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On Sunday, April 30, Needham Baseball & Softball celebrated its opening day with a parade and festivities.
And they got some special help from a uniquely qualified individual.
Boston Red Sox DH/1B Hanley Ramirez, fresh off from hitting a mammoth, 463-foot home run less than 24 hours before, was in Needham to share the joy of America’s pastime with the youth of the town. Ramirez briefly addressed the crowd and threw out the first pitch, sending Needham Sox fans into a frenzy.
Ramirez’ appearance only seemed to underscore the carnival atmosphere of the morning, which included an appearance from Wally the Green Monster, a “dunk the ump” dunk tank, raffles, face painting, and baseball-themed activities including speed pitch and MLB’s Pitch Hit & Run competition.
Given his performance in Sunday night’s tilt against the Chicago Cubs, Hanley might want to consider spending more time in Needham. He followed his morning with the Rockets by going 1-3 with a rocket of his own - a towering home run off of Cubs starter Kyle Hendricks. Coincidence? Needham thinks not.