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Bridget throws first pitch
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All eyes at Fenway Park were on Bridget Johnson on Sunday night as the local sixth-grader had the privilege of throwing out the first pitch in a game between the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees.
It marked another milestone for Bridget as she continues her miraculous recovery from an Aug. 1 horseback riding accident that nearly claimed her life and resulted in the loss of her left leg at the knee.
“To see her walk out there on the field in front of 42,000 fans, it was like everything came full circle for me,” said her father Ron Johnson, the first-base coach for the Red Sox. “She walked out there and she looked great. She had on jeans and you couldn’t even tell there was anything wrong with her leg. It was just great to see.”
Bridget has been fit with a prosthetic leg and has been making remarkable improvement, according to her father. She made the trip from Warren County to Boston with her sister Cheyanne, a freshman at Warren County High School.
When the time came to throw the ceremonial first pitch, Ron was waiting on the mound as Bridget and Cheyanne walked out. Bridget then threw the first pitch to Kevin Youkilis, who was the catcher for the pitch.
“It was fitting for Youk to catch the pitch because he was the one who bought her a new horse,” said Ron referring to a $6,000 quarter horse Youkilis bought Bridget to replace the one that was killed in the accident.
Bridget was hospitalized for 34 days and had 14 surgeries after the accident that happened when her horse was hit by a car on Cooper Road in the Morrison area.
Ron says Sunday at Fenway Park was an emotional experience for his family. He just wishes it would have been shown on TV so people in Warren County could have seen it.
“It was a nationally televised game, but ESPN starts its coverage with the game itself and doesn’t show the first pitch,” said Ron. “So everyone back home didn’t get to see it and I know some people were disappointed. But there were 42,000 who got to see it in person and got to see Josh Beckett throw a shutout for us as we beat the Yankees so it was a great night all around.”