A battery 129 years in the making

Associated Press  |  Last updated August 19, 2012
Craig Breslow thought about the first all-Yale battery in the major leagues in more than 125 years and couldn't resist a pun about catcher Ryan Lavarnway. ''I guess Ryan caught like a bulldog,'' he said. Saturday was quite a day for ''Boola Boola'' (the Yale fight song) at Yankee Stadium, when Breslow relieved in the eighth inning for the Boston Red Sox and helped preserve the lead in a 4-1 win over New York. ''We didn't need to put any signs down. We're all on the same wavelength,'' Breslow joked. With the Red Sox leading 3-1, Breslow came in and threw a ball and then got Robinson Cano to ground a cutter into an inning-ending double play. ''He knew exactly what he wanted to do and executed,'' Lavarnway said. According to STATS LLC and baseballreference.com, the only previous all-Yale battery was Sept. 15, 1883, when the Philadelphia Athletics' Jack Jones pitched to Al Hubbard. The Red Sox said they had been talking with Yale in recent days and had not yet been able to confirm that. Breslow, a molecular biophysics and biochemistry major, is a 2002 Yale graduate. Lavarnway, a philosophy major, left after his junior year in 2008 to turn pro. ''I got a lot smarter having them out there,'' Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine said. ''I don't talk to those guys. Bres is such a competitive kid, you wouldn't think that he carries those kind of degrees around with him.'' Breslow thought of a way to add to the brainy battery and make it a real Mensa matchup. ''I guess if we could have had, I don't know maybe Wil Venable at the plate or something like that, it would have put the finishing touches on the matchup,'' he said, referring to the San Diego outfielder who is a 2005 Princeton graduate. Breslow, 32, was a 26th-round draft pick by Milwaukee and is in his second stint with Boston following stops with San Diego (2005), the Red Sox (2006), Cleveland (2008), Minnesota (2008-09), Oakland (2009-11) and Arizona (2012). He has a 14-17 career record with a 3.00 ERA. Lavarnway, 25, was a sixth-round selection in 2008 and made his major league debut with the Red Sox last year. He has a .179 average with two homers and eight RBIs in 67 career at-bats. ''I've gotten more congratulations about them than I ever got about myself,'' Yale baseball coach John Stuper, a former big league pitcher, said in a telephone interview. ''Ryan will tell you it was because they had black-and-white television back then.'' Not quite. He pitched for St. Louis and Cincinnati from 1982-85, winning a World Series title with the Cardinals. ''I'm gushing. It was a thrill,'' said Stuper, Yale's coach since 1993. ''I'm going to the game tomorrow.'' While in the minors, Breslow remembered traveling from Pawtucket, R.I., to nearby Providence to watch Lavarnway's Yale team play against Brown. Breslow has tried to be a mentor. ''I definitely look at him first as a baseball player, second as a friend and third as a Yale alumni,'' Lavarnway said. ''He's been great to me since before I got drafted, coming back and kind of talking to me, making the transition into pro ball and starting his foundation and stuff.'' Breslow's sister was diagnosed with thyroid cancer when she was 14 and in 2008 he founded The Strike 3 Foundation to raise awareness and funding for childhood cancer research. Stuper said Lavarnway keeps returning to Yale to visit kids he worked with in the Big Brother program. ''Character off the charts. Work ethic off the charts,'' Stuper said. And now, Yalies in the same box score. NOTES: In addition to Breslow, Lavarnway and Venable, there are two other Ivy Leaguers in the major leagues: Cleveland pitcher Frank Hermman (Harvard) and New York Mets pitcher Chris Young (Princeton). San Diego optioned pitcher Ross Ohlendorf (Princeton) to the minors on Saturday and Washington utilityman Mark DeRosa (Pennsylvania) is on the disabled list.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

NFL exec: Stephen Jones keeps Jerry from ‘f—ing things up’

Henry Bibby says son Mike would be on his coaching staff

Goran Dragic gets eight stitches on mouth, returns to game

Hugh Freeze on Tunsil situation: 'I know nothing'

Did father's offensive Twitter account affect Connor Cook's draft stock?

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Jared Goff might be only rookie quarterback to start Week 1

White Sox send David Ortiz off with box of cigars

49ers players laud Chip Kelly’s ‘genius’ offense

Cubs celebrate Cinco De Mayo with clubhouse mariachi band

Why would the Philadelphia Eagles keep Sam Bradford?

Steve Kerr: Steph Curry probably out for Game 3 against Blazers

WATCH: Jim Harbaugh dabs after hitting softball homer off a tee

Patriots rookie QB Jacoby Brissett to negotiate contract himself

Gabrielle Union continues to question referees

Marc-Andre Fleury supportive of Matt Murray starting

5-star QB Tate Martell posts recruiting update

WATCH: Kyle Lowry ignores security guard's fist bump attempt

Colorado Senate kills bill to make 'Mile High' legal name of Broncos stadium

Recruit says he decommitted from Ohio State because Urban Meyer did not recognize him

Report: Joe Paterno first heard of Sandusky's child abuse in 1976

Seahawks officially place Marshawn Lynch on retired list

Ezekiel Eliiott's Cowboys' jersey is the best-selling rookie jersey

Before becoming world champ Canelo Alvarez sold Popsicles

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

How are the Warriors winning without Stephen Curry?

QUIZ: Name every player in MLB to pitch a perfect game

Dangerous hits spotlighted in Round 2 of the NHL playoffs

QUIZ: Name every Triple A Minor League Baseball team

Most exciting games of the 2016 NBA playoffs so far

Five bizarre moments in Round 2 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs

How the Sharks have 'weathered the storm' against the Predators

Okay, who stole the Kansas City Royals player off that billboard?

Eight players to watch in Round 2 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs

A Round-By-Round Look At the NFL Draft

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker