I always envisioned my first time going deep over the Green Monster at Fenway Park, smashing a high fly ball as a member of a professional team.
Unfortunately, my hopes of becoming a big leaguer were dashed years ago when I realized that a wooden bat was not my friend.
But things turned around last Sunday. The Jimmy Fund — a fantastic organization that brings so many dreams to life through their charitable donations and events held throughout the year — hosted its annual Fantasy Day at Fenway Park, giving Red Sox fans the opportunity to live the life of a pro for an afternoon.
And this event in particular was a treat for me. I had the opportunity to take batting practice in the same batter's box that Hall of Fame inductee Jim Rice dominated for a 15 years. And surprisingly, I was able to shake off the rust and punch one out of the oldest professional ballpark in the bigs.
I took a little razzing from T.C. and Jim because I stated before the big day that I was shooting for three long balls, but I did make it clear that I would have been happy with one.
Regardless, the biggest winners of the day were the patients who were able to forget their worries and take a few cuts just like the pros. The real highlight of my afternoon was giving the kids high fives as they circled around second base (I had to shag a few at short to see how my range compared to Julio Lugo?s).
I would have to say the next greatest thing was being able to carelessly roam around the most hallowed position in all of baseball — left field at Fenway Park, of course. Anytime an opportunity to go where Ted Williams, Carl Yastrzemski and Jim Rice have been is a dream come true — and that is the mission of the Jimmy Fund. They allow dreams to come true one smile at a time, and on Sunday, the smiles were definitely at a premium.
Keeping in stride with last Sunday's charitable event, the Jimmy Fund is at it again this weekend as it hosts a celebrity Home Run Derby at LeLacheur Park, the home of the Lowell Spinners. This time, I will have the chance to compete against notable New England celebrities, which got me to thinking ? this is a celebrity event, so why am I in this thing?
Either way, I am going to put my best foot forward and make it a day to remember — not only for the fans in attendance, but for the lives that the Jimmy Fund so graciously touches on a routine basis.
Be sure to get a ticket. The event gets underway at 1:00 p.m., so get out there and be a hero.