Promotion winners take mound
Presented by F.W. Webb, First Pitch Sweepstakes a success
BOSTON -- When the trade deadline passed with not so much as a peep from the Red Sox, the buzz in Boston on Monday night surrounded the first pitch of David Wells, making his first start since May 26, against the Cleveland Indians.
However, the big southpaw would have to wait his turn, as two right-handers took the mound before his entrance.
Winning a promotion that involved more than 18,000 hopeful participants, Joseph Oullette Jr., of Leominster, Mass., and Nicole Bernabe, of Cambridge, Mass., were each given a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to throw out the first pitch at Fenway Park before a sold-out crowd on Monday night.
"My stomach's been turning all day," Oullette said. "I got to go on a tour and on the field and I settled down a bit [and] wasn't quite as nervous."
"I was kind of in disbelief up until I was on the field. I couldn't believe that it was gonna happen," Bernabe said.
The inaugural First Pitch Sweepstakes presented by F.W. Webb, the official distributor of plumbing, heating and HVAC supplies of the Boston Red Sox, randomly chose the two winners from the promotion that was made available on redsox.com and at Frank Webb's Bath Center locations. The promotion was managed by Fenway Sports Group, F.W. Webb's sports marketing firm.
"It was a dream for us, too," F.W. Webb president of Jeff Pope said. "The whole experience was great and really excited the company."
Bernabe went first, throwing the ball to Pope from the right side of the mound, then Oullette threw a strike to the plate to his son in Red Sox gear, Joseph Oullette III.
"I hadn't thrown a ball in 10 years, up until about two weeks ago when I practiced," Oullette said. "Most people don't get to experience this, and I'm glad I got to do it with my son."
"My mom is a huge Red Sox fan and she was so excited for me. This was really great," Bernabe said.
Pope was happy to see such an unimaginable scenario come to life for two people who couldn't have been more appreciative.
"F.W. Webb is proud to be an official sponsor of the Red Sox, and we are thrilled through our partnership to be able to provide this once-in-a-lifetime prize to Nicole and Joe," Pope said.
Howard Kussoy is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.