06/08/2004 11:30 PM ET
Red Sox grab skipper's son
By Ian Browne / MLB.com
BOSTON -- As Red Sox manager Terry Francona began his pregame session with the media Tuesday afternoon, his office phone rang. It was Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein. Francona told Epstein he had a crowd in his office and said he'd get back to him in a few minutes.
As it turns out, Epstein had a little surprise up his sleeve for the manager. He instructed Francona to listen to the MLB.com audio feed of the draft from his laptop and before you knew it, the Red Sox were selecting Nick Francona with their 40th round pick.
Nick Francona of Yardley, Pa., is an 18-year-old senior out of the Lawrenceville School in New Jersey. He also happens to be the son of the Red Sox's manager.
Terry Francona was touched.
"I guess I'm like every dad," Francona said after the Red Sox downed the Padres, 1-0. "You get kind of proud. I also thought it was kind of a classy thing to do by the organization and that's not surprising either. It's something that made me feel good."
Not so good, of course, that Francona would dare talking his son out of accepting his scholarship to Penn. The kid is going to school. But it is now part of his permanent record that he was once drafted by the Red Sox.
"It's something he can always say happened, and good for him," Francona said.
"He's a great kid, he'll be a prospect," said Epstein. "I think three or four years from now he'll be high up on some team's draft boards. He has a good body, great intelligence and aptitude. I called his dad right before we took him so he could listen on-line and he said he almost started crying when he heard his name called, so it was pretty cool."
The Red Sox also selected Beau Mills, the son of Red Sox bench coach Brad Mills.
Mills is a highly regarded third baseman who would have been drafted sooner if not for the fact he's made it known he's going to take his scholarship to Fresno State.
Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.