|Tim Naehring and Little Fenway
Tim Naehring made his major league debut on July 15, 1990. His first major league hit came
the next night, as he knocked in the Red Sox' only run in a 1-0 victory over the Twins. On
the 17th, he hit his first home run, marking the beginning of a Red Sox rally that saw them
come from being behind 4-0 to winning 5-4. That home run still stands out as one of Tim's
favorite baseball memories.
Tim was a member of the Red Sox from 1990 to 1998. When not bothered by injuries, he
had productive offensive numbers and was solid defensively, playing shortstop, second
base, and third base skillfully. In 1995, he hit .365 into the middle of June, leading the
league. In May of the next year he had an 18-game hitting streak. Unfortunately, an elbow
injury in the first half of 1997 sidelined him for the rest of that year and for all of the following
Over the years, Naehring became a fan favorite at Fenway. Throughout it all, Tim has
always given generously to the community. He founded Athletes Reaching Out, or ARO,
which brings athletes together with children to teach them to stay in school and remain
drug-free. In addition, he has shown his dedication to the Red Sox by building a Little
Fenway Park on his old little league field outside of Cincinnati. He also plans to build a
similar park in the Boston area.
On March 1, 1999, Naehring signed a minor league contract with the Cincinnati Reds. He will
also work in the Reds organization in the player develpoment and scouting departments, as
well as being an assistant to the general manager. He will continue in the Reds' front office if
he is unable to return to action on the diamond.
On this page, you can take a brief tour of Li'l Fenway and find out more about ARO.
|In 1996, Naehring began construction of "Li'l Fenway Park" in Miamitown, OH, on the little league field he played on as a child.
It is a replica of the real Fenway Park, built to scale, and complete with Green Monster and Pesky's Pole. I visited Little Fenway
in June of 1997. It's an impressive sight. It looks like a typical little league field, except that instead of perhaps being
surrounded by a small fence, large green walls rise up out of the ground! The walls and the dimensions are all correct,
capturing the intricacies of Fenway's outfield. It takes a little imagination, though, because the walls are all there, but there
aren't 35,000 seats lining the field. Instead of seeing bleachers over the outfield wall, the view is of Interstate 74. All in all, the
park looks great, and the youth of Cincinnati are very lucky to have such a great person so active in their community!
|A tour of Li'l Fenway Park
|The sign behind home plate announces the field's name.
|The view of left field and center field, including the "triangle." If only the Wendy's
billboard on the highway behind center field could be changed to a Citgo sign...
|Right field captures the shape of the bullpens and contains a replica of Pesky's Pole. That's
I-74 where the bleachers would be, but there's no harm in pretending it's the Mass. Pike!
|And what tour of Fenway Park would be complete without a stop at
the Green Monster? Naehring says that when the park is finished, the
wall will have a scoreboard with Tom and Jean Yawkey's initials on it.
|Directions to Li'l Fenway Park
|From Cincinnati, take I-74 West. Near the Miamitown (OH) exit, Little Fenway will be
visible on the left. Take the Miamitown exit (there is only one) and follow the signs.
| Builder Naehring a Model Citizen
By Gordon Edes, Globe Staff. Boston Globe, 4/20/97.
If the Red Sox are seeking some input on how to build a new stadium, they might want to look inside their own clubhouse.
Third baseman Tim Naehring, who built a replica of Fenway Park on the Cincinnati ballfield on which he played as a kid, is
talking with Boston mayor Thomas Menino about building another "Little Fenway" here in Boston, which the player would
donate to the city.
And unlike whatever stadium project the ball club launches, Naehring's plan should proceed quickly. They're still looking to line
up corporate sponsors, Naehring said, but the project may get a go-ahead by the end of the summer. Naehring and Menino
already have talked about some possible sites for the ballpark, the most visible outgrowth of the charitable foundation he has
launched, Athletes Reaching Out. Naehring recently negotiated a deal with Citizens Bank in which the bank will donate $150 to
ARO for each of his hits this season.
Mo Vaughn, Jose Canseco, and Roger Clemens all donated $5,000 for the Cincinnati "Little Fenway," and Mike Stanley was
among 30 other Red Sox players and employees who purchased bricks for the ballpark, which Naehring donated to his
Naehring laid the sod himself for the Cincinnati field, with the help of a crew that might have been a little young, by the
standards of head Fenway groundskeeper Joe Mooney.
"I had about 30 little kids helping me out, 5-year-olds grabbing sod," Naehring said with a laugh. "It took us three days."
Naehring has made a personal financial commitment to his foundation that runs into the hundreds of thousands of dollars.
After signing a two-year deal with the Red Sox last winter that kept him in Boston, Naehring decided to focus his charitable
efforts here as well as back home in Cincinnati, where he has enlisted the help of Cincinnati Bengals Jeff Blake and James
Francis and University of Cincinnati basketball coach Bob Huggins.
"You should see the park," Naehring said of the Little Fenway there, which opened last fall. "You can see it from the air when
you land in Cincinnati, and 40,000 cars a day drive by it on the interstate to Indianapolis."
The Cincinnati facility is a faithful replica of the real deal, Naehring said, built virtually to scale. The Green Monster, Pesky
Pole, and the Morse code names of former owners Thomas and Jean Yawkey all will be there when the entire project is
completed this fall.
But don't look for any oversized Coke bottles.
"Pepsi gave us $20,000 for a scoreboard," Naehring said.
There will, however, be a home run challenge this fall in which contributors will have the chance to win a car and other prizes.
There may even be a million-dollar target for the sluggers-for-a-day.
The financial security he gained by signing his last contract, Naehring said, has given him the means to make an impact in a
"When I came here and started as a young major leaguer, my heart was a lot bigger than my pocketbook," he said. "But I
make a very nice living, and not only can I give out of my own pocket, I can use my corporate contacts to market ARO in the
city, to build Little Fenways and other projects."
Naehring said that in setting up his foundation, he was looking for a way for athletes to do something beyond just simply giving
money. Projects like Little Fenway, or donating a computer room or ballfield to an athlete's high school, are tangible outcomes
of a commitment, he said. So are speaking engagements, going into classrooms, and staging golf tournaments.
But beyond making an immediate impact, Naehring has his eye on future generations.
"We have an endowment program starting up in which the athletes and children involved will be endowed by buying life
insurance policies," he said. "So when they expire, that money will be given back to the foundation. We're helping today's kids
build futures, and tomorrow's children with an endowment program."
Naehring said that sponsors interested in supporting his program, or taking part in his golf tournament July 28  in
Wayland, should contact Jay Monahan at Woolf Associates in Boston at 437-1212.
"I've always felt that being a role model was not our responsibility," he said. "It's an obligation."
This story ran on page d10 of the Boston Globe on 04/20/97.
Copyright 1997 Globe Newspaper Company.
|Naehring's Career Stats
YEAR TEAM G AB R H HR RBI AVG OBP SLG
1990 Boston 24 85 10 23 2 12 .271 .333 .412
1991 Boston 20 55 1 6 0 3 .109 .197 .127
1992 Boston 72 186 12 43 3 14 .231 .309 .323
1993 Boston 39 127 14 42 1 17 .331 .380 .433
1994 Boston 80 297 41 82 7 42 .276 .350 .414
1995 Boston 126 433 61 133 10 57 .307 .416 .448
1996 Boston 116 430 77 124 17 65 .288 .366 .444
1997 Boston 70 259 38 74 9 40 .286 .379 .467
M.L. TOTALS 547 1872 254 527 49 250 .282 .367 .420