Now, Lugo gets the opportunity to play in his first World Series. The native Dominican had long-standing friendships with David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez before signing with Boston, which made his initiation to the team a little more seamless.
Lugo has a pet expression when describing something positive. It's "bananas," Lugo might say, when asked about Ortiz's swing or playing in Boston or the state of the Red Sox during a winning streak.
The right-handed hitter spent his teen-aged years in Brooklyn, where his mother worked two jobs. Once Lugo started making money in professional baseball, he gleefully bought his mom a home in Orlando.
After playing most of his career in Houston and Tampa Bay, Lugo enjoys being on the big stage of Boston.
The Red Sox have had a carousel at shortstop since the departure of Nomar Garciaparra on July 31, 2004. First, there was Orlando Cabrera, then Edgar Renteria and Alex Gonzalez. Lugo is signed through 2010, so he might wind up being a mainstay.
Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.