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World champ Victorino savors the moment


In the midst of the Boston Red Sox’s World Series celebration last week, Shane Victorino elected to step away from the spotlight on his biggest night.

A Las Vegas resident for almost a decade, Victorino added his name to the ledger of Boston’s big-game heroes with two bases-loaded hits, driving in four runs in the Sox’s 6-1 Game 6 clincher against St. Louis.

The Boston Globe reported Victorino “stood to the side, toward right field, and embraced a large contingent of family members” and walked hand-in-hand with two children “as if Fenway were more of a family picnic.”

He apologized to the waiting media, saying “sorry, guys, sorry. ... I am just going to enjoy the moment.”

Victorino put his family first on what was likely the biggest game in a career filled with many detours.

Victorino joined the Las Vegas 51s when he was with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Early in the 2004 season with the 51s, he met Melissa Smith, whose son was among Little Leaguers invited to run onto Cashman Field with the Triple-A team.

They started dating and bought a Summerlin home together in 2005. They got married Nov. 14, 2009. She played basketball for UNLV and worked as Ultimate Fighting Championship co-owner Lorenzo Fertitta’s executive assistant.

During his breakout years with the Philadelphia Phillies, Victorino got involved in community work.

In 2010, he won the Phillies’ Roberto Clemente Award for giving back to his community, and the Philadelphia Sports Writers Association presented him the Humanitarian Award for his work with underprivileged kids.

In 2011, he won the Branch Rickey Award, which recognizes someone in Major League Baseball for exceptional community service.

He embraced Las Vegas as well. He’s been hosting U.S. Marine Corps Toys for Tots drives for years.

Then there’s this: The Victorinos continued their involvement with the Boys and Girls Clubs after leaving Philadelphia.

MAKING A DIFFERENCE

Zappos’ CEO Tony Hsieh delivers his “ROI and ROC” speech Tuesday at The Smith Center for the Performing Arts. The acronyms stand for return on investment and return on community.

The Q&A should be quite informative a week after the inaugural Life Is Beautiful festival downtown. Hsieh has allocated $350 million for revitalization through the Downtown Project.

In an email, Hsieh told me the festival feedback was “overwhelmingly positive. The Culinary Village was a big hit.’’

“For a first-year festival, I was really happy with the outcome. Can’t wait until next year!” More trash cans will be added and shading during the day, he said. ...

The inaugural fundraiser for the Las Vegas Academy raised $130,000 on Monday at the Rio. A painting of the “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” sign by New York artist Domingo Zapata fetched $50,000, the single largest contribution. The winning bid was by a patron of the arts who prefers to remain anonymous, according to Anita Ward, the school’s publicity director. Stratosphere headliner Frankie Moreno hosted the evening. ...

When Noah’s Animal House, a veterinary and boarding sanctuary, posted on Facebook this past week that they needed kitty litter, an angel responded. Luxor headliner Criss Angel had an entire palette delivered.

THE SCENE AND HEARD

Lacey Schwimmer, who helped choreograph “Pin Up” at the Stratosphere after a six-year run with “Dancing with the Stars,” was aboard a plane Friday during the fatal shooting at Los Angeles International Airport. She performed in the short-lived “Dancing with the Stars: Live in Las Vegas” in 2012. ...

Funeral arrangements have been set for Las Vegas restaurateur Marcel Taylor, who died Wednesday. Viewing will be Wednesday at the Palm Mortuary on Eastern Avenue from 3-7 p.m. Services will be at 10:30 a.m. Thursday at Our Lady of Las Vegas Catholic Church, 3050 Alta Drive. Taylor, who operated two local Ruth’s Chris Steakhouses and another in Denver, was 74.

SIGHTINGS

Nicolas Cage, Carrot Top and Vince Neil, celebrating Halloween at La Comida on Thursday.

THE PUNCH LINE

“Dr. Conrad Murray wants his license back. I mean, honest to God, that’s like giving a Kardashian a marriage license.” — David Letterman

Norm Clarke’s column appears Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Reach him at 702-383-0244 or norm@reviewjournal.com. Find more at normclarke.com. Follow @Norm_Clarke on Twitter.