While it wasn’t a Ubaldo Jimenez or Stephen Strasburg fastball in terms of velocity, the ceremonial pitch Noreen Mohler fired at Fenway Park prior to the May 27 Boston Red Sox/Kansas City Royals found the target.
“I didn’t bounce it into the ground and it went right into the glove with a little pop to it,” said the 2010 USA Curtis Cup captain.
Mohler laughed when asked if she hit 85 mph on the radar gun. The important thing is she won’t end up on any blooper video. Mohler spent a few days practicing the toss with husband, Jeff, to ensure that the ball would find its intended target.
The opportunity to throw out a ceremonial first pitch came from Curtis Cup General Chairman Bill Van Faasen. Mohler grew up in the Boston suburb of Woburn and the 2010 Match is being contested at Essex County Club in Manchester-by-the-Sea June 11-13.
Unfortunately, Mohler was unable to have Boston catcher and captain Jason Varitek receive the pitch. Players don’t take part in the ceremony, so Mohler threw to one of the team’s ambassadors.
“I got to see [the players],” said Mohler, adding that she didn’t get to meet them. “I was about 15 feet from them. But they don’t let you near them.”
Mohler and her family spent the game – a 4-3 Royals victory – as guests of Van Faasen in his company’s box, where they enjoyed all the fixings expected of a suite. “The bar doesn’t close in the seventh inning like it does [in the regular part of the park],” said Mohler.
The game concluded a wonderful five days in Boston for Mohler, where seven of the eight team members – Jennifer Song had a prior commitment in Korea – took part in an informal practice session at Essex County Club. It was a chance for players to bond and for Mohler to try various combinations for foursomes (alternate shot).
“They are all horses, so they are all ready to run,” said Mohler. “Getting the chance to play with them, they are just so good. And they are wonderful ladies. There are no attitudes on that team.”
The team officially arrives for the 2010 Match on June 6 and the opening ceremonies are June 10.