Longball Vineyards: Boston Red Sox 2007
The inaugural Longball Vineyards release featuring Boston Red Sox players hit market in June 2007, just five months after concept. More than a quarter-million bottles were sold across New England. For each bottle sold, $1.25 went to the charity of the athlete’s choice. The players themselves did not earn a penny.
Tim Wakefield named his own label after the initial recommendation for “White Knuckler,” a white wine, was shot down. Wakefield, the knuckleballer and Cabernet drinker, instead proposed “CaberKnuckle.” Pitching In For Kids received more than $102,000 from wine sales.
Curt Schilling had a previous fundraising relationship with Charity Hop, the marketing firm behind Charity Wines, that raised $300,000 over three years from a 100 Inning marathon baseball game. Curt expected a wine initiative would also perform and signed on. Curt’s wife Shonda turned “Schilling Chardonnay” into “Schilling Schardonnay” by adding the extra “S.” The ALS Association received more than $109,000 as a result of wine sales.
Manny Ramirez was the first player to agree to contract terms to appear on a wine label. After Manny himself was seen at Spring Training camp wearing a “Manny Being Manny” shirt, his wine name was changed from “Manny Merlot” to “Manny Being Merlot.” Wine sales generated more than $109,000 for The CHARLEE Program.
View the 2007 Boston Red Sox Charity Wines Photo Album featuring Curt Schilling with Schilling Schardonnary supporting Curt’s Pitch for ALS, Manny Ramirez with Manny Being Merlot supporting CHARLEE Program, and Tim Wakefield with CaberKnuckle supporting Pitching In For Kids.