The Villages Red Sox Nation club honored its founder with a custom-made Red Sox Nation ring.
When club president Dave Bedard called founder Art Plant up onto the SeaBreeze Recreation Center stage on Thursday night, the crowd gave him a standing ovation.
After expressing the club’s gratitude for everything Plant has done for the members, Bedard presented Plant with the custom ring. The ring was made by the same company which makes the World Series championship rings and bears an inscription of Plant’s name and title as founder of the club.
Plant founded The Villages Red Sox Nation more than 10 years ago and saw the club grow to more than 1,100 members. The Villages club is now the largest Red Sox Nation club in the world. A life-long Red Sox fan, Plant followed the growth of the Red Sox Nation clubs as they grew in New England.
The phrase Red Sox Nation was coined by Boston Globe feature writer Nathan Cobb in 1986. In 2004, the Boston Red Sox began offering official citizenship in Red Sox Nation. For a small fee, fans received a membership card with the words, “Official Red Sox Nation Citizen” and access to additional Red Sox merchandise offers and newsletters.
The club also announced the first recipients of the Art Plant Founders Scholarship which were awarded to three grandchildren of club members. Each recipient received a $1,000 scholarship.