By Robert Pincus
Perfect Game Staff Writer
Editors Note: Since this story was written Derek Lowe signed a 4 year 36 million dollar deal with the Dodgers.
FORT MYERS, Fla. - The last time Boston Red Sox right-hander Derek Lowe was in a baseball dugout his team defeated the St. Louis Cardinals 4-0 to win the 2004 World Series. Lowe, 31, allowed only three hits in seven innings and won his third series-clinching game of the post-season.
The 6-foot-6 free agent spent part of the week between Christmas and New Year's at the Boston Red Sox Spring Training Complex in Fort Myers, Florida. No, Lowe was not there to sign a new contract with the Red Sox for the 2005 season. He was there to watch his 15-year-old son, Phillip, play at the Perfect Game USA National Underclass Showcase that was based at the Red Sox complex.
Lowe said that he is unconcerned about his contract status with the Red Sox and that he has "some things in the works for next season." It seems as if he has no regrets if he ends up not wearing a Red Sox uniform next year.
Derek Lowe workingwith young pitchers at PG World Showcase
"It was a great experience to have the Red Sox win, which may not happen again for awhile," Derek Lowe said.
Among the 500 high school freshman, sophomores and juniors that joined the Lowe family was 15-year-old Beau Didier. Didier's dad, Bob, is a current advance scout for the Chicago Cubs and caught for the Braves, Tigers and Red Sox during his Major League career.
For both parents this was their first time at a Perfect Game event. Perfect Game is considered by professional and college scouts to be the top baseball scouting report service in the world.
"This is my first time here," Bob Didier said. "I'm surprised with the number of kids here and their quality. I have been in pro ball for 40 years and I have heard that [the Perfect Game showcase] is the best event."
Derek Lowe said this event is a great experience for the players to see how they stack against others from around the county. Lowe's son is a sophomore at Evangelical Christian School in Fort Myers.
"In this showcase you realize that they play baseball in all the other 49 states," Derek Lowe said. "It motivates you to work harder. [Perfect Game] does a tremendous job in running this program. They're the best at what they do"
Beau Didier added that he had never seen so much talent from across the country in one showcase. He said the event is a great measuring stick to compare players.
"You can be confident in your region, but here you compare yourself to other regions," the freshman from Bellarmine Prep in Federal Way, Washington, said. "I can see where I want to be in my sophomore year and how hard I have to work at it to get there. I definitely have to work hard."
Phillip Lowe said being on the field with top players was a great experience.
"The best part of this [showcase] is the competitive level of play," Phillip Lowe said. "You don't get bored with the competition. In high school it can be boring depending on the level of play. I hadn't played against kids throwing 90 [miles per hour] before. That's pretty good for a junior."
Added Beau Didier: "The quality of the pitching surprised me in that they threw hard and had pretty good stuff."
Derek Lowe was also impressed by the caliber of players that came to the Perfect Game Showcase. He said that this will help his son's development.
"It's always good to play against kids better than you," the World Champion pitcher said.
The advice Derek Lowe gives to his son and his teammates is to always have fun playing the game.
"Baseball shouldn't be a job at an early age," Derek Lowe said. "If high school is as far as you can take it than have fun while you are doing it."
When asked if the Perfect Game Underclass Showcase was the highlight of his baseball year, Phillip Lowe shook his head and said "No." After all, he was at Game Four of the World Series in St. Louis to see his dad lead his beloved Red Sox to the sweeping victory.
"It was a big thrill," Phillip Lowe said. "I honestly didn't think they could come back from 0-3 [to the New York Yankees in the American League Championship Series]."
Having dads involved with Major League baseball has given the two players opportunities to reflect on the sport.
"Whenever I watch the game I try to take stuff with me to see what they do at that level," Phillip Lowe said.