At Friday night’s opening day ceremonies at McCoy Stadium, three teens from Pawtucket Schools played big roles in the Pawtucket Red Sox pre-game festivities. Mikhail Algoo, an 8th grade student at Slater Middle School and Anthony Martin, an 8th grade student at Pawtucket Learning Academy, were joined on the mound by Pawtucket Mayor Donald R. Grebien and Pawtucket Police Captain Michael Newman to deliver the ceremonial first pitch of the 2016 baseball season.
Algoo, an honor student Slater Middle School, has been an exemplary student and athlete at Slater, and Martin, a leader in the classroom at Pawtucket Learning Academy, were able to spend time on the field during the PawSox pre-game routine prior to tossing the first pitches to PawSox Manager Kevin Boles and Hitting Coach Rich Gedman. After the first pitches were delivered, both teens and their families enjoyed the home-opener from the confines of the owner’s box with Larry Lucchino and other PawSox executives. Another key participant in the pre-game ceremony was Kaya Giroux, a sophomore at the Jacqueline M. Walsh School for the Performing and Visual Arts, who delivered a spectacular rendition of the National Anthem.
“It was really touching to see some of our local students get to experience opening day in this way,” said Mayor Grebien. “I’ve been able to take part in opening day for a few years now and I think this is an experience that they will remember for a long time. I want to thank the PawSox for reaching out to the community and providing the kids with that memory,” continued Grebien. Captain Newman of the Neighborhood Response Unit (NRU) shared that sentiment with the Mayor. “We see these kids working hard every day and we wanted to be able to reward their efforts by doing something special for them to show them that their hard work isn’t going unnoticed,” stated Captain Newman.
The City is looking forward to more opportunities to highlight the efforts of outstanding members of the Pawtucket community with the PawSox and the team appears to be more than willing to oblige. "We recognize the opportunity we have to use the power of baseball to shine the spotlight on members of our community," said PawSox President Dr. Charles Steinberg. "If we can fortify the self-esteem of our young people, then we enhance baseball's role as a social institution. It is a privilege to do so."
- Mayor Donald R. Grebien