There are the kind of friends who take you to a baseball game, and then there are the kind of friends who surprise you with the opportunity to throw the ceremonial first pitch at Fenway Park.
The latter was true for Dave Turcotte, a 52-year-old Boston Red Sox fan from Lewiston, Maine who has multiple sclerosis. His good friend, Dan Cunliffe II, surprised him five years ago with Game 6 playoff tickets. Little did he know, Cunliffe had more tricks up his sleeve.
Cunliffe saved up Major League Baseball Extra Bases credit card reward points when he saw the Red Sox first pitch experience was being offered online because he knew he wanted to present his buddy with the gift of a lifetime.
After all, Turcotte was no stranger to the mound. He was an all-star pitcher in high school, but his baseball career came to an end when he was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in college.
So, back in April, when Cunliffe surprised Turcotte with the opportunity to take the mound at Fenway before the Red Sox faced the Minnesota Twins on July 27, Turcotte was thrilled beyond measure. And, he got to work immediately firing up that arm again.
“It’s been 34 years since I’ve thrown a ball 60 feet, 6 inches [the distance from the pitcher’s mound to home plate],” Turcotte told the Sun Journal. “I was very happy, of course. I was surprised, but he’s so generous.”
As for why, Cunliffe went the extra mile for his longtime friend?
“He’s very positive. Never a sourpuss, never down, just Mr. Positive,” Cunliffe said.
Based on the pictures, it looks like Turcotte had an amazing time on the field of the legendary ballpark. And, the Red Sox won 4-3 to remain the best team in Major League Baseball.
Congratulations to Mainer Dave Turcotte who successfully threw out last nights 1st pitch at Fenway! He even got to meet our good friend NESN’s Tom Caron!!! pic.twitter.com/fYjkIJ9qkc
— Dave Eid (@DaveEidWGME) July 28, 2018
Turcotte may have had his career cut short, but thanks to Cunliffe and a deep-rooted passion for the Red Sox, baseball will continue to flow throw Turcotte’s veins.