Jared Hughes Reveals Why He Is All Me PED Free

posted on March 14th 2017 in All Blogs & Current Events with 0 Comments /

This morning I woke up in Tampa rested and ready to tackle the day. After grabbing a quick breakfast, we were on the road to Bradenton, FL to welcome our newest member of our MLB Advisory Board, Pittsburgh Pirates’ Jared Hughes. A couple of years ago I was spending the afternoon with my wife Chelsey while she showed houses to clients. That day Jared and his wife happened to be with her as they toured homes. We had a chance to get to know each other and found out that we had several friends in common.

We arrived at the ballpark early and the Pittsburgh Pirates were doing infield drills followed by batting practice. I was excited to see Jared since it’s been a few years since we had seen each other. Just before Jared was supposed to meet me, I saw I had a new notification on my phone that someone had tagged us on twitter, it was Jared. He had tweeted a quote out that gave me chills across my entire body.

Jared Hughes Quote

As I stood on the top step of the Pirates dugout, I saw 6’6″ Jared walking towards me from the right field gate. We greeted each other with a handshake, big hug and nothing but smiles. It was time for me to walk out to the field to present Jared with his 2017 All Me Ad. As we were getting our pictures taken, I told Jared how much I appreciated him stepping forward to join get All Me League and to be a role model for our young kids.

Pittsburgh Pirates Jared Hughes

Following the on field presentation, it was time for us to get back in the car and head to Fort Myers to meet with our Red Sox representatives. It took us just under two hours to arrive at Jet Blue Ballpark otherwise known as, “Fenway South”. We arrived at the ballpark just in time to see the Red Sox starting lineup take batting practice. Once the team was finished with batting practice, we made our way to the club house where we were told to wait for Dustin Pedroia and Chris Sale. Chris was our MLB Advisory Board member with the Chicago White Sox, but stayed on the board when he was traded to Boston.

While we waited to meet with Dustin and Chris, we had a chance to meet Tim Wakefield who is a good friend of our Public Relations guy, Rick Cerrone. Growing up I enjoyed watching Wakefield pitch so it was quite a treat to meet him in person. Tim had disappeared into the club house and about 5 minutes later I heard someone yelling Rick’s name, it was Chili Davis! Rick introduced me to Chili and we had a few minutes to talk before he had to leave and get ready for that night’s game against the Orioles.

It was about an hour before game time and you could see the fans pouring into the stadium and the sun was beginning to set. The PR director for the Red Sox asked if we were ready for Chris Sale. Out of the door appears Chris who is very tall and thin. He greeted me with a big smile and introduced himself. It was my first time to meet Chris so I thanked him for staying with us during the trade. He told me he was honored to represent the All Me League.

Chris Sale and Donald HootonA few years ago we saw Chris on MLB Network during his rehab and did the TV interview in an All Me shirt that John Danks had given him. I told him that we had made up some special All Me shirts for Spring Training and made tank tops especially for the players. He was excited to receive the shirt that he immediately took off his Red Sox work out shirt and put on his brand new All Me PED Free shirt. It was time for Chris to get ready for the game, but before he left he turned to me and said, “I have a bunch of extra gloves, cleats and jerseys that I’d like to sign and send to you after spring training. It will be a care package that you can use at your fundraisers.” I wasn’t sure what to say, no player had ever offered us anything like this before, so I told him from the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU.

No more than 2 minutes after Chris had returned to the Club House out walks Dustin Pedroia who is one of the charter members of the MLB Advisory Board. I had a chance to meet Dustin Pedroia All Me Leaguewith Dustin when the Red Sox were playing the Rangers at Globe life Park in Arlington during the 2016 season. After updating Dustin on our work and showing him the new All Me shirts, he quickly put one on over his jersey. I picked up Dustin’s 2017 All Me ad and showed it to him, tell him thank you for being a role model. After snapping a few photographs it was time for Dustin to get ready for the game. I handed him a few more shirts, and he returned to the club house. As I was picking up my bag and getting ready to leave, Dustin came back out through the club house doors and said “Hey, when I got inside my teammates were asking me where their All Me shirts were.” He then asked me, “do you happen to have more shirts that I could give to my teammates?” Without hesitation I took the remaining shirts in my bag and handed it to him knowing that Boston Red Sox Players were going to be wearing our shirts! The feelings that ran across my body when Dustin Pedroia asked me for more shirts were feelings I simply cannot describe.

 

It was time for us to make the three hour drive back to Tampa so that we could get some rest. Because the next day, we have an on-field presentation with our New York Yankees representative, Brett Gardner!

about the author: Don Hooton