The eyes of the baseball world will be focused on Fenway Park Sunday evening. It’s Red Sox vs. Yankees, for the final time in the regular season, and on national television to boot. Both teams are battling down to the wire to qualify for a wild card spot in the playoffs.
And who gets to formally introduce this sports milestone? The honor guard from the Bedford Fire Department.
The seven-member contingent is ready to present the colors in the outfield Sunday shortly before the first pitch, which is scheduled for 7:08 p.m. And although the ceremonies don’t always make the cut on the TV broadcast, there will be more than 30,000 viewers in the stands.
Participating will be Lieutenants Mark Casey and John Perry and Firefighters Mark Daly, Dave Dillen, Evan Loreth, Sam Panzeri, and Chris Snowdon.
Loreth observed that the honor guard has long been a “point of pride” for the department. There’s a core group of regulars and other firefighters who fill in when there are parades and ceremonies on the agenda, he said.
Fenway Park is a first for the Bedford Fire Department, Loreth said. The honor guard presented the colors at a Boston Bruins game near the end of the 2019 season.
How did the town’s firefighters land this assignment? “A lot of networking,” Loreth replied. “The sports teams honor a lot of the departments in the area. Knowing the right people helps you get invited to present the colors.”
The honor guard will rehearse the precise choreography at the firehouse and arrive at the ballpark a few minutes before 6 p.m. for final instructions. The honor guard will remain in formation until the end of “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
The firefighter noted that members of the Boston Fire Department presented colors at a game a couple of weeks ago and shared some tips with their friends in the Bedford cohort.
The honor guard uniforms radiate unity and dignity, right down to their white gloves and customized helmets with a Bedford Flag motif. The firefighters will present the flags of the United States, the Commonwealth, and the Bedford Fire Department.
Loreth said the Bedford entourage of firefighters, family members, and other guests totals 24, and they’ll be watching the game together—although they had to pay for the tickets. “We’re just happy to be there,” Loreth said.
Mike Rosenberg can be reached at email@example.com, or 781-983-1763