Prior to the start of the Red Sox and Rays game Thursday night, a young girl was given the opportunity to throw out the first pitch at Tropicana Field, unaware of the surprise that was in store for her.
Alyana Adams, 9, didn't know who she was throwing the first pitch to, expecting the masked man in a Rays uniform to probably be catcher Jose Molina. But it turned out to be her father, Lt. Col. William Adams, who had been deployed in Afghanistan.
The Rays and the United Services Organization set up the surprise reunion, bringing Adams back to town Monday, holed up in a hotel ahead of his Thursday night surprise, according to the Tampa Bay Tribune.
Before the ceremonial pitch, the video screen blared with a message from Alyana's father, telling her "remember, take a deep breath, focus and have fun, baby. Daddy loves you."
Of course, she was shocked to see her father instead of Molina. Dana Adams, her mother, was shocked too. It was a heartfelt moment.
The main contributors to The Buzz are:
- Steve Silva, Boston.com senior sports producer
- Gary Dzen, Boston.com senior sports producer
- Zuri Berry, Boston.com sports producer