GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

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September 12, 2013

Crunch Time

Betcha didn’t know

Will Middlebrooks may have hit rock bottom at the plate this summer, but his recent surge saw him etch his name among Red Sox legends.

Middlebrooks hit his 30th career major league home run last week in his 154th MLB game. That is the fourth fastest any Sox player has reached 30 homers — and the quickest in 48 years.

He trails just legends Walt Dropo (121 games), Tony Conigliaro (131) and Ted Williams (144). Yes, even faster than Nomar Garciaparra and Mo Vaughn.

Yaz statue

The Red Sox will be adding a third bronze statue to the outside of Fenway as Hall of Fame outfielder Carl Yastrzemski will be honored.

The Red Sox plan to capture the moment of Yastrzemski saluting the crowd in his final game in a Red Sox uniform during the 1983 season. It will be the third bronze statue erected outside of Fenway Park as a statue of Ted Williams and a statue dubbed “The Teammates” featuring Williams, Johnny Pesky, Dom DiMaggio and Bobby Doerr.

Living on a prayer

If Notre Dame football wants a rocking halftime show, the team has a pretty impressive connection.

Fighting Irish freshman walk-on defensive back Jesse Bongiovi is the son of rock icon Jon Bon Jovi (Bongiovi is his real name). The 5-foot-9, 183-pound Jesse played his high school ball at Brooklyn’s Poly.

Now remember, the Notre Dame football roster does feature 105 players. But coach Brian Kelly said Bongiovi earned his spot.

You smart, bro?

Seattle Seahawks defensive back Richard Sherman, who made headlines last year when he taunted Tom Brady by asking him “You mad, bro?” after beating the Patriots, isn’t just an athletic stalwart. He’s also smart and resilient.

Sherman survived the mean streets of Compton to become the salutatorian of his graduating class at Dominguez High and then attended Stanford.

-Compiled by Nick Curcuru and David Willis

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