Louis William "Lou" Merloni distinguished himself as an athlete at Framingham South High before he graduated in 1989. As he makes a point of telling young audiences, even though he was baseball-mad, he knew the importance of getting a college education and training to fall back on if his baseball dreams didn't work out. He played ball while at Providence College, hitting .420 with an overall average of .333. He was honored as a Big East College Player of the Year and Male Athlete of the Year. In 1992 he was the Cape Cod Summer League batting champion.
Merloni's dream to play ball for the Boston Red Sox took a long time to be fulfilled. He was the Red Sox 10th pick in the 1993 June draft. After years of playing in the farm teams and nursing injuries, he made his major league debut on May 10, 1998. His first home game at Fenway Park was May 15, 1998, his parents' 33rd wedding anniversary. To celebrate, Lou hired a limo to bring his family to Fenway to see the game. Three was his magic number that night as he hit a 3-run homer in his first at-bat in Boston.
A knee injury in late June of 1998 interrupted his first Red Sox summer for two months. Since then Lou has been bounced back and forth between the the Triple A Paw Sox and the Red Sox, to make room for other players on the roster. He managed to keep his equilibrium, making key plays and important hits and contributions to winning scores. He earned a slot playing in the 1999 American League Championship Series. Merloni then went to Japan seeking an opportunity to play on a regular basis. Although he enjoyed Japan, much of his time with the Yokohama Bay Stars was spent on the bench. This was because the player he was to have replaced stayed with the Bay Stars.
He returned to the U.S. to re-sign with the Pawtucket Sox on July 31, 2000 and the Red Sox continued to "rotate" him between the two organizations, depending upon their needs and player injuries. In 2002, Lou was again making some significant plays and hits between some minor injuries. His versatility has made him a valuable "utility" player in several infield positions as well as left field and as a designated hitter. He was among the Red Sox players who participated in the special tribute to the late Ted Williams at Fenway Park.
Lou's fans have agonized over his injuries and shuttling between the Red Sox and the Pawtucket Sox and cheered him on when he plays. They do what has been called "The Lou Thing" a long, drawn-out "Lou-oo-oo-oo-oo-oo-oo" to show their support. Locally, Lou is a popular attraction, dropping in at schools and sports events to say a few motivational words ("Get an education to be well-rounded." and "Don't give up.") and to sign autographs
Framingham is very proud to call Lou Merloni a native son.
NEWS: Spring 2008 Lou announces his retirement to pursue a career in sports broadcasting
Taking the MBTA to Yawkey Way
# 26 Boston Red Sox
# 28 San Diego Padres
# 13 Boston Red Sox
#12 Cleveland Indians
NEWS: After the Boston Red Sox did not offer Merloni a contract in December, 2003, it only took until January 9, 2004 for Merloni to come to terms with the Cleveland Indians, who had tried to sign him while he was playing for the San Diego Padres. Lou has been playing 1st and 3rd for the Indians in the summer of 2004. See the Cleveland Indians site for news about Lou.
NEWS: As of August 28, 2003, Lou was re-acquired by the Boston Red Sox, setting off a barrage of interviews and a slew of local & national stories, including an above the fold front page article in the August 29th MetroWest Daily News. Merloni was the man of the moment, subject of countless Massachusetts barbershop and online chats and emails. Merloni returned just as the Red Sox headed into a series against the Yankees at Fenway Park. He was assigned Mo Vaughn's locker and # 13 uniform. The Jumbotron flashed "Welcome Back, Lou" and a video tribute of clips of his plays as Bruce Springsteen's "My Hometown" played in the background. His first night back, the Red Sox trounced the Yankees, 10 - 5.
NEWS: As of March 25, 2003, Framingham Sports Son Lou Merloni will be playing for the San Diego Padres. Good luck, Lou! We hate to see Lou go, but he is welcomed as a valuable member of the team and it's an opportunity for Lou to be on a major league ballfield on a regular basis. NO more trips to Pawtucket! We hope Red Sox General Manager Theo Epstein regrets his decision. Go LOU-UU!
More Links to Lou:
Yahoo Sports- Cleveland Indians
CBSsportsline: Cleveland Indians
Articles about Lou
Boston Red Sox Tickets & Schedule
Framingham Calendar of Events
Framingham Cable TV
Framingham Business Directory
Framingham Real Estate