Jamaica Plain's Reagan Youth League U16 softball team are now recipients of a unique honor that most Bostonians spend their whole lives only dreaming about: Fenway Park Field Access. As part of the Bullpen Buddies charity initiative, sponsored by IBEW Local 103 and NECA, the young women athletes from the community youth organization, ages 14-16, stood on the field of the oldest, most beloved Major League ballpark in America and cheered on the Red Sox during their batting practice.
The young women's softball team placed second overall in this year's Mayor's Cup Softball Tournament after East Boston. Throughout the Red Sox batting practice, the Reagan League U16 athletes and their coaches, Jenny Huezo-Rosales and Harry Smith, were greeted at the bullpen by some home-town heroes: players of the Boston Red Sox. After getting autographs from Bogaerts, Betts, Martinez and more, the U16 athletes then stayed to watch their new friends match up against the Miami Marlins, together enjoying America's favorite pastime in America's favorite park. IBEW Local 103 and NECA also provided each of the young women with IBEW Local 103 t-shirts, Red Sox hats, a baseball, and other Red Sox merchandise in a complimentary swag bag as part of the experience. "Bullpen Buddies is a really special initiative, and we're proud to play a part in making such a positive, lasting memory for local youth," said Lou Antonellis, Business Manager of IBEW Local 103. "That's what this partnership with the Sox is all about: working together for our community." The members of IBEW Local 103 and NECA have been servicing Fenway Park for over 100 years.
Now, IBEW Local 103 members, along with the union contractors of NECA, have forged a broader partnership with the Boston Red Sox that will help power a number of key charitable initiatives. In addition to Bullpen Buddies, these initiatives include the recent Baseball Tomorrow Fund Equipment Drive and an expansion of the "Helmets to Hardhats" program that helps returning military service veterans find rewarding, family- sustaining careers in the construction trade industry."There really isn't a better reward for the hard work these young women put into this season than to meet some of their favorite players and role models on the field at Fenway Park" said Reagan Youth League U16 coach, Harry Smith. "We can't thank IBEW and NECA enough for choosing our organization for what was really a special experience for our team."