Boston College baseball held its annual Baseball Night on Thursday at Fenway Park's State Street Pavilion, and in a yearly rite of passage during college baseball's preseason, head coach Mike Gambino chose senior Travis Ferrick as the honoree to wear #8 in honor of Peter "Sonny" Nictakis.
Each season, Coach Gambino bestows the honor on a player who best represents the qualities of BC baseball and who has battled adversity. The player wears #8 for the entire season in memory of Nictakis, a former two-time baseball captain at The Heights who passed away from Hodgkin's Disease in 2000. The program never reissued the number until Gambino brought it back in 2011.
Ferrick's appeared in 73 games for the Eagles, starting 46. He has a career .162 batting average with 28 hits and 15 RBI. His hard-working attitude, though, is felt by his ability to take on any role asked of him. In his first three years, he's appeared as a second baseman, a third baseman, an outfielder, a catcher, and a pitcher. He's officially listed as a utility player on the roster and will be used this season in a dual role both in the field and on the bump.
"It's really humbling to get this kind of award knowing what kind of guy Sonny was," said Ferrick through a release from BC athletics. "Coach always talks about the type of character he had. It takes a lot of responsibility to live up to that and knowing that my teammates will look up to me."
Ferrick is the fifth winner of what's become an annual award started by Gambino during his first season at the helm of the Eagles. Mike Sudol won the first award, followed Kyle Prohovich, Matt Pare, and Tom Bourdon.
Baseball Night is the unofficial kickoff to the baseball season each year. Held at Fenway Park's State Street Pavilion, it features a key note address from one of the game's legendary figures. This year, former Boston Red Sox manager and Boston College alum Joe Morgan gave the talk.
The baseball season opens on February 13th when BC takes on Wofford at the campus of USC-Upstate.