It was a perfect spring day and every living Red Sox players and manager had been invited. There was Carl Yastrzemski, Luis Tiant, Pedro Martinez, Mo Vaughn, Pumpsie Green, Bill Lee, Kevin Millar, Tim Wakefield, Jason Varitek, Dave Roberts, Jim Lonborg, Rico Petrocelli, Jim Rice, Dwight Evans, Carlton Fisk, Frank Malzone, Billy Rorer, Billy Conigliaro and more! Wake and Varitek pushed the wheelchairs of 92-year-old Johnny Pesky and 94-year-old Bobby Doerr, the oldest living Hall-Of-Famer. Composer John Williams unveiled his stirring new ode to Fenway Park and Caroline Kennedy threw out the first pitch as her great-grandfather Honey Fitz Fitzgerald, Mayor of Boston, did in 1912. There was a flyover of modern jets and a World War II plane.
Very emotional day. To see all those players and to think of the happy times spent at the park with our parents and grandparents...truly a wonderful day.
Tito Francona got a huge ovation. Not bad for a manager booted out the door last year. :) A record for the Guiness Book of World Records was set as everyone was given a can of Welch's grape juice and toasted the park, setting the record for world's largest toast. ;)
I do wish that Ted Williams was still alive but he did get a wonderful tribute at Fenway before the 1999 All-Star Game. He was one of my dad's heroes and not only served in World War II but was a fighter pilot in Korea, losing five years of his prime to serve his country. He still hit 521 home runs. And the red seat in Fenway shows the time he hit a home run over 500 feet (though some people think that it isn't true, but the guy sitting in that seat ended up with the baseball through his straw hat!). :)
Unfortunately, the Yankees won 6-2, but the uniforms were gorgeous. They were throwbacks to 1912, natch. :)
Fenway is a jewel! :)