How does a kid from the tiny village of Meriden, N.H., grow up to become GM of the Red Sox? Hard work, vision and good genes. Ben Cherington, who will be promoted by the Red Sox on Tuesday, found inspiration from many relatives as a kid. I met with Ben's mom, Gretchen, this week and learned the following about Mr. Cherington:
His maternal grandfather Richard Eberhart taught at Dartmouth and won a 1966 Pulitzer for poetry ... Paternal grandfather Paul Cherington taught at Harvard Business School and worked in the Nixon administration as assistant secretary of transportation. Ben's middle name is Paul ... His mother's cousin, Susan Butcher, was a four-time Iditarod champion and the second woman to win the great Alaskan sled dog race.
“Ben followed her and was very close to her. She was inspiring to him,” Cherington's mother, Gretchen, said in my Sunday story. “He grew up around people on top of their field, in different fields. It's a small town, maybe 700 residents back then, but he knew there were things one could do in life.”
Ben pitched in the 1991 Class I baseball championship and was a National Merit Scholarship finalist at Lebanon (N.H.) High. As of Tuesday, there will be five New Hampshire natives working as major-league GMs: Cherington, Jed Hoyer (Cubs), Neal Huntington (Pirates), Bill Smith (Twins) and Brian Sabean (Giants).