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What they were thinking

What they were thinking: Former Red Sox conduct Pops

Stan Grossfeld/Globe Staff

Every Sunday, Boston Globe photographer Stan Grossfeld asks the subject of one of his photos to explain what's happening in the shot.

Who's up today: Former Red Sox pitchers Luis Tiant and Jim Lonborg conducted the Boston Pops during Red Sox Night, part of the Pops City of Champions series, at Symphony Hall, on May 25.

Tiant: “The conductor [Keith Lockhart] was nice to us, telling us what to do, and making it easy for us. I told him to play a salsa tune, but he said, ‘No, no, no.’ As a kid [in Cuba], I played the bongos, but I never thought I’d be at the head of the symphony playing a tune. That’s a great feeling. You try the best you can. Like he said, ‘Just go out there and feel like you’re home.’ ’’

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Lonborg: “Luis, you better ice down that arm.’’

Tiant (laughing): “I know. I thought it was going to be different. The stick felt a little too light for me. Maybe it’s like throwing a changeup, but I enjoyed it. I heard the song before. I became a citizen in ’69. It’s about pride. America has been good to me and the people have been good to me, especially in Massachusetts, people have been great.

“They gave me the baton. I’m going to keep it as a souvenir. The cigar? I thought about bringing it, but nah, they don’t let you [smoke].’’

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