NEW YORK -- Steve Pearce finally gets a chance to wear his Red Sox hat in public.
The newly-acquired utilityman admitted that after playing for seven big league teams, he has landed with his favorite.
"Very excited," said Pearce before playing in his first game as a member of the Red Sox, Friday night. "This was my childhood favorite team so it’s good to be here. Especially with where they’re at in the division it’s nice to come in here and play meaningful baseball and contribute to helping the team win."
Despite growing up in Lakeland, Fla., going to the same high school as Chris Sale, Pearce's allegiances have always trended toward the Red Sox due to his father. Steve Sr. grew up in Reboboth and passed on the fandom to his son.
Ironically, Pearce was actually presented with an opportunity to join the Red Sox once, getting drafted in the 10th round by the organization in 2004. That, however, didn't work out, with the outfielder going back to school at the University of South Carolina. One year later he was picked in the eighth round by the Pirates, launching his professional career.
"It was very hard," said Pearce when asked about not signing with the Red Sox. "I wanted to go in the top couple of rounds and when that obviously didn’t happen I went back to school. I was hoping they would re-draft me. But it didn’t happen."
But, after playing with every other team in the American League East, Pearce has finally found himself with the club he was rooting for all along.
"It’s really cool I get to do something very few people have done," he said. "I’m very excited."