Be It Resolved: Koji Uehara Is a Great Hugger

Face it: the reliever can give a bear hug with the best of them.

It’s been a sneaking realization throughout the season, confirmed beyond a doubt at the conclusion of Thursday night’s win against the Tigers: Koji Uehara gives great hugs. And he’s liberal with them, too. As SBNation described the moments after Uehara retired Jose Iglesias to put the Sox one win away from the World Series, this was  “the tenderest televised hug in baseball history.”


Gif via @CJZero on Twitter.

If it isn’t the tenderest ever, it is damn close. And its probably only rivaled by the one Ortiz gave him shortly afterward.

David Ortiz, Koji Uehara

Associated Press

Or the other tender moment they shared … you remember the one:


Gif via @CJZero on Twitter.

And lest you think this is merely because of the pent-up pressure Uehara is feeling in these close playoff games, there’s ample photographic evidence that this is a regular season habit, too. Here he is in July, giving a sloppy, old hug to Jared Saltalamacchia.

Koji Uehara, Jarrod Saltalamacchia

Associated Press

Add Uehara’s hugs to the pile of examples for why this year’s team feels special to its fans (other than the obvious one: they win a lot.) This is a likable group of guys. And they clearly like each other and lean on each other, too. Or in some cases, as with Uehara and Ortiz, they put the full weight of the other over their shoulder like its nothing. Whatever. Hug it out, guys.

Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Koji Uehara

Associated Press