April 25, 2012
On April 14, 2012, lifelong Red Sox fan and Harvard Law School grad Bill Hogan, Jr. ’36 celebrated his 100th birthday by throwing out the ceremonial first pitch for the Red Sox-Rays game at Fenway Park. Hogan, born just six days before the Red Sox played their first game in Fenway, was part of the centennial celebration leading up to Fenway Park’s 100th anniversary on April 20.
Hogan was cheered on by Fenway fans and three generations of his family, including his grandson Austin O’Connor who wrote about his grandfather’s experience for AARP. O’Connor wrote, “He’s been training for a year. But when it’s over, it’s back to life. His social calendar is busier than mine, and probably yours — there are poker games, bridge nights, lunches and dinners with pals. Last week, he did a five-minute standup routine at a comedy improv night. He says he killed.”
Also part of the centennial celebration on April 14 were HLS staff members Ben Sears, Brad Connor and Joei Marshall Perry. Sears and Connor, who have been performing as a cabaret duo for more than 20 years, performed the National Anthem. The duo invited Perry and the cast of “Fabulous Fenway,” a concert celebrating Fenway Park in story and song, to join them.
“For someone who is a lifelong Bostonian and Sox fan it was an overwhelming experience to be on the infield grass singing the national anthem!” remarked Sears. “To top it off, they were saluting Johnny Pesky on the 70th anniversary of his first game and we got to shake hands with a true Red Sox legend.”
On April 11, Sears and Connor performed an abridged version of the “Fabulous Fenway” show at Brookhaven, at an assisted living facility in Lexington, MA. “The activities director told us that one of their residents was throwing out the first ball on Saturday and we said we’d be there, too.” said Brad. “We didn’t know he was an HLS alum until Saturday when they announced it in his introduction.”
Watch the video of Bill Hogan at Fenway Park.
See a Jan. 30 profile of the Ben & Brad duo published on Harvard’s Office for the Arts website.