BOSTON -- The pomp and circumstance for Opening Night at Fenway Park was pretty impressive.
It started with an F-16 fly over and it ended with Red Sox legend Johnny Pesky kicking off the 2010 season with the familiar, “Play Ball!”
Everything in between was done in typical Red Sox style, with Pedro Martinez throwing out the ceremonial first pitch. The former Red Sox ace emerged from behind an American flag covering nearly the Green Monster and walked toward the mound as he was greeted by cheering fans. Martinez drew some boos when he shook hands with Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez on his way to the mound.
Martinez had some fun, pretending to call off Sox catcher Jason Varitek before he tossed his pitch (high and inside). The former battery mates hugged, then Martinez embraced the 90-year-old Pesky behind home plate.
Then it was Joshua Sacco’s turn.
The 5-year-old became an internet sensation for his portrayal of Herb Brooks’ “Miracle” speech. Sacco re-enacted Brooks famous speech at home plate.
During pregame player introductions, the Yankees’ Mariano Rivera was cheered and Rodriguez was booed. Red Sox infielder Mike Lowell received the loudest ovation and tipped his cap to the fans in appreciation. Lowell’s future has been a hot topic in recent weeks as he lost his starting job at third base when the Red Sox signed Adrian Beltre.
The Red Sox also set off fireworks during the pregame ceremonies.
The 38-year-old Martinez is a free agent after pitching last year for the Philadelphia Phillies, who signed him July 15. He was 5-1 with a 3.63 ERA in the regular season.
His last appearance came in the sixth and final game of the World Series, a 7-3 win by the Yankees that clinched their 27th championship. Martinez, who also lost Game 2 despite a solid performance, gave up four runs over four innings in the finale.
In the last of his seven seasons with the Red Sox in 2004, he was part of the team that won the club's first championship since 1918. From 1998 through 2004, the right-hander was 117-37 with a 2.52 ERA and two AL Cy Young Awards with Boston.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.