KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Ryan Lavarnway '09, a former catcher for the Yale baseball team, has been called up to the major leagues by the Boston Red Sox. He made his debut Thursday night batting seventh as the designated hitter in Boston's game at Kansas City.
Lavarnway, who flew out against the Royals' Luke Hochevar in his first big league at-bat, was hitting .301 with 16 homeruns in 55 games at Triple-A Pawtucket when called up. He began the 2011 season at Double-A Portland (Me.), where he hit .284 with 14 homeruns in 55 games. Lavarnway has been in the Red Sox' minor league system since 2008, when he was a sixth-round draft choice.
Lavarnway, who turned 24 11 days ago, is the second Bulldog in the big leagues this season. Craig Breslow '02, a left-handed relief pitcher with the Oakland A's, entered play Thursday with a 4.22 ERA in 51 appearances.
At Yale, Lavarnway was the 2007 NCAA batting and slugging champion and ended his career with the Ivy League's all-time homerun record (33, in just three seasons). He set the Yale and Ivy League records with a 23-game hitting streak.
Report by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity