Hope springs eternal with Sox hot stove session set Thursday night

Boston Red Sox catcher Blake Swihart (23) celebrates his three-run home run with first baseman Travis Shaw (center) and second baseman Brock Holt during a game last September at Yankee Stadium. Swihart and Shaw will be at a hot-stove session in Bangor Thursday night. (Anthony Gruppuso/USA TODAY Sports)

Boston Red Sox catcher Blake Swihart (23) celebrates his three-run home run with first baseman Travis Shaw (center) and second baseman Brock Holt during a game last September at Yankee Stadium. Swihart and Shaw will be at a hot-stove session in Bangor Thursday night. (Anthony Gruppuso/USA TODAY Sports)

As the snow was coming down Saturday and with reports of a nor’easter coming next weekend, I starting thinking about one thing…how many days before Red Sox pitchers and catchers report to spring training?

The answer is…32 days.

However, the likely opening day catcher is reporting to Bangor this Thursday night. Blake Swihart and first baseman Travis Shaw are coming to Gracie Theatre this week to help us get through the cruelest month of the year. Autographs, some pictures and lots of questions from great Maine Sox fans await.

Isn’t it interesting that we cherish every game we get to see with veteran athletes like Tom Brady but at the same time keep our fingers crossed for the best from ‘young guns’ like Swihart and Shaw.

Hope springs eternal.

In preparation for those folks coming to the Sox show on Thursday, here are five things I’ll bet you didn’t know about these two Sox youngsters…

Blake Swihart:

1)    When he played for Team USA 18-under national team in 2010 he led the team with a .448 batting average while playing first base and left field.

2)    His father, Arian, is a nuclear physicist.

3)    Blake won a national wrestling championship when he was 9.

4)    As a junior in high school he hit 98 mph on the radar gun but gave up pitching because he loved to hit.

5)    Blake played in 282 minor league games…Yadier Molina played in 297, Buster Posey 115.

Travis Shaw:

1)    His father, Jeff, led the National League with 42 saves in 1997. Heathcliff Slocumb led the Red Sox that year with 17.

2)    Travis went up and down from AAA Pawtucket 5 times last year. In July, he stayed in Boston and for the next three months hit over .300 with 13 home runs.

3)    When his dad was traded to the LA Dodgers, Travis stayed in Ohio and went to school there from August to February. Once the baseball season started, he was home schooled in LA by the wife of a Dodger player who was a former teacher.

4)    While admitting to being obsessed with the music of Rihanna, his walk-up music this year was a Kid Ink tune.

5)    Travis says he never eats vegetables.

Something tells me we will learn more about these guys Thursday night! Something also tells me these two guys will play a big part in the upcoming Sox season!