The Portland Sea Dogs in conjunction with Unum have announced that Josh Beckett is the 2011 inductee into the Unum Portland Sea Dogs Hall of Fame. The announcement was made prior to Friday's Sea Dogs game against the New Hampshire Fisher Cats.
Beckett recalled his time in Portland, "I had fun there. Portland is a great baseball city, kind of like a small Boston with just the fans being fanatics about the Sea Dogs. You can't go anywhere in that town, whether it is to eat or drink. Everyone's wearing Portland swag. The Sea Dogs have an awesome logo. The Sea Dog Biscuits are pretty good."
Drafted by the Florida Marlins in the first round (second overall) in the June 1999 draft, Beckett arrived in Portland on June 14, 2001, at the age of 21. Beckett dominated at Single-A Brevard County, where he was 6-0 with a 1.23 ERA, to earn a promotion. He made his Double-A debut on June 16th against the New Britain Rock Cats at Hadlock Field in front of Florida Marlins owner John Henry and other members of the Marlins brass. Beckett struck out eight of the first nine batters he faced.
The Spring, Texas native would appear in 13 games for the Sea Dogs posting an 8-1 record with a 1.82 ERA and 102 strike outs in 74.1 innings. He went 5-0 in August with a 1.02 ERA and a franchise record 57 strikeouts in a month to capture Eastern League Player of the Month honors. On August 13, 2001, Beckett combined with Brandon Bowe and Aaron Scheffer to no-hit the Binghamton Mets in Binghamton, New York. Beckett tossed the first seven innings of the combined no-hitter notching a Double-A high 12 strikeouts.
Between Single-A Brevard County and Double-A Portland in 2001, Beckett posted a 14-1 record with a 1.54 ERA (24 ER/ 140.0 IP) in 26 games with 203 strikeouts. Beckett was honored as the 2001 SportsTicker and Baseball Weekly Minor League Pitcher of the Year and the 2001 Baseball America, USA Today, and The Sporting News Minor League Player of the Year.
On September 1, 2001 he was called-up to the Marlins where he made four starts for Florida with a 2-2 record and a 1.50 ERA.
In 2003 he led the Florida Marlins to a World Series title, garnering World Series MVP honors. On November 24, 2005 he was traded to the Boston Red Sox along with Mike Lowell in the trade that sent Sea Dogs Hanley Ramirez and Anibal Sanchez to the Marlins. In 2007, Beckett finished second in the American League Cy Young Award voting with a 20-7 record and a 3.27 ERA. He was named the 2007 American League Championship Series MVP as he helped the Red Sox claim the 2007 World Series Crown.
Beckett is a three-time Major League Baseball All-Star (2007, 2009, & 2011). He entered the 2011 season with a 112-74 career Major League record. In 26 games with the Sox this season, he is 12-5 with a 2.54 ERA.
Beckett was unable to attend the induction ceremony due to his duties with the Red Sox. 'I'd like to thank the fans for all the support. I still see people that say, I saw you in Portland. The Sea Dogs expand well beyond the Portland area," stated Beckett.
The Portland Sea Dogs Hall of Fame was established in 2005. Beckett joins John Boles, Bob Ganley, Fredi Gonzalez, Livan Hernandez, Charles Johnson, Mark Kotsay, Kevin Millar, Mike Redmond, Edgar Renteria, Bill Troubh, and Carlos Tosca as members of the Unum Portland Sea Dogs Hall of Fame.
To be eligible for the Hall of Fame, players must have debuted with the Sea Dogs at least ten years ago and have had success in Portland and beyond. Each inductee is presented a plaque for their accomplishment. In addition, plaques of the Hall of Fame members are displayed in the Hadlock Field concourse. Fans can also visit the Sea Dogs Hall of Fame section online at www.seadogs.com.
The Portland Sea Dogs continue their final homestand of the season Saturday night at 6:00 PM against the New Hampshire Fisher Cats at Hadlock Field. The Sea Dogs 2011 campaign concludes on Monday, September 5th at 1:00 PM. Tickets are available for all remaining games. Tickets can be purchased by calling the Sea Dogs Ticket Office at 207-879-9500 or order online at www.seadogs.com. The Sea Dogs are the Double-A affiliate of the Boston Red Sox and are Maine's most affordable professional sports entertainment.