Questions For… Manny Delcarmen

1194880867Like a lot of Red Sox players, Manny Delcarmen is an enthusiastic participant in the team’s charitable endeavors. Unlike the rest of the Red Sox players, Manny is one of us. A native of Hyde Park, he has used his time in the major leagues to help out Boston schools, and he has a big event planned for Saturday: Bowling Strikes For Schools, a charity bowling event at Kings, and sponsored by GameOn. We talked to Manny about the event, winning a World Series with his hometown team, and Manny Delcarmen, III, his eight-week old son.

Manny, thanks for taking the time to talk to us. Tell us about your charity.

I started it about three years ago. Hyde Park stuck with me through high school and supported me so much. Everyone on the Red Sox has their own little charity and as a Bostonian, I went to public schools and grew up here. The money I raise mostly goes to libraries and a little bit to athletics. I just try to give back to where I came from.

Can you roll?

I grew up playing candle pin with my dad. We were bowling with some kids once and I threw nine strikes in a row. Kason Gabbard was there and he was like, ‘Dude you’ve got a perfect game going.’ And then I choked in the tenth.

We have a team in Media Bowling League, and we could use a ringer. Any chance you want to play with us?

I’ll try and stop by. How about that?

Excellent. Let’s talk some baseball. What’s it like playing for the hometown team?

Tito (Francona) and some of the guys ask me that same question. For the most part, I’ve handled things well. Don’t get me wrong, some days I wake up and I’m driving to the park, and I’m like, ‘Man. I’m going to Fenway.’ But once I throw that first pitch, I’m fine.

Were you a fan when you were a kid?

Oh yeah. They used to give out packages for Latino kids to go to Fenway. My dad took me and the family as much as he could. I pretty much sat in every section. I’ve had my ups and downs, but the fans have been so supportive of me here in Boston. They’ve been supportive even when I do bad. It’s the benefits of being the hometown boy.

Do you try and help explain the fan perspective to some of the other guys?

I try. Tito and the front office try to prepare the guys for Red Sox Nation. They just want the team to do better. There were a couple of guys that the fans made it seem like they wanted them out of there, but in crunch time they came through, and that’s what it’s all about.

Has your life changed since the World Series?

It’s the same. A few more people recognize me, but it won’t sink in until Opening Day when we get our rings. My friends say to me, ‘You’re 25. You won the World Series. Do you know what you’ve done?’ And it hasn’t really hit me yet.

What else is going on this offseason?

My son. Manny Delcarmen, III. He’s eight weeks old, so that’s keeping me pretty busy. My wife and I are going on vacation in January. October is usually one of our vacation months, but we won the World Series, so that’s not a bad trade.

You’re part of a group of players that came up together through the minor leagues. Do you have a bond with those guys?

Pap and Lester, these are guys I played with for three years in the minors. I look at both of them and we’re like man, all those bumps and grinds in the minors and we’re sitting here as World Champs. That’s pretty cool, man. I feel lucky just to be able to wear the uniform. I see those guys, especially Pap, having back-to-back outstanding years, and Lester, that speaks for itself. It just goes to show that if you put in hard work you’ll get results.

Manny Delcarmen’s Bowling Strikes For Schools, will take place Saturday at Kings from Noon to 2:30 p.m. Registration is at 11 a.m. The cost is $50 for attendance, $100 to bowl, or $450 for a team of six. All proceeds will go to support the Boston Educational Development Fund. More event info here.