The Red Sox invited seven Winter Olympians to throw out first pitches before the home opener at Fenway Park on Thursday. But they found a role for David Ortiz, too.
Four members of the gold medal-winning women’s hockey team took part in the ceremony: Kacey Bellamy (Westfield), Brianna Decker (Boston Pride), Meghan Duggan (Danvers), and Amanda Pelkey (Montpelier, Vt.).
Luge silver medalist Chris Mazdzer of Pittsfield and Paralympians Jake Adicoff and Dan Cnossen also took part.
Cnossen won gold in the biathlon. As a Navy SEAL, he lost both legs fighting in Afghanistan.
After the first pitches were thrown, Ortiz was introduced to a loud ovation from the chilled crowd. Gymnastics gold medalist Aly Raisman joined Ortiz to say, “Play ball.”
Ortiz tore off his Sox jersey to reveal a black T-shirt with “Girl Power” across the front.
When the players from both teams were introduced, new Sox manager Alex Cora received a loud cheer, as did Dustin Pedroia, who is on the disabled list.
There was a moment of silence for 10 former Red Sox players who died during the offseason. There also was special recognition paid to Hall of Famer Bobby Doerr, who passed away in November. A wreath was placed around his retired No. 1 in right field.
A unit from Hanscom Air Force Base presented the colors before R&B artist Ruth Pointer of The Pointer Sisters sang the national anthem.
Four F-16 Fighting Falcons from the 134th Fighter Squadron of the Vermont Air National Guard soared over Fenway as the anthem finished.