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August 26, 2011

Baseball bond runs deep for Gedmans

LOWELL — The two men stood side by side just in front of the Lowell Spinners dugout, longtime Red Sox catcher Rich Gedman resting his hand on the shoulder of son Matt as he passed along a few words of advice.

"It feels like old times," said Rich Gedman. "I use to drag him to the ballpark and throw him pitches, and watched all of his Little League games. Now he is following his dream."

At 22 years old and now noticeably taller than his dad, Matt Gedman still listened closely to his father's advice, just as he has done his entire baseball life.

"On the field he is coach," said Matt. "But off the field he is just dad. To see him every day, to be around him is amazing. He's been working with me since I was a little kid."

Little League has now been replaced by professional baseball, but the two Gedmans again find themselves in the same dugout, father and son donning the uniform of the Lowell Spinners.

Matt, after a stellar senior season at UMass, is kicking off his professional baseball career as an infielder for the Spinners, the same year his father has returned to the Red Sox organization after 21 years away to serve as Lowell hitting coach.

"My goal this season was to work as hard as I could to get here (to Lowell)," said Matt. "It really hits you that you are being paid to play for the Red Sox organization."

From a young age, baseball bonded the two Gedmans.

Matt — the middle of Rich and Sherry's three children — was born at the end of the 1988 baseball season, Gedman's ninth as a member of the Red Sox. His son became a fixture at the park during his final 1 1/2 seasons in Boston, then half a season in Houston and two final campaigns in St. Louis.

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