Thank you Jon Lester

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Nov 7, 2008
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For 8.5 incredible years, fantastic pitching, countless memories, and of course 2 rings, thank you Jon Lester. As unlikely as it is, we're all hoping you're back here in Boston come April.
 

Curll

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Jul 13, 2005
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I went with my father to a rain-soaked Fenway in June 2006 for a father's day present. I was super excited, this was Jon Lester's MLB debut. It finally happened after the longest rain delay in Fenway's history.
 
Here is a picture I took of Jon Lester's first pitch in the majors:
 
 

Stan Papi Was Framed

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Jun 5, 2012
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pretty awesome story and photo, Curll.
 
Thanks to both Jon and Jonny.  2013 was amazing.  2007 was pretty good too.  Hope to be welcoming Jon back into the fold a few months from now after he and Jonny take the A's to a championship of their own.
 

bosox1025

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Though the Red Sox lost the game, a man who might be a big part of their future took his first steps. And those fans who waited through the endless delay will likely remember the day.
 
Here's an article from his debut:
 
http://boston.redsox.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20060610&content_id=1499344&vkey=recap&fext=.jsp&c_id=bos
 
If this is indeed the last time we see Jon Lester in a Red Sox uniform -- what a tremendous career. I remember following his Portland box scores like it was yesterday -- definitely one of those memorable players who'll go down in Sox history as one of the greats.
 

amh03

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I've taken many, but have two favorites of Jon...Game 1 of the 2013 World Series:


And when he opted to wear the Boston version of his home jersey for the post Series parade (and I'm pretty sure he was the only player to do that):


We'll miss you, Jon!
 

Detts

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Thanks for all of the hard work and memories Jon.  Now go bag yourself another ring, then come on back home.
 
 

brandonchristensen

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Feb 4, 2012
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Might be the last time I have a reason to post these...
 

 

 
See ya Jon. Thanks for everything! You're the shit.
 

C4CRVT

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Feb 29, 2008
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What a great guy he's been to root for, one of my all-time favorites. Transcends laundry for me at this stage. As much as I hated the A's teams from the early 2000s I'm definitely pulling for Lester.
 

Hank Scorpio

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Always brought his best stuff to the postseason.
 
3-0 0.43 ERA in the World Series. Two world series championships.
 
Three all-star appearances. A freakin' no hitter.
 
And all this after he kicked cancer's ass. 
 
I'm totally bummed he's leaving, and hope we can bring him back in the off-season.
 

Yaz4Ever

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Jon, I hope you enjoyed your time in Boston as much as we enjoyed having you here.  So much so, that you'll be willing to accept less as a FA from Boston than others might throw at you.
 
I hope you win the WS this year with Oakland as you've earned another ring, even if the rest of the team failed to live up to their potential this year.
 
You've beaten cancer, postseason opponents, and the expectations of many of us.  Continue the good fight and I truly hope to see you back in a Sox uniform next season (with an improved Sox offense and defense supporting you).
 

Curll

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Jul 13, 2005
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Stan Papi Was Framed said:
pretty awesome story and photo, Curll.
 
Thanks to both Jon and Jonny.  2013 was amazing.  2007 was pretty good too.  Hope to be welcoming Jon back into the fold a few months from now after he and Jonny take the A's to a championship of their own.
I might have some photos from the first game that went Lester->Papelbon. I remember catching a replay of BBTN and hearing Gammo wax poetic that Papelbon picking up the save for Lester "is a phrase you'll be hearing for years to come" or something to that effect.
 
That was 8 fucking years ago? Holy shit.
 

BornToRun

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A fond farewell to one of the greatest pitchers in Red Sox history and a man who kicked the shit out of both cancer and his postseason opponents. Good luck in Oakland and with the rest of your career should your days in Boston be truly over.
 

jscola85

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Jul 14, 2005
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Lester was always at his best in the biggest games.  Total class act in the community as well.  Outside of Pedro, he has been my favorite Sox pitcher to watch since becoming a big fan of baseball.  Will be strange to see him in a different uniform to say the least, even if we knew this was coming for a while.  For this season at least, Go A's!
 
Dec 10, 2012
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C4CRVT said:
What a great guy he's been to root for, one of my all-time favorites. Transcends laundry for me at this stage. As much as I hated the A's teams from the early 2000s I'm definitely pulling for Lester.
 
bankshot1 said:
Jon you'll always be a big part of Sox history
 
I hope you will be also be a big part of their future
 
Thanks and best of luck 
 
67WasBest said:
Thanks for the 8.5, go make Billy Beane look genius, and we'll see you back in Spring Training in Ft Myers.
yes yes and wow. Those 8+ went by so quick.
 
Favorite pitcher to root for. (post-Pedro)
 

ookami7m

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The no hitter and the emotional embrace with Francona afterwards will be one of my favorite sox moments forever. Godspeed Jon Lester, you are one of the very few I'd still root for if you signed in NY
 

Redkluzu

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Dec 10, 2007
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Ya know Jon, you made us proud. You made some of us who struggled with disease damn proud. Oakland is lucky to have you and we will miss your arm and your heart. On second thought, we'll miss all of you.
 

pokey_reese

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I remember years ago being in Fenway and watching Lester destroy the Royals.  Absolutely dismantled them, 8 innings, 8 or 9 Ks, one or two hits.  I had a hard time getting tickets to Pedro starts back in the day, so Lester was the ace that I got to see the most in person, and it was always worth the ticket.
 
Following him coming up, back in the Papelbon vs Lester days, was a blast, and he was such an amazing story.  Imagine if we had a lefty starter prospect now throwing as hard as Lester?  What if Owens had a 94-95 mph fastball?  We won't see another Lester for a while, if ever, in terms of skills, and certainly not in terms of narrative.
 
I miss him already, and wish him the best of luck.
 

Remagellan

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This photo has been my avatar since I saw it in the Globe's coverage of the 2007 Red Sox championship you helped bring here.  
 
I love this photo because I lost one of my best friends to cancer when he was 26 and nursed my parents through the terminal diseases that claimed their lives, and this reminded me that sometimes the story turns out better.  Sometimes the kid beats cancer and the parents are around to enjoy his moment of triumph.  When you grow up a Red Sox fan, it's impossible not to be drawn to alternative narratives.  
 
If that's changed for the next generation, if they no longer grow up in a world of unfulfilled wishes and what ifs, you were a big part of that change.  You embraced your role as an ace for this club and a role model for those who struggle with the disease that almost cut short your career and life.   You're the type of person no team should ever let leave until his number is ready to hang up in the outfield.  
 
One of my closest friends is a Cardinals fan, and he knows how the last Series went down.  His beloved "Waino" took on my favorite player and got out-aced twice.   It's hard to believe that it is less than a year later and the two players who flipped the script on that series are both wearing green and gold.  
 
Good luck and God bless in Oakland!  I hope you deliver a ring to their fans and come back to us after the season is over.  
 
But in a better world, you never should have worn any other uniform than the one you brought honor to for the past eight and a half years.  
 
I guess I still live in a world of what ifs.   
 

mauidano

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Aug 21, 2006
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Words can't express the gratitude, for your courage, grit and gamesmanship you brought. You will be sorely missed.
 

ivanvamp

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Jul 18, 2005
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Jon Lester has been, over the course of his career, one of the best starting pitchers the Red Sox have had in my lifetime.  Consistently good (with a dip in 2012), often great, dominant postseason pitcher, helped the Sox win two World Series championships.
 
Leaving town with his head held high, handling everything with class.  And there's still the hope that he comes back after the season.
 
Thank you, Jon.  I hope you win another WS title this year with Oakland.  
 

Savin Hillbilly

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Jul 10, 2007
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The wrong side of the bridge....
I'm not going to say goodbye just yet. I won't believe that till they announce you've signed somewhere else. But thank you for the inspiration and the championships and the no-hitter....and now go get Billy Beane that title, OK?
 

ivanvamp

captain obvious
Jul 18, 2005
6,104
pokey_reese said:
I remember years ago being in Fenway and watching Lester destroy the Royals.  Absolutely dismantled them, 8 innings, 8 or 9 Ks, one or two hits.  I had a hard time getting tickets to Pedro starts back in the day, so Lester was the ace that I got to see the most in person, and it was always worth the ticket.
 
Following him coming up, back in the Papelbon vs Lester days, was a blast, and he was such an amazing story.  Imagine if we had a lefty starter prospect now throwing as hard as Lester?  What if Owens had a 94-95 mph fastball?  We won't see another Lester for a while, if ever, in terms of skills, and certainly not in terms of narrative.
 
I miss him already, and wish him the best of luck.
 
Trey Ball throws that hard.  Just saying…..
 

brandonchristensen

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Feb 4, 2012
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I was working an office job when Lester threw the no-hitter.
 
Being on the west coast, work was well over when he threw the last pitch but I was glued to my work laptop watching on MLB.tv. I didn't want to leave and miss something special...glad I waited.
 

ChinaCat2

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Aug 1, 2006
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Lester celebrating the ALCS clincher, which he pitched. That was, I think, the last game I saw him in person at Fenway. He's been one of my favorites, I was so glad they didn't trade him for Johan Santana. Thanks Jon!


 

dwhogan

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Sep 30, 2011
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The 'bury
You were my favorite player throughout the last 8 years. That first start against Texas was huge, watching you fight cancer, bond with Tito, toy with the Rockies, and those memorable dominating games: the no hitter and the others that nearly were.

I hold out hope that this is a see you later, not a farewell. If it is the latter, just know that you helped keep hope alive through the lean years. Thank you for 2007 and 2013. John "Iron Balls" Lester, you will be missed.
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Shawn O'Leary

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July 23, 2007 Lester made his return to MLB after beating cancer. Pitched against the Indians and won. It was a special night for any Red Sox fan. But it also was the day my first child was born. I remember watching that game from the hospital room while rocking my new daughter. She just called me - now 7 - and was quite upset after hearing the news. Lester was second only to David Ortiz in her mind.
 

fuzzy_one

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Jul 14, 2005
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I was a Lester fan all along, but the last few years have seen my two lefty kids learning to pitch in Little League.  I can't count the number of times I've said, "Okay, now watch how Lester does X ..."
 
It's a business, sure. Return was fair, yep. But this one's tougher than usual on a personal level.
 
Go get another ring, Jon! Hope to see you again in the spring.
 

luckysox

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Apr 21, 2009
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Since I was a kid, I've rooted for the laundry, of course, but certainly extra hard for a few specific players that, for whatever reason, I somehow identified with.
 
When I was very, very young, I loved Yaz. I loved his Polish name and I loved that all my Polish relatives (the Jankowskis) loved him because of that.  He was revered as one of us, right down to the crook in his nose. When my grandfather bought me my first Red Sox hat, the 1st season that I played T-Ball, I immediately wrote #8 and YAZ on the underside of the brim. I lost that hat when I was 14, and I cried like a baby about it. Yaz, at the tail end of his career, was the player who introduced me to the loss of innocence that comes along with your favorite players leaving your favorite team, no matter the mechanism.  He retired a Sox. He tipped his cap and went out the way that many guys probably wish they could have, but I still cried when I understood that Yaz would not be playing next year.
 
Hall of Famer Wade Boggs had me early in his career. I tried to tool my swing after Wade Boggs when I was growing up playing softball. I told my Dad I wanted to have the right handed Wade Boggs swing. I took pleasure in two-strike hits, just waiting for my pitch, never striking out.  I loved Wade Boggs the baseball player and didn't pay any attention to off the field stuff.  He was my first true Sox love.  My freshman year in college, he left for the Yankees. I remember exactly where I was when I found out (my friend's dorm room, watching the sports news on her 13 inch tv - I can picture this more vividly than I can things that happened in my life last week), and I remember tearing up and feeling, even at 18 years old, no longer a kid, really, that he had let me down personally. I was almost physically ill. The only other time I had felt like that was in 1986 after games 6, and 7 against the Mets. 
 
Nomar was my next real Sox love.  Man, what a phenomenal talent. I loved the quirks, the OCD at the plate, the unreal plays at shortstop when he was younger.  I loved his smile and his NON Jeter and ARod-ness.  I loved that stupid SI cover that seemed to be the beginning of the end for his should-have-been Hall-of-Fame Career. Though I can look back with open mindedness and understand that 2004 maybe does not happen without the trade, that day hurt like no other in my sports fan life to that point. Man, I was crushed, and I still hate that he was not part of the amazing 2004 run.  I hate that the memories we have of him from that year are of him sulking and of him NOT being Jeter diving into the stands in that stupid Sunday night game.  I hate that he wasn't in the pile after Foulke underhanded the ball to 1st base. It sticks in my craw, and for this fangirl of Nomie, I'll always have that simple regret about an otherwise perfect season.
 
And now Jon Lester.  He of the cancer, the same kind my Mom has now. He of the beating cancer in the same year my Dad beat prostate Cancer.  He of the no hitter and WS victories, and thighs like telephone poles.  He of the nastiest cutter you ever saw when it was "on". He of the 2013 post season performances that still now take my breath away upon viewing. Was he not the baddest-ass ever last post season?  Did he not put goose bumps on your goosebumps when he took the mound against the Rays on that autumn afternoon 10 months ago? And then against the Tigers, reminding everyone that Scherzer and Verlander and Sanchez were not necessarily the best pitchers in the stadium?  And then with every bright light from across the baseball world shining on him against the Cards and Wainright, who had already been named "Best Pitcher in the WS" by just about every pundit out there?  Did the man's back not get broader last October as the team climbed on, and did he somehow not go even harder and faster than he had all season? God, what a true honor it was to cheer for him as a die hard, old school Red Sox fan. I guess now it'll be an honor to cheer for him as an old school baseball fan. I heard this news today in my car, and like almost every one of us, my first thought was, "Please Jon, come back to us this off season."  Let me just add this:  I feel connected to Jon Lester because of cancer, which is RIDICULOUS!  And yet, it's not, and I'd bet everything I own that he KNOWS that there are a ton of fans who feel this way about him and he cares about it; he takes pride in pitching for fans who are touched by this disease. I really believe that.  He means something to me.  Cheering for him feels good and right and I am sad that he isn't a Sox anymore.
 
So thanks, Jon Lester. I really do hope to see you here again. I am a lucky woman to have rooted for you up close for the 1st part of your career, and I will pull for the A's like it's my job this post season.
 

Al Zarilla

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Dec 8, 2005
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Thanks, Jon for being the first Red Sox left hander since Babe Ruth to really, really figure out how to pitch at Fenway, and bring World Series titles home to Boston. Mel Parnell, Bill Lee and Bruce Hurst (Bruce came so close) couldn't do it, but you did. 
 

Brianish

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I don't even know where to begin on this one. Thanks for the last seven years. Even the bad ones were good. 
 

canderson

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Jul 16, 2005
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Jon, you are my favorite Sox player since Pedro Martinez. Your fight against and return from cancer helped me personally when I was going through my own rough patch. Your dominance on the big stage is a legacy.
 
When he threw his no hitter in 2008, I was an emotional wreck. We were in Alaska on a cruise and I purposely skipped the ship sailing because I wasn't turning that game off for anything in the world.
 
Jon Lester is the only jersey I own. I have a 2007 WS game ball with his autograph. I have the picture of him and Tito hugging on my desk at work.
 
Thank you doesn't go far enough.
 
Here's praying we'll see you in Fort Meyers in 2015. Go get yourself a third ring.
 

Tyrone Biggums

nfl meets tri-annually at a secret country mansion
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Aug 15, 2006
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I refuse to comment on this other than Ill enjoy watching you back on the mound on opening day wearing 31 again. With a much better lineup!