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Ceremonial pitches, and high comedy

Sure, the game had a fantastic ending, but ‘baseball in the groin’ had a baseball in the groin.

St Louis Cardinals v Boston Red Sox Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

The relationship between Boston baseball and the Jimmy Fund go all the way back to the founding of the Fund in 1948, when the Boston Braves helped get the charity off the ground by participating in the organization’s launching.

Since 1953, the Jimmy Fund has partnered with the Red Sox to increase awareness and funding, in a partnership that has been extraordinarily successful and rewarding for both parties. Both the Jimmy Fund and Dana Farber partner with the Red Sox, and the two organizations are inextricably linked. The Red Six raised $4 million just this week alone with a telethon.

In short: donate to Dana Farber and the Jimmy Fund, they are the worthiest of causes and enact a ton of good for sick children everywhere.

Ok, let’s get to the fun and digest what happened at Fenway earlier this week.

As part of this week’s telethon, the Red Sox invited pediatric cancer survivor Jordan Leandre to threw out the first pitch. The stadium was packed and there was a lot of activity on the field, as the Sox were celebrating the 50th anniversary of the ‘Impossible Dream’ team of 1967.

Jordan went the mound, wound up, and….


There’s a lot to digest here. I’ve seen this about 50 times, and I still keep finding something new and hilarious every single time.

First off, the cameraman never saw it coming. He was ready to take a photograph of something fun and special, and for an entirely different reason ended up taking a photograph of something fun and special.

Jordan’s face shows immediate regret via a pained grimace, but you can also see there’s a slight semblance of a grin that’s trying to poke out. I mean, this is classic comedy here.

The young woman in the purple dress is equally funny to watch, as her startled reaction remained frozen, even through obviously hearing the cameraman’s ‘oooof’. She thought she could potentially be in the line of fire, but the curve brought the ball right where it counted. The woman next to her likely exclaimed what everyone else did…”ohhhhhhhhhhhh”, while the little kid standing to her right doesn’t have idea what just happened. He probably still doesn’t. The innocence of childhood.

This is a Normal Rockwell painting for classic slapstick comedy.

The reaction of the celebrated ‘67 team is priceless. Dan Morehead immediately puts his hand over his mouth and turns around, while Bill Landis does something similar while also issuing one hearty old-man-clap. If there was a bent knee next to him, he undoubtedly would have slapped it. Regrettably, we can’t see his face because I’d bet the farm he was cracking up.

Mike Andrews, who was serving as the catcher tried his best to snag the ball, but honestly, that pitch would have missed Wilt Chamberlain. It’s not clear if or when he realized where the ball ended up, but it was a valiant attempt.

The best reaction of all of this however, is Wally the Green Monster. Wally was having a blast; between the old players, and the kids, this is prime-time for him. The hands on the head is really what makes it. In character at all times. Wally is the best.

At the end of it all, we are right to chuckle; even photographer Tony Capobianco took it all in humorous stride tweeting, “...I will never stop laughing at that video”. Tony even managed to take a fantastic snapshot in the process, which.... wow.

Sometimes the most entertaining moments are the batted balls that don't leave the yard.


Steven Martano is an Editor at Beyond the Box Score, a Contributing Prospect Writer for the Colorado Rockies at Purple Row, and a contributing writer for The Hardball Times. You can follow him on Twitter at @SMartano