By Madison Butkus
Hometown Weekly Reporter
Spring has officially sprung! Which means that baseball is back in action. To celebrate, the Walpole Council on Aging recently hosted a “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” event which proved to be a huge success. Seniors had the luxury of eating hot dogs, popcorn, Cracker Jacks, and ice cream sandwiches from the ‘concession stand’ while listening to Walpole’s Bullpen Cop, Steve Horgan, talk about his sudden rise to fame.
The Murphy Room was packed with Red Sox fanatics, some dressed in their favorite player’s jerseys. Ironically enough, Horgan himself was wearing a custom jersey, with his name and the number 33 on the back, which was given to him by the Red Sox themselves on his last night working at Fenway Park. When asked what the significance of number 33 was, Horgan responded, “This is an official Red Sox jersey. I did 33 years as a police officer in Boston. Jason Veritek was my favorite player, he used number 33. And Zdeno Chara was 33 for the Boston Bruins. So I have something in common, and they have something in common with me.”
The infamous photo of Horgan depicts him raising his arms in celebration while Detroit Tigers player, Torii Hunter, fell over the bullpen in an attempt to catch a grand slam hit by Daivd Ortiz back in 2013. The photo quickly went viral, and due to this, seniors at the COA sat in awe as Horgan explained how his life changed thereafter. From meeting Big Papi to Rob Gronkowski, Horgan was thrilled to have the sudden fame that he did and was the first to admit how happy it made him.
While taking questions towards the end of his presentation, one senior wanted to know why, in the photo, one of Horgan’s hands was closed while the other was open. Horgan laughed and explained, “So, as you can see my left hand is closed. I was eating salt and pepper pumpkin seeds. Now, I didn’t want to drop them. I don’t know why. Because they have hundreds and thousands of packages at Fenway Park. But I didn’t want to drop them and the photographer was so good, you can see some of them falling out of my hand. So, Dan Shaughnessy talked to me the other day and said it would be a trivia question some day. So I just gave you guys all the answer.”
To end this fun-filled event, student volunteers from Blessed Sacrament held a trivia game filled with all sorts of baseball questions. Whoever answered these questions correctly was rewarded with a prize of candy within a mini baseball hat.