At a baseball stadium in Brockton, a team was preparing for the first pitch. The names on the front of these jerseys say “Rox” as in the Brockton Rox. But it’s the names of the players wearing these shirts that grab the most attention.
The sons of Red Sox legends David Ortiz, Pedro Martinez, Manny Ramirez and Keith Foulke are all on the same Futures Collegiate Baseball League team. Add in the son of former New York Yankees great Gary Sheffield, and the five are affectionately nicknamed “The Sons.”
“Honestly, we’re regular people and everyone knows that once you hang out with us,” said Pedro Martinez Jr.
About 30 miles from Fenway Park where their fathers cemented their status as heroes in the Red Sox nation, their sons are making a name for themselves.
“It’s a blessing to have this resource and not many kids have it,” D’Angelo Oritz said.
In the locker room Rox, the five say they’re just teammates, but it’s nice to have help just a phone call away.
“I call my dad, ‘hey grandpa can you come here can you come help me?’ The next day he’s here sitting with me in the cage every day,” Manny Ramirez Jr.
For Kade Foulke, a Rox pitcher, learning from his father has been invaluable.
“He tells me everything I need to know, but he also lets me figure it out myself,” Fouke said.
Along with their famous surnames, the five also know the responsibility that comes with it, meeting fans and serving as team ambassadors.
“There’s a lot of support and I think there’s more support than hate,” Martinez said. “We’re not even close to where our fathers were, and that shows how tough you have to be mentally.”
“The Sons” are soaking up this year, unsure where they’ll all be next season.
“It’s just nice to have guys at this level who can relate to me more personally than I realize like anyone else,” Jaden Sheffield said Wednesday. “It’s definitely something that doesn’t happen in college baseball, and it’s definitely something that’s not normal, it’s a very unique situation.”
Five young men who seek to succeed, all on their own.
“We don’t sit and think, our dads did this, no no no, we’re here to do our thing and it’s as simple as that,” Ortiz said.