For the Middlebrooks family, sports have always been a major part of their lives.
Will, 23, is a third baseman with the Boston Red Sox, while
Lacey, 21, is a star pitcher for the University of Tulsa. Their father
Tom is a well-respected high school coach in the state of Texas while
their mother Julie, and youngest sister Mary, 20, are always there to
offer their love and support.
Although sports have forced Will and Lacey away from their home in
Texas, it has also brought the three Middlebrooks children closer
“You don’t want to hear what you are doing wrong from your father,
but having a brother and sister that you can say something to and not be
criticized or shot down for having an opinion is great,” Lacey said to
Metro Boston. “I think that has made Will and I’s relationship very
strong. Going through college on my end and him going through a whole
different stage of growing up. All three of us have a very good
relationship, but with sports Will and I have a very close
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This summer sports was going to bring Will and Lacey together in
Pawtucket with the Pawtucket Red Sox. Will would be playing third base,
while Lacey would be the PawSox PR intern.
“She was going to live with me and we were going to just hang out
and have a good time because I missed the last four or five years of her
growing up especially in the summer,” Will said to Metro Boston.
That all changed in late May when Will was called up to the Boston Red Sox, while Lacey was wrapping up her junior season.
“At the time I am thinking, ‘Gosh, I wish Will could be here so I
could know somebody,’ but that was just for a couple of days,” said
Lacey. “I am happy he is still there and I hope he doesn’t come back. It
was a little bit of a surprise that he wasn’t here when I got here in
late May, but it was a good surprise.”
Last summer Lacey decided that she needed to get an internship under
her belt, but her softball commitments made it even more difficult, so
she turned to Will, who was with the PawSox at the time for help.
“I had Will get the contact info to the person that oversees
and hires the interns and that was about all Will did for me,” Lacey
said. “I started contacting a couple people at Pawtucket, got my resume
together and sent it in. I had a couple of interviews and that was it.”
After arriving in Pawtucket Memorial Day weekend following her
junior season Lacey has been working non-stop, taking on a lot of
“It is really nice,” Lacey said. “I get to do specific things. It
has changed a lot since I first got here. They have given me a lot more
stuff to do. It is great that they feel I am responsible enough to get
all of this done.
“I come into the office and edit some game notes for each day. Then,
I work on some Photoshop projects and then I do pregame ceremonies on
the field. Then, I go up to the press box and write the postgame story
for the website. It has really been eye opening, and been great.”
Will and Lacey still make time to check in on one another everyday.
“We text almost every single day, just how is it going? Good game
last night. We usually try and stay in contact everyday,” said Lacey.
According to Will, the two are very similar besides their athletic abilities.
“We are a lot alike,” Will said. “Even off the field we are both
just very chill people. We like to hang out and just not do much.”
The two siblings have always had sports in common, especially with
them both being stars at Liberty-Eylau high school in Texarkana, TX. It
developed quite the rivalry between the two.
“We are very competitive,” Lacey said. “In high school, softball
games were about an hour before baseball games and we would play the
same teams on the same day. It was always a race to see the sports page
in the paper the next morning and see whose ERA was the lowest, because
he was a pitcher too in high school.
“We always wanted to see who did what. We were very competitive.
Sometimes that could be an issue, but 90 percent of the time it has been
great with a younger sister to compete with and an older brother too.”
Will acknowledges the two were extremely competitive in high school, but that has turned into nothing but support now.
“Lacey and I always competed and always wanted to outdo each other,”
he said. “It is different now with her playing college ball and me up
here, it is more of us pulling for each other, not that we weren’t
always. It is not as big of a competition anymore.”
Obviously the family has turned into major followers of the Red Sox
since Will was drafted in 2007. They didn’t have a real favorite team
growing up, but sports have always been part of the family’s everyday
“My Dad has always been a huge fan of the Celtics and one of my
favorite athletes is Kevin Garnett so the Celtics have always been
there,” said Lacey. “Once Will was drafted it was kind of we’re not
going to become fans because he is there, we really loved everything
that the Red Sox had to offer.
“We grew up all Cowboys fans. We were big fans of Emmitt Smith, the
older Cowboys teams. We were into the Cowboys, but never really had a
huge favorite baseball team that we followed. We liked the Rangers.
“Our Dad played football and baseball in school, so we were brought
up in an athletic household. He has coached for twenty-plus years now,
so we learned from a young age what the sports world can be like and
everything it takes to be successful, and also what you have to deal
with becoming successful and succeeding in everything that we want to
Not being together all the time and their hectic schedules has made
the family cherish the little things including just being able to talk
on the phone and spending time together like this past week when the
family visited the Boston area to watch Will play and visit with Lacey.
“During the school year it is tough because Will is still in season
and I am in college and have softball,” said Lacey. “I don’t have the
time to get away. We are kind of spread out so we appreciate the time
that we have together over the holidays and the little things that are
important like talking on the phone because most of the time we are
texting since that is the easiest thing to do.”
As for the future, Lacey will be graduating from college next spring
and Will has solidified his place as the Red Sox’ everyday third
baseman, but that is not to say the two could not once again be in Red
Sox organization together again.
“I would love, love, love, I don’t think I can explain how much I
would love to stay with the Red Sox,” Lacey said. “I know with time I
could possibly work my way up to a bigger position, but right now I just
want to stay open like I have with this entire opportunity.”