Friday, April 17, 2009

Something you don't see every day

Something of a surreal scene from the hallway behind the Fenway Park press box:

A gray-haired black man emerged from the NESN booth just as a gray-haired white man was about to go back into the MASN booth.

The white man was Jim Palmer, one of the greatest lefthanded pitchers in baseball history and now a broadcaster for the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network. The black man was Pumpsie Green, the first black player in the history of the Red Sox; he'd had been honored before the game and thrown out the ceremonial first pitch and then spent the fourth inning on the air with Don Orsillo and Jerry Remy.

"Is that Pumpsie Green?"


"Jim Palmer."

(The two shook hands.)

"I didn't get to see your toss," Palmer said. "How was it? You still got it?"

(Green, to put it gently, had thrown a ground ball. David Ortiz had scooped it up about six feet in front of the plate. To be fair, though, Green is 75 years old.)

The former infielder didn't miss a beat: "Nope."

"Me, either," Palmer said with a big grin.

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