In Red Sox history, the legend of Dublin’s own Troy O’Leary looms large. He was one of the least threatening guys in the game — his freakin’ nickname was “Yummy,” for christ’s sake, based on his love of candy. But he was at the epicenter of one of the pre-2004 highlights of my life as a Sox fan, which happened in game five of the 1999 ALDS against Cleveland, back in the magical Creighton Gubanich era. Twice the Injuns walked Nomar to get to jolly Troy, and both times the Mighty O’Leary clocked home runs, one of them being a grand slam. In made no sense whatsoever, but at the time, it made perfect sense. And it left me hoarse for roughly forty-two days.
Now, Troy is back, peddling a new baseball reality show, according to today’s Globe.
O’Leary is ready to become the Simon Cowell of baseball on a show called “Play Big or Go Home.”
The concept starts with baseball players preferably aged 18-22 sending O’Leary videos of them in action. O’Leary will evaluate them and select 15 players from the East, Midwest, and West regions. When he’s whittled them down, that’s when the judging and voting begins.
“I’m just trying to put a positive spin on baseball,” said O’Leary. “There’s been so much negativity with the steroids. Baseball’s been viewed in such a negative light. This is all positive. It’s the chance for kids to chase their dreams. I’m hoping to get a good, positive response from baseball teams and the hope is they’ll give these kids a chance.”
After the 1999 ALDS, I’ll say this: When Yummy speaks, we listen.
And a big Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there. Especially you, Mom.