The first pitch at the Boston Red Sox’ game against the Cardinals at Fenway Park last Wednesday may well go down in Twitter history! The wild pitch, thrown by fan Jordan Leandre, evaded capture and landed literally below the belt of photographer Tony Capobianco. Jordan, who is well known at Fenway Park after having sung the pre-game National Anthem in 2007 while suffering from a rare type of bone cancer, threw a pitch that went high and right.
The wild pitch left 1967 “Impossible Dream” team member Mike Andrews, who was playing as honorary catcher, grasping at thin air. The ball struck Capobianco, who was standing behind home base, square in the noots, but not before he snapped a photo of the ball heading his way. Laughing the incident off, Capobianco immediately took to Twitter. Despite not breaking the internet, the moment was caught on camera and shared by Red Sox beat reporter Chris Mason, which set Leandre and Capobianco off on a hilarious back-and-forth.
Leandre was embarrassed to admit that he now plays as a first baseman/pitcher in his hometown! A survivor of Ewing’s sarcoma, a cancer that affected his right leg, Leandre inspired and melted the hearts of the Fenway Park crowd ten years ago when he rounded the bases after singing the National Anthem, despite only being cleared to walk. He was selected to play last August in the Abbot Financial Management Old Time Baseball Game at St. Peter’s Field alongside former Red Sox infielder Lou Merloni.
Although the pitch was unfortunate, it was anything but so for Tony Capobianco, who has now become something of a local celebrity. The photographer got to throw his own first pitch on Sunday 20th August at the New Hampshire Fisher Cats’ game, pitching “a perfect strike” in the process! Leandre’s pitch worked in the Red Sox’s favor, too. Starting the season with odds of 10-1 to win the 2017 World Series, the team has jumped to odds of 6-1 after winning 2 straight over the St. Louis Cardinals in the interleague play at home. Since the start of August, the Red Sox have scored 14 victories on the field in 17 games, including wins over the White Sox and the Rays.
The Boston team was also triumphant in the first and second meetings of a 3-game series against long-term rivals The New York Yankees. Before their latest meeting, played on Sunday 20th August, the team honored former second baseman, Jerry Remy, for his 30-year career in broadcasting. Remy has been diagnosed with cancer for the fifth time and begins chemotherapy treatment this week. He was no doubt overjoyed by his team’s 5-1 win, aided by centerfielder Jackie Bradley, Jr.
As a result of Sunday’s victory, the Boston Red Sox have moved five up in the AL East. The third meeting with their New York archrivals will take place in early September for a series of 4 games at the Yankees’ home stadium. The Red Sox are currently engaged in a 4-game series against the Cleveland Indians and are at equal footing with 1 win apiece.