Wednesday is Ryan Westmoreland Day in Portsmouth

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PORTSMOUTH — Looks like Ryan Westmoreland will have his day in town.

In recognition of having his number retired by the Lowell Spinners, the Town Council has proclaimed Wednesday, June 25 as “Ryan Westmoreland Day” in Portsmouth.

The council presented a proclamation to Ryan’s father, Portsmouth High School varsity baseball coach Ron Westmoreland, at its meeting Monday night. (Ryan was traveling and could not attend.)

“As his father, I’m certainly appreciative of this community that raised Ryan,” said Mr. Westmoreland, after Council Vice President John Blaess read the proclamation.

The Lowell Spinners, a minor league baseball affiliate of the Boston Red Sox, recently retired Ryan’s jersey bearing the number 25, the first time the organization has done so. The Spinners will honor Ryan on Wednesday, and on Thursday he will be presented with the Ben Mondor Award, named after the late Pawtucket Red Sox owner.

The former Portsmouth High School baseball star and top Boston Red Sox prospect, now 24, announced his retirement from baseball last year, after attempting a comeback from two brain surgeries that had sidelined him.

A member of the 2002 Portsmouth Little League state championship team, Ryan went on to compete on the Portsmouth High School varsity team, which took home the state title in 2006. He was Gatorade’s Rhode Island High School Baseball Player of the Year in 2007 and 2008.

In 2008, he was the Red Sox’s fifth-round draft pick and joined the Spinners the following year. Ryan was the New York-Penn League All Star and Player of the Year, and prior to the 2010 season, Baseball America rated him the 21st-best prospect in all of baseball.

However, he was diagnosed with a cavernous malformation at his brainstem and had brain surgery in 2010. While attempting a comeback, Ryan experienced a setback and underwent a second surgery in July 2012. He announced his retirement from baseball in March 2013.

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Jim McGaw

A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.