Friday, February 7, 2020

Mitt Romney's Letter to Terry Francona's Son

In case you missed it, Mitt Romney has been in the news a bit lately. It seems everyone has an opinion on Mitt and they aren't afraid to share it. There is one story that has a Red Sox connection that not many people knew about until today. The story comes from Nick Francona. Nick is the son of Terry Francona.

Red Sox fans might remember that Nick was deployed overseas with the military during a portion of Tito's time with the Red Sox. Nick went on to work in baseball for a bit and is now in law school. He is a great person to follow on twitter and is not shy when it comes to calling out baseball on a myriad of topics.

I have messaged back and forth with Nick a couple of times and he is a really interesting guy with a lot to say and some great stories. I hope to be able to sit down with him in the near future for an extensive interview about his life and to hear more stories. Speaking of interesting stories, here is the story he posted today on twitter:

In the summer of 2011, I was deployed to Afghanistan. We received mail every few weeks, mostly care packages from family & friends. One day, the pile of mail included a letter that stood out, from the campaign HQ of Mitt Romney in Boston

The mail was almost always standard USPS care package boxes, so this envelope caught the attention of the Marine passing it out, leading him to ask, “Sir, do you know Mitt Romney?” I said I may have met him in passing at a Sox game, but if I didn’t remember he surely wouldn’t.

We assumed it was just campaign marketing material soliciting a donation. The idea of being hit up for political donations at our austere patrol base didn’t sit too well with some of the Marines, and there were a handful of barbs about Romney being an out of touch rich guy.

A young Lance Corporal from Arkansas with a heavy southern accent, exclaimed, “The balls on this guy!”

I couldn’t really argue, and said that it did come off as rather patrician.
*note: Using words like patrician around Marine grunts makes you sound like, well, a patrician.

A couple Marines said they’d remember his name so they would make sure to not vote for that guy. With a few of the Marines standing over my shoulder, I opened the envelope to find a short hand-written note from Mitt Romney

The note, dated 6/21/11, read:


I admire your dad for all he’s done to bring baseball championships to Boston, but your service in Afghanistan as a Marine makes you the hero in the Francona  family. Thank you for your service.
Best wishes,
Mitt Romney

The tone quickly changed. One of the Marines quietly said, “That’s pretty cool.” I agreed.

Mitt Romney won a few admirers that day who had been cursing his name just seconds before. It was a thoughtful gesture that meant a lot to me at the time and one I’ll always remember.