'He would help out any way he could'

Ailing Maldonado has nurtured generations of Red Sox prospects

Updated: April 3, 2010, 1:34 PM ET
By Gordon Edes | ESPNBoston.com

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- It was on a better day in spring training, one on which Felix Maldonado was still circulating among the young Red Sox ballplayers who have been his surrogate sons for the better part of four decades, that he greeted a familiar face.

"Did I tell you," he said softly, "that this winter I was inducted into the Puerto Rico Hall of Fame?"

Maldonado's smile shone as brightly that afternoon as the day a few years ago when he learned the Red Sox were ...

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