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New Minas-based Red Sox fan releases new book about ‘baseball’s best outfield’

This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Jim Prime’s Red Sox collection.
This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Jim Prime’s Red Sox collection. - Theo Giesen
NEW MINAS, N.S. —

To say Jim Prime loves the Boston Red Sox is almost an understatement.

The New Minas resident is a full-time author and lifelong Red Sox fanatic.

“I grew up on Long Island in the Bay of Fundy, and we could get all the Red Sox games pretty easily on the radio, so I came up as a Red Sox fan. I played on this team down there called the Freeport Schooners. We weren’t very good, but we had a lot of fun. What we didn’t have were proper baseballs and bats. We would use these bats that were literally screwed together,” Prime recalls.

“Anyways, so I wrote a letter to the owner of the Red Sox at the time, Tom Yawkey, just asking if we could have some batting practice balls. I wasn’t really expecting anything back, but then I got a package at the Nova Scotia Customs office, and it was this box of beautiful baseballs, some with grass stains on them from Fenway Park, which only made them better. Since then I’ve been a huge Red Sox fan.”

Jim Prime has been a Red Sox fan his whole life. (THEO GIESEN)
Jim Prime has been a Red Sox fan his whole life. (THEO GIESEN)

Prime does the bulk of his writing in his office, where he’s surrounded by Red Sox memorabilia he’s collected over the years.

“Whenever I go out to a thrift store or used book store I try to get something I don’t have yet, but that’s getting harder and harder,” he jokes.

Every surface is covered from floor to ceiling with some kind of trinket or jersey. Mounted on the wall across from his desk is a framed letter from long-time friend and hall of famer, Ted Williams.

“I sent a letter to Ted around the year 1981 asking if I could interview him, and he sent me a letter, which I still have, saying he’d be happy to talk. I phoned him up, and since then we’ve been great friends. I’d say either him or Babe Ruth are the best hitters of all time, and so would most people.”

It’s in this room that he’s produced his latest book, The Boston Red Sox Killer B’s: Baseball’s Best Outfield. The book, forwarded by former Red Sox center-fielder Fred Lynn, with an afterword by Bob Costas, digs deep into the dynamic between the three outfielders: Mookie Betts, Jackie Bradley Jr. and Andrew Benintendi.

Prime had the idea for the book several years ago after the trio played their first year together.

“As soon as I saw these guys play together, I knew they’d be something special. Benintendi and Betts had just arrived there, so it seemed a bit premature to call them the best outfield at that point, so the publishers didn’t pick up my idea. Then last year, after the Red Sox won a championship and two of the three Killer B’s won Golden Gloves last year, I thought it was the perfect time.”

Co-authored by Bostonian Bill Nowlin, “Killer B’s” goes beyond just the numbers, balancing statistics with anecdotes. Prime and Nowlin begin with each player’s humble upbringing and describe their journey to the MLB.

“I had some great interviews while writing this book,” says Prime. “I got to speak with the hitting coach of the Red Sox, the fielding coach of the Red Sox, and with Mookie Betts’ mother, who was his first baseball coach. She took him to Little League when he was a kid and no teams would take him because they said he was too small. His mother asked them what she could possibly do to get him to play, and they told her to start her own team - and that’s exactly what she did.”

The book goes on to explain why, in Prime’s opinion, the Killer B’s are the best outfield defensively in modern baseball.

Jim Prime’s new book, The Boston Red Sox Killer B’s: Baseball’s Best Outfield, came out Aug. 6. (THEO GIESEN)
Jim Prime’s new book, The Boston Red Sox Killer B’s: Baseball’s Best Outfield, came out Aug. 6. (THEO GIESEN)

“I wanted to get into what makes this outfield so unique, and it goes beyond their offensive and defensive skills. There’s a chemistry between these three guys that you don’t usually see in baseball. They hang out together, they’re all really great friends, they have this little dance they do after a win - just little things that knit them together as a group.”

Prime says he’s quite happy with the book and had a great time writing it. Even though he’s written more than 20 books, he still attends writing classes and learns something new from every writer he meets.

Most of what Prime writes is about baseball with a hint of comedic flair, but he says he’s written a book with Paul Henderson and also likes to dabble in short fiction.

“I’m very pleased with the final product and the response it’s gotten so far, and I’m excited for my next book. I may try my hand at fiction next, but I’m not sure. I do this series of fictional characters with a friend of mine about two fish-gutters who notice the fish are disappearing, so they diversify and become detectives. It’s a fun project of mine.”

Prime will be at the Chapters in Bayers Lake on Aug. 24 from noon to 2 p.m. signing copies of his new book.

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