Friday, June 25, 2004


MEDFORD – The last week has been a whirlwind for Randy Newsom, a 2004 graduate of Tufts University and star pitcher on the Jumbo Baseball team. Last Thursday, the Boston Red Sox signed Newsom to a free agent contract. The next day he flew first class to Fort Myers, Florida, where he is now pitching in the Gulf Coast Rookie League.

After signing the contract in the lobby of his hotel, meeting members of the coaching staff and passing a physical, he got busy pitching. In his first professional appearance on Thursday (June 24), Newsom pitched three innings to earn a save while finishing up a 14-1 Red Sox victory over the Twins. He allowed four hits, one run and struck out two. Prized Red Sox prospect Hanley Ramirez started the game at shortstop.

Ramirez has a ways to go before he reaches Boston, but for Newsom it was a sign that he's not in Medford any more.

"The experience has been a dream come true so far," Newsom said by phone from Fort Myers. "To play pro ball is really something special, especially coming from a Division III school."

A 6 foot 2 inch, 200-pound right-hander, Newsom recently concluded an outstanding pitching career at Tufts. On Wednesday (June 23) he was named to the ECAC New England Division III Second Team as a final recognition of his strong senior season. Along with leading the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) in strike outs with 57, Newsom posted a 6-1 record and 3.10 earned run average. He was also selected All-NESCAC First Team and All-New England Second Team.

For his career, Newsom compiled an 18-7 record at Tufts for a .720 winning percentage. He pitched in more games during his career at Tufts (48) than all but one other Jumbo. With 165 strike outs in 209.1 innings pitched, Newsom is in the top five for both categories. His five saves as a junior is tied for second on the team's all-time single-season list.

Newsom was disappointed when he wasn't drafted in early June. He then talked to the Dodgers and the Brewers before signing with the Red Sox, who gave him the best opportunity. Newsom has already pitched in Fenway Park, throwing a scoreless second inning at the New England College Baseball All-Star game on May 30.

"The Red Sox really think I can be a contributor," he said. "They look at me as a prospect, not just someone to fill out the roster."

From Cincinnati, Newsom was twice on the All-City team at St. Xavier High School. His college years near Boston turned him into a Red Sox fan, and his goal now is to make it to the Major Leagues.