’67 Sox, Connick, Jr. at Fenway opener

It sounds like Opening Day in Boston will start a little better than the opener in Kansas City ended yesterday. The Red Sox announced today that the ’67 “Impossible Dream” team and Harry Connick Jr. will kick off the Fenway festivities next Tuesday.

The “Impossible Dream” team, a group of players that captured a generation and defied all expectations by winning the AL pennant 40 years ago, will be honored prior to the home opener, when the Red Sox host the Seattle Mariners in a 2:05 p.m. start.

According to a team press release, more than 20 members of the ’67 club that rose from ninth place the season prior to Boston’s first pennant in 21 years will be introduced on the field and participate in the first-pitch ceremony at Fenway Park.


Among those scheduled to return from the ’67 squad are Dick Williams, the AL manager of the year in his first season at the helm, and left fielder Carl Yastrzemski, who produced baseball’s last triple-crown performance en route to becoming the AL’s MVP.

Singer Harry Connick Jr. will highlight the Opening Day festivities by performing “America the Beautiful.”

Opening Day at Fenway will also feature a flyover presented by The Green Mountain Boys of the 158th Fighter Wing from the Vermont Air National Guard.

Red Sox legend Johnny Pesky, who is celebrating his 55th year with the club, will conclude the opening ceremonies by declaring it’s time to “play ball!” Pesky will have to leave the Red Sox dugout during games this season because of a major league rule that limits the number of coaches allowed in uniform.

Members of the 1967 Red Sox scheduled to participate in Opening Day ceremonies (as of April 3 — list is subject to change):

— Manager Dick Williams
— Catcher Jerry Moses
— Infielder Mike Andrews
— Pitcher Dan Osinski
— Pitcher Gary Bell
— Infielder Rico Petrocelli
— Pitcher Dennis Bennett
— Pitcher Billy Rohr
— Pitcher Darrell Brandon
— Catcher Mike Ryan
— Pitcher Galen Cisco
— Pitcher Jose Santiago
— Catcher Russ Gibson
— Outfielder Reggie Smith
— Outfielder Ken Harrelson
— Pitcher Lee Stange
— Infielder Dalton Jones
— Outfielder George Thomas
— Pitcher Bill Landis
— Pitcher Gary Waslewski
— Pitcher Jim Lonborg*
— Outfielder Carl Yastrzemski
— Pitcher Dave Morehead


According to the Red Sox, many members of the 1967 team are also expected to attend the 2007 Red Sox welcome home dinner at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center on Tuesday night after the home opener. The dinner, which benefits the Red Sox Foundation, will also include appearances by players, coaches, and management of the 2007 Red Sox and will be highlighted with a performance by the country western band Lonestar. To purchase tickets or receive more information, call 617-226-6002 or e-mail foundation@redsox.com.

* – Unable to participate in opening day ceremonies due to previous commitments; but will attend dinner.

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