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Fenway Honors Gittleman

Fenway Honors GittlemanDie-hard baseball fan and former Tufts provost Sol Gittleman threw out the ceremonial first pitch - a strike - to start Thursday's Red Sox game.

Boston [08.23.02] While Red Sox ace Pedro Martinez didn't make his scheduled appearance at Fenway against the Texas Rangers on Thursday, one of Tufts' top aces did. Professor and former Provost Sol Gittleman took the mound in front of thousands, including a large audience of alumni, to throw out the first pitch - which, by all accounts, was a strike.

"It was a thrilling evening, I've got to tell you," Gittleman said, reflecting on the experience. [Watch video of Gittleman's pitch]

It was a night he spent a lot of time thinking about.

"I was told about two weeks ago that I would be throwing out the first ball," Gittleman said. "For two weeks I worried about my rotater cuff and whether I could reach the catcher: I did. It was Lou Merloni, who said I hurt his hand."

But having his children and grandchildren on the field with him, Gittleman said, was the evening's biggest thrill.

Ranking a close second was the reception he got from fans in the stands, as he made his way off the field.

"As I walked up from the field, I must have met a dozen Tufts people who came down from their seats, yelling 'Hey Professor Gittleman!' and 'Where's Mrs. Gittleman? I taught in the Experimental College!" he said.

Gittleman was also greeted by a roar from 60 alumni from the Boston Tufts Alliance, who were also on hand for the Red Sox game.

Before his debut at Fenway, the Tufts professor and his family had dinner at the ballpark's "600 Club."

"[1989 Tufts graduate] Tony Massarotti, who writes for The Boston Herald, came by when we were dining and spent an hour with us," Gittleman said. "He is the best baseball writer in Boston."

Tufts President Lawrence S. Bacow, as well as Trustees Nathan Gantcher and Jim Stern, were at Fenway to cheer on Gittleman and the Red Sox, reported The Boston Globe.

Photos courtesy the Boston Red Sox

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