SOX SPIRIT: Red Sox players and coaches, from left, Bogar, seated, and Magadan, Johnson, Reddick, Lowrie and Wally the Green Monster visit with MGHfC patient Lataeya Green, age 8.
As the Boston Red Sox were making waves at Fenway Park with their off-season trades and signings, a few members of the team found time Dec. 9 to bring holiday cheer and smiles to the pediatric patients at MassGeneral Hospital for Children (MGHfC).
Red Sox shortstop Jed Lowrie, outfielder Josh Reddick, hitting coach Dave Magadan, first base coach Ron Johnson and third base coach Tim Bogar stopped by the pediatric floors on Ellison 17 and 18, accompanied by team mascot Wally the Green Monster. MGHfC Child Life Specialists Sacha Field, MS, CCLS, and Anne Bouchard Pizzano, MS, CCLS, helped arrange the visit.
"The kids were so excited to meet the players and coaches," says Field. "I have never seen so many patients up and ready to go before 10 am, especially the teens!"
The members of the Red Sox visited children in the playrooms on both floors, handing out Sox souvenirs such as Wally dolls, calendars, magazines, stickers and other collectibles. They also posed for photographs and participated in activities with the patients, such as coloring and reading.
"We are blessed to be in the game of baseball," says Johnson. "To be able to bring a little bit of joy over from Fenway and to see those smiles on the faces of these kids during the holidays is really heartwarming."
The group from the Red Sox also donned precaution gowns and visited patient rooms to see children who were unable to visit the play areas.
"The Red Sox players, coaches and staff were so kind and down-to-earth," says Pizzano. "Some of the patients were nervous to meet the players, but they were immediately put at ease when the Sox started talking to them about everyday things."
"Visits like these help break up the monotony of the routine for kids that are hospitalized," adds Field. "We genuinely appreciate all the donations and outpourings of love that happen here every holiday season."