94 years young, Rose Kachadorian is ready to play ball
Rose Kachadorian of Concord doesn’t know how her arm will feel, or where the catcher will position himself when she throws out the first pitch on New Hampshire Day today at Fenway Park.
One thing she knows, though, is she’s not nervous, nor will she be come game time.
At 94 years old, nothing much fazes Kachadorian anymore.
“No, no, I’ve been to Fenway many times,” Kachadorian said. “I’ve been a friend to the park for many, many years. Way back to the ’40s I was going to Fenway Park.”
She’ll be there for the finale of Boston’s holiday weekend series against the Cleveland Indians, led by manager and fan favorite Terry Francona, who led the Red Sox to two World Series championships.
Abby DeCiccio of the Red Sox’s media relations department said via email that Kachadorian was chosen through a “collaborative process to find a longtime, loyal season ticket holder from each New England state and honor them on state days in this way.”
Kachadorian says she doesn’t know who submitted her name for consideration, adding that she’s long dreamed of throwing out the first pitch at a Red Sox game. She has autographed pictures of outfielders Ted Williams and Dwight Evans, two of the most talented and popular players in team history.
Kachadorian, who worked at Rumford Press for 46 years and never married, learned the game’s nuances and history from her five brothers, who played sandlot ball at White Park, home of the long-standing Sunset League.
“We all were interested in baseball, and that’s how I got started,” Kachadorian said. “I had to get involved with the boys. I had to learn the terminology, to know what I was talking about or whatever came about so I could ask a question. That’s a long time ago.”
So long, in fact, that Kachadorian remembers watching Williams, her favorite player and baseball’s last .400 hitter, at Fenway Park during the 1950s. She says she saw him at other places as well.
“I met him a lot of times at baseball dinners that I used to go to,” Kachadorian said. “Wherever they had a baseball dinner and wherever they had athletes from the Red Sox for the guest speakers, I would go.”
Nowadays, Kachadorian says her favorite player is recently retired pitcher Tim Wakefield, known for his knuckleball and community-minded spirit. In fact, during one of her trips to watch the Red Sox at spring training, she coaxed a friend to drive her by Wakefield’s Florida home.
“He has a beautiful place,” Kachadorian said. “He’s a gentleman all the way through. I’m going to see if I can get a ball out of him.”
Her chance comes today, sometime before the real first pitch, at 1:35 p.m. Kachadorian, who once played in a local softball league, says she’s not sure how hard she’ll throw when the big moment arrives.
“I haven’t tested my arm because we have no more leagues,” she said. “It’s a long way to home plate. This will be a new wrinkle for me.”