By Jessica Camerato
CSNNE.com Follow @JCameratoNBA
Welcome to the debut of 1-2-3 Inning, a step inside the Boston Red Sox bullpen and a look at the individuals who make up this cohesive unit. First up, Alfredo Aceves.
The 29-year-old right-handed pitcher joined the Red Sox this season after playing the previous three seasons for the New York Yankees. Aceves has embraced his role in the Red Sox pitching staff, whether in the starting rotation or the bullpen (8-1, 2 SV, 3.02 ERA). In this edition of 1-2-3 Inning, he talked to CSNNE.com about family values, the development of his fastball, and a career aspiration you may not have expected.
1. Aceves grew up in a baseball family his father, Alfredo, was a first baseman in the Mexican League and his brother, Jonathan, played in the Chicago White Sox and Florida Marlins systems. But it was just that family that was the foundation of his childhood. When asked what his life was like growing up in Sonora, Mexico, Aceves, one of his most vivid memories had nothing to do with sports.
It was great. I grew up in the middle class. My house was a small house, and I grew up with my brother and sister, doing whatever my father said. I went to school, did my homework in the afternoon, and then I waited for my father to see whats happening and whats going on. On Fridays, I waited until he came with the food, so we helped him to put the bags from the truck in the house. He crossed the border to work all the time in the United States, so he went to Walmart or whatever and he drove back. When he got home, me and my brother went out and said, Father, did you bring food today? He said, Yeah yeah, so we grabbed the boxes and put them inside to help him. He was a carpenter, he was a baseball player, and he also worked in the field for a couple of years. With my father, I had to be a good son and honor him and my mother.
2. There was a period of time growing up when Aceves lost interest in baseball and turned to basketball, soccer, and volleyball instead. When he got asked to join a new baseball team in school, though, he began playing again and moved to the mound. After overcoming his frustrations, Aceves found his speed.
They said they were going to start a baseball team and asked if I wanted to play. I was playing outfield and then the coach said, Jump on the mound. I didnt like to throw hard, like a fastball, and give up a hit. I was like, Why? Im throwing as hard as I can and I couldnt get outs. I didnt know why. So I started to work. I had to wait every Sunday to play again. Work hard Monday to Friday and let it go on Sundays. One time I was throwing 76 MPH fastballs, that was my highest. Then I started to work out. 15 days later, I was 79. 15 more days, 81. 15 more days, 84. 15 more days, I think 86. In a month, 91. So in a period of three months, I went from 76 to 91. I got stuck on 91 for five years. Now, Im 29 and Im throwing 96.
3. As a student at CBTIS 33 (Centro de Bachillerato Tecnolgico Industrial y de Servicios), Aceves had career aspirations outside of baseball. What he wanted to pursue, however, may surprise you.
I studied laboratorio (science). I liked things having to do with the hospital. I wanted to be a dentist. I think its good to repair teeth for people. I think I could be a good dentist.
Jessica Camerato is on Twitter at http:twitter.com!JCameratoNBA.