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IN FULL SWING: Red Sox return to Jet Blue Park, fan keeps a family tradition alive

Posted at 1:12 PM, Feb 29, 2024

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Spring in Southwest Florida means MLB Spring Training, and thousands of people in town go to the games to see their team.

Emily Vinsand goes to watch her team, the Red Sox.

"Every single year, my stepdad would sign me out of school early, and I'd get to go to a game with him, get the ice cream in the Red Sox helmet and just learn all about baseball, his passion for the sport and the Red Sox," Vinsand said.

It all started when she was five years old at the Red Sox green game on St. Patrick’s Day. Her stepdad was Dr. John Bartlett, a Fort Myers pediatrician for more than 40 years.

Vinsand’s mom and Dr. Bartlett's wife Jeannine Lynn said their relationship was special.

"He treated her like his own. It was a special time they had together," Lynn said.

They both described him as selfless dad and doctor.

Lynn said, “He saw so many children over so many years, and yet, he still gave out his home phone number."

Vinsand inherited her love for the Red Sox through her stepdad, and she even wears his hat to the games.

Dr. Bartlett’s love for the Red Sox started at a young age too. Lynn says he grew up wanting to be Red Sox player.

Vinsand was 18 years old at the last game she saw with her stepdad before he passed away in 2016. Now, she's 27 years old and carries on their tradition.

"I think it's a really priceless memory that we had, and I definitely make it a point every year to go back. Just think of him and go for him,” Vinsand said.

She hopes one day when she has kids, she can pass down the tradition.

"I'll always be a Red Sox fan because of him," Vinsand said.