, "I want to pitch the whole damn game." 5 innings and 10 strike outs later he pitched a 5 inning shutout.
He has since been to FSU's advanced high school camp (6 days) and came back with an evaluation sheet (2-8) with all 7's, the highest score a high school player can get. He has had a Milwalkee Scout watch him last year but he lives to play for Boston and by being called AJ, he is honoring Jesus.
There are too many funny stories to tell all at once and I am his dad so there is an obvious bias but he really does have something I never thought I would ever see, he is fast, in a forest Gump sort of unusual way.
He is a future prospect and someday this post may be read with his beginnings stated. It's a long shot he knows but he was right handed once too and to even switch and play left as a varsity ball player was a long shot...
AJ Turner- junior high school
Left handed- 6'2" and growing
Bats left and pitches left
Aj at age 12, he earned enough money to get the little motocross motorcycle but his mom was against it. I was conflicted because "we" told him he could get it. So I gave him a challenge, two tokens (12 pitches each token) left to go in the 75mph batting machine at Barry Larkins place, champions as it was called.
With the first token, 12 pitches, be had to hit all directly against the net in a long drive right back at the machine. He did with out a mistake.
With the second token, 12 pitches, be had to hit two back I the iron mike pitching machine. I knew I was safe... Until he hit the first one directly in the machine but before I even thought that I was glad I said two, he hit the second one in the machine... 10 more pitches left but he packs up and says let's get the bike. We still have the bike, green Kawasaki 110, super up. It's had a flat tire for about 4 years, just long enough for him to grow too big for it... Moms are ways right.
Last edited by Michael Turner; 10-26-2012 at 04:20 PM.