Jeff Hughes, Joe Bellino And Xander Bogaerts

By Jack Healey
Recently I interviewed former Burlington High School star athlete Jeff Hughes who went on to play college football at the University of Nebraska and played on two national championship teams. He will be inducted into the Vermont Sports Hall of Fame on April 13th.
As it turns out there is a connection between Hughes and former Navy Heisman Trophy winner Joe Bellino who died last week at the age of 81. Bellino was a frequent visitor to Rutland and I have had the pleasure of interviewing him a couple of times..
Bellino and Hughes were both born in Winchester, Massachusetts. Hughes is now 69 and is living in Florida. Hughes did know Bellino as his family didn’t move to Burlington until he was a sophomore in high school. He went to school in Winchester until the 9th grade and broke many of Bellino’s junior high records. It is a small world.
I’m delighted that the Red Sox signed shortstop Xander Bogaerts to a contract extension, but quite frankly I’m surprised. Bogaerts is a Scott Boras client and it is rare that his clients don’t test out the free agent market. JD Martinez by the way is another Boras client and he can either opt out this year or next year.
The Red Sox are 1-4 and the panic button has been pushed by many. The starting pitching has been terrible and many people feel it’s because they didn’t pitch enough in spring training. That may or may not be the reason and I can understand keeping them back because they did pitch until late October last year, but the thought did cross my mind once or twice.