[John Valentin], the Red Sox' fifth-round draft choice in 1988, did it in the field, making a pair of stabs in the fourth inning that prevented runners from advancing and making a leaping grab of Jeff Huson's Texas Leaguer in the sixth. And he did it at the plate, notching his first major league hit on his fourth at-bat -- an RBI single to center in the eighth that earned a standing ovation from the Fenway crowd of 32,927.
With [Tim Naehring] nursing a sprained right wrist and Luis Rivera riding out a slump on the pine, the time seemed perfect for the 25-year-old from Jersey City, N.J. It was there Valentin grew up playing high school basketball at St. Anthony's alongside former Notre Dame star David Rivers. After graduating in 1985, Valentin went to Seton Hall, where he played baseball alongside Red Sox teammate Mo Vaughn.